The car buyer’s conundrum has long centred around whether part exchanging is the best way to sell a used car. A few years ago, it could be more profitable than selling a car privately for some sellers. And it’s always been the most convenient. But is that still the case? We investigate part exchanging cars.
Which new car options are worth paying extra for?
Not so long ago, choosing optional extras to be fitted to a new car was a guessing game. Unless a dealer had a similar car with fitted with similar options for customers to view, you’d place ticks on an order form and hope for the best. Today, the online car configurator means drivers can easily judge whether larger wheels look better, or if a panoramic sunroof and tan leather upholstery is a better bet than a regular sunroof with black leather trim.
Online configurators are big business. Car companies invest huge sums of money in making them as realistic as possible, because they can make huge sums of money from selling customers optional extras. And the list of those extras is as long as your arm.
Sometimes those options are a good choice. They’ll make driving safer or more comfortable for the owner of the car. But just as often, they’re a waste of money, costing hundreds or even thousands when ordered but worth precious little when the time comes to sell the car.
That’s the view of Rupert Pontin, the Director of Valuations at Glass’s Guide, the organisation that has been monitoring the values of used cars since 1933 – long before there were such things as optional extras.
Glass’s cautions buyers to think before they upgrade. It says that typically, the original cost of any option falls in value faster than the original cost of the car. It’s also better to invest in a higher trim level than to pick a basic car and pile on the options.
So which options are worth adding to a new car? Here are five wise buys.
Car auctions: the insider’s guide
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