CAP Automotive

How to make the most money out of selling your car to a dealer

Selling your car to a dealer

Selling to a dealer you could be up against him. Follow our tips to ensure you don’t come off second best

Although you frequently get the most money shifting used cars privately, selling your car to a dealer is surprisingly popular. Nearly half of the 7.2 million used cars sold every year go to traders according to British Car Auctions. But if you thought buying a car from a dealer was hard work, you should try selling to one.

Getting the best price can be tricky: traders are hard and often skilled negotiators. It is, after all, something they do every day of their working lives, not once every couple of years like the rest of us. The result is that sellers often don’t get as much as their car is really worth. Here are seven things to concentrate on that should help you get as much money as possible for it.

How old is it and what condition is it in?

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How to buy a car off eBay and get the best results

Buy a car off eBay

It can be simple and straightforward to buy a car off eBay and you might bag a bargain. But it’s still worth being cautious

To buy a car off eBay you should approach it with the same caution as if you were buying from a private seller. However, although it’s worth being careful – and there are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary ‑ bargains do exist. You’ll find cars that have been lovingly cared for at knock-down prices. And if you’re after a classic, you’ll occasionally come across a gem of a car that’s been undervalued for a quick sale. Here’s how to come away as a satisfied rather than sorry buyer.

Why is eBay better than a regular auction?

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Drivers using money saved on fuel to upgrade their cars – five models to save you at the pumps

Money saved on fuel

Mitsubishi Outlander is the best-selling plug-in car. Worth considering for urban drivers looking to save on fuel (Picture © Mitsubishi)

Thankful that the 2016 Budget didn’t lead to an increase fuel duty? If you’re like many drivers, you could be looking to spend the money saved on fuel to upgrade your car.

Online retailer Motors.co.uk conducted research which shows that the number of buyers looking at cars costing up to £300 per month to lease has increased by 78 per cent this year. Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk said: “Over the past few months, we’ve seen fuel prices reach their lowest since 2009, with supermarkets slashing their prices to below £1 a litre. To put this into context, at its highest price point, we were paying more than £1.42 a litre in April 2012 – that’s a saving of just over £25 for a 60-litre tank each time it’s filled up.”

Philip Nothard, retail specialist at car valuation expert CAP Automotive believes buyers are still looking for fuel-saving motors. He said: “We’ve been researching this extensively among motor dealers and they confirm to us that fuel economy hasn’t slipped down the list of priorities for the typical customer.” So if you’re one of the drivers looking to upgrade but want to hedge against future fuel price rises, here are our top five motors that will save you money at the pumps… and five to avoid.

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Buyers’ market: New cars now cheaper than used

New cars now cheaper than used

It’s well worth shopping around for a new car as there are bargains to be had (Picture © What Car)


Thinking of buying a new car? Popular wisdom dictates it’s cheaper to buy used than new. However that’s no longer always the case. New research shows that thanks to super competitive finance deals and low interest rates, some customers can save nearly £500 by choosing new over used.

Sales figures show that September 2015 was the best month ever for car sales, helped by car makers offering great deals on new models. The result, according to Whatcar.com which carried out the research, was that brand new cars were cheaper than the equivalent second-hand one-year old models in almost a third (29 per cent) of cases.

Researchers took the cost of deposits, monthly finance or loan payments, road tax, servicing and depreciation into account. With the Kia Picanto SR7 three door, they found that a brand new car would save customers £665 over two years, compared to the year-old equivalent. While the new car would cost £3719 to run for 24 months, the used model would be nearly £4400.

Philip Nothard, consumer specialist for car valuation service CAP Automotive said: “Generally speaking, if a car holds its value well, you’d be better off buying it new. At the moment it really is a new car market.” Jim Holder from WhatCar.com added: “Consumers shouldn’t always assume a used car will automatically offer them the best value for money. Favourable interest rates combined with inviting manufacturer incentives mean it’s a great time to bag a brand new bargain.”

The Nissan Micra Acenta reinforces this. Buy it new and it will cost you £5020 over the first two years of its life. Buy a year-old model and it will cost £403 more. Even when new cars are more expensive, it’s not by that much. A brand new Jaguar XF saloon 3.0d will only cost £13.50 a month more over 37 months than a year-old version. And over three years, the new Lexus NX300h Luxury will only be £8.20 a month pricier than its used equivalent.

The figures were calculated assuming the cars were being bought on Hire Purchase or using Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deals. These are when drivers use a deposit to buy the car. Monthly payments are then set according to an agreed mileage and the car’s agreed value at the end of a certain period, usually three years. When the deal is up, drivers have the choice of handing over what’s known as a balloon payment to own the car, giving the car back and walking away, or putting any equity they might have in the car towards a new deal.

As PCPs are manufacturer backed, they frequently have very attractive annual percentage rates (APR) to help boost sales of certain models. According to What Car.com in November 2015, on average, a PCP will save customers £459 compared to a bank loan over the lifetime of the deal. But it’s still important to check. PCPs don’t always give the best deal. A driver who bought a year-old Renault Twingo Play would save £1327 over 37 months using a bank loan, in comparison to a PCP on a new model.

Read how else to grab a new car bargain

New car sales boom: Why it’s a great time to buy a car

New car sales boom

Now’s a great time to get a new car bargain with great deals on models such as the Volvo XC60 (Picture © Volvo)

There’s a new car sales boom and Britain’s automotive industry is in rude health. But while 2015 is on the way to becoming a record year for car sales, there are still plenty of bargains for new car buyers to snap up. Some experts are saying that new car buyers have never had it so good because car makers are competing so hard against one another in the bid to win new customers and keep existing owners loyal to their brand. Continue reading

Plug-in electric cars: 67% want one to save money – but are they any cheaper?

Plug-in electric cars

Best-selling battery car is the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (Picture © Mitsubishi)

Plug-in electric cars are being considered by most people as their next car. A study by the Government’s Go Ultra Low (GUL) has found that 67 per cent of drivers want to own a battery-powered car. Three quarters of drivers said that running costs were the biggest consideration when choosing their next motor. The GUL report also cites the style and convenience of electric models. But are electric cars really the right choice for cost-conscious drivers? We look at the pros and cons:  Continue reading

Car auctions: the insider’s guide

Car auctions

To novice buyers, auction halls can look intimidating. Our tips bust that idea
(Picture © Anglia Car Auctions)

Car auctions offer a guaranteed way of saving money on a second-hand car. However, there’s a catch; because it’s more involved than strolling in, nodding your head and driving out in a bargain, it can be daunting for private individuals, which is why only around one in 10 cars sold by British Car Auctions (BCA), one of the UK’s major auctioneers, go to buyers outside the car trade.

The advantage of successfully bidding at car auctions is that you’ll get a car at what’s known as trade price. On a three-year-old Ford Focus, used car valuation expert Glass’s Guide claims trade price to be £2350 (28 per cent) less than the £8230 the dealer would sell the car for. For a dealer, that’s not all profit as they have to account for the time and money it takes to prepare the car and display it in a showroom or forecourt, as well as market the car to potential buyers. But for non-trade buyers it can be a significant saving. We tracked down Mark Davis, a private buyer from Hampshire who’s bought around 10 cars from auction. Here are his tips.  Continue reading

Owning some new cars cheaper than used

New cars cheaper than used

Audi A1 is one of the new cars that can be cheaper to own from new than buy used. (Picture © Audi)

New cars cheaper than used? Surely it flies in the face of popular wisdom that suggests you’ll save money owning a used car compared to a new model. This is because from the moment you start owning a car its value starts tumbling. It’s called depreciation and it beats the cost of fuel, insurance and servicing to be the largest contributor towards the amount we pay to go motoring. Depreciation is at its steepest – and therefore costliest – in year one of the life of most new cars. That’s why it’s generally regarded as being cheaper to own a used car.  Continue reading

Electric car myths busted

Electric car myths

Electric cars spend a lot of time doing this. That and other myths explained. (Picture © Nissan)

New research from the Government and Britain’s car industry claims 62 per cent of potential car buyers believe the electric car myths that surround battery powered and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The survey by Go Ultra Low reviews drivers’ attitudes to electric or Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs). It claims a third have considered purchasing a ULEV, while nearly a third believe it’s more expensive to buy, own and run a ULEV over five years compared to a conventional car. Here we bust some of the more popular electric car myths.  Continue reading

How to choose between petrol and diesel cars

The right choice between petrol or diesel cars will save you money at the pumps

The right choice between petrol or diesel cars saves money at the pumps (Picture © Vauxhall)

The modern motor buyer has a quandary: which will prove the most cost effective between petrol or diesel cars? The answer varies depending on who is asking the question. It used to be that diesel-powered cars were unquestionably the cheaper option to buy and run, as they were more economical and the fuel was cheaper. Now, however, diesel is more expensive and petrol engines are becoming more efficient which muddies what used to be a clear-cut decision.  Continue reading