10 Tips for Setting the Right Price for Your Used Vehicles
Posted by: Lydia on 19/04/2017
Buying a car can be complex, but selling one is no piece of cake, either. It sounds simple at first‚ but a lot of thought needs to go into selling your car.
Setting the right price is one of the trickiest pieces of the process. But before you begin to feel daunted by the task, take a look at our list of 10 key tips to help you determine the right asking price for your used vehicle.
1. Be honest about its condition
You might think those little scratches or dents are charming. There may also be some good stories behind each one, from that time you went camping with your best friends, or drove across the country with your family. From the standpoint of a buyer, though‚ any damage to your car is unlikely to be endearing. Be honest and realistic on this point, and don't try to sell your car at a ‘mint condition’ price if it’s really in the ‘average at best’ zone.
2. Consider the market
Right now, Australia is a buyer’s market for cars, and with 75% of cars on our roads designated as passenger vehicles, there will always be a huge variety of used cars for sale. This is a great situation to be in as a buyer, but as a seller, it means you’ll be challenged by lots of competition. You may think your car is truly one-of-a-kind, but if there are a ton of similar models for sale at the moment, no buyers will likely share your opinion.
3. Leave room to haggle
You may be a super nice person who just wants to sell your car at a fair price to the quickest buyer. Unfortunately though, being so direct would do you a disservice. In the world of autos, half the battle in buying and selling a car is haggling on price.
That’s why you need to go ahead and set your price a little higher than what the car is worth. That will give you a bit of wiggle room with the buyer once the haggling starts, and in turn, who knows? You may find someone loves your car so much they’ll buy it on the spot.
4. Be mindful of your location
If you have a rare car, you could sell it in the middle of the Outback and people will come. If you have a more common Ford or Holden, though, you may struggle to make the case that it’s worth a long trip for a buyer to look at. If you do have a more common vehicle and you live far away from busy urban areas, you may want to price it slightly under what it’s worth to entice buyers to make the journey.
5. Consider the time of year
If you’re selling around Christmas or other major holidays, you might be able to get away with setting the price a bit higher. People looking for a Christmas gift will think that dream car they long promised their partner or son or daughter is worth the extra money. If you try to sell your car in the middle of the year, however, you may struggle a bit more.
6. Think about extras that came with your car when you bought it
You have driven your car thousands of times since you purchased it. While you love it, you probably don’t remember every single little detail about it. That is totally OK - but it's important to think back to the modifications, options, and improvements your car has, both from the factory and from aftermarket sources.
If you put in a really pricey stereo and speaker upgrade, added a rear spoiler, or maybe even a turbo injector or leather seats, you may be able to ask a little more for it. These all may seem like routine features of a great car to a car guru, but extras like a great set of tyres can really help your car stand out in the market.
7. Think about the season
In the summer, people will be willing to trek out to visit your car on a beautiful summer’s day, and may even be willing to pay a little more if the mood strikes. In the winter, they will not even leave their home unless they think the trip is worth braving the snow and elements - or if they’re looking at a really good deal.
8. Discard sentimentality
The car you’re looking to sell may be your first car, or it may be the car your family grew up taking road trips in. But whatever wonderful memories you have associated with the car, they count for nothing on the market. It’s tempting to be sentimental about well-loved vehicles, but make sure you are looking at the situation through a buyer’s eyes.
9. Take into account rare or limited-edition details
Even if you don’t have a really rare Ferrari or Lamborghini to sell, there are still a number of ways in which you can fairly raise the price of your car. You should be able to get more for your vehicle if yours was one of the few made in a certain style by the manufacturer that year, or if it was the first - or the last - of the models made.
You can even raise the price for small things, such as your model featuring an automatic gearbox while most of the models made were manual. While it's important to be reasonable here, it’s also important not to overlook any additional extras you can use to set a fair price for your ride.
10. Go with your gut instinct
For all details you have to take into consideration when it comes to selling your car, once it's time to sell, you’ll likely have a fair price in mind. Sure, there will be many factors along the way you’ll need to consider - and if you don’t, it could mean your car won't sell - but it also must be remembered that in the end, pricing is something of a personal opinion - your car is worth what a buyer is willing to pay.
Like a lot of things in life, selling a used car is one of those processes that can often feel a bit irritating. You have to put a fair bit of time and planning into it, and you may encounter some frustrating moments along the way.
Yet with the right planning and preparation, you can ensure your used car will be sold to a new and happy owner. Best of all, you increase the odds you’ll get a price above market value for your car - and that means extra money in your pocket for when it comes time to make your next car purchase.
What other tips do you have for setting the price of your used car? Let us know in the comments below: