Car Choices: should I sell privately or to a dealer?
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Buying a new car can be a lot of fun; selling your used vehicle, not so much.
Assuming you’re not trading in, the big decision facing most is whether to offer the vehicle to a dealer anyway or try to sell it privately; each has merits and drawbacks.
Common wisdom says putting a bit more time and effort into a private sale can yield a better price, because there’s no dealer margin involved and you can have a bit more invested in holding out for the right price.
That’s a big plus. But some of the cons of selling privately have become magnified in this Covid-19 age: there’s one-to-one interaction required with potential buyers, plus insurance and sanitising issues to worry about during the test-drive process.
Covid-related or not, many of us don’t particularly like the thought of a stranger visiting our homes, seeing where the car is parked or garaged - and then the potentially intrusive part of taking the car away for a test drive.
Then there are the tyre kickers, from the "Is this still available?" messages that often go nowhere, to the person just wanting to see what your car is like with no real intention of buying, or one who finally offers a price that’s so ridiculously low, it’s simply a waste of time.
Or even just the general personal or property security issue; it raises so many red flags, it’s enough to push a seller back through the dealer channels.
The pandemic has also introduced a market situation in New Zealand that we don’t see all that often: because used-import shipments have slowed and the new-vehicle market is still recovering from March’s level 4 lockdown, there’s a real shortage of quality used vehicles.
The upside of all that mixed with the current Covid situation is that for current sellers, there is a real demand for cars, and dealers motivated to purchase used cars.
The suggested influx of inexpensive used cars from rental fleets from Covid simply just didn’t happen in the numbers expected. “Defleeting” from rental companies following NZ’s previous level 4 lockdown doesn’t even begin to cover demand.
So while now is generally a good time to sell, it’s also probably worth your while to look at the dealer route as one of your options if you didn’t previously. A dealer can still buy your car in the current level 3 lockdown environment, you don’t have to worry about trying to “sell” to potential buyers because dealers know what they want and why they want it, and it’ll be quick. You’ll also get your money fast through a secure, trusted source.
The downside is still that you can theoretically get a better price selling privately, once lockdown is over. It just depends whether you’re prepared to play the waiting game.
DRIVEN has relationships with trusted dealers across NZ who are currently looking to buy cars. We’ve put together some contact forms for car sellers to enable an easy match between your vehicle and the makes or models each dealer is looking for. If you’re wanting to sell your car fast with minimal hassle, follow this link to get a no obligation buy-now offer.