In the UK, a large proportion of people sell their cars through trade-in deals with local dealers. When you arrive at the dealer to trade in your clunker, they provide you with the clunker value, which is then deducted from the amount you would have paid to buy another car for it.

When trading in your old car for a new one, it’s important to negotiate and ask for the amount of money you’ll need to replace your car. No used-car dealer will quote you without giving himself some room to negotiate.

Do some research before heading to a dealer for a discount. Go online to find out how much money you have to sell your car elsewhere, or bring a mobile device or print out some examples. If the dealer refuses to budge, be prepared to leave.

This brings us to another important point. Don’t give up your car keys or log until you are willing to sell. If the dealership has your car keys and log, they can sometimes make it hard to get out of the deal. You need to stay comfortable, and if things don’t go well, you can look for better options elsewhere.

It’s important to be realistic. Dealers need to make a profit, and doing so often provides you with less profit than you can get from selling your car privately. You can’t go to a dealer and expect the same price as similar brands and models in Autotrader.

Bargaining with a used car trading dealer

The key to used car trading is knowing the value elsewhere. Never agree to pay more than you think you can pay a private seller, and, if possible, you should want to pay less. Buy the latest version of AutoTrader and highlight cars that are similar to the make and model you are buying. If your dealer claims that the price of the car is higher than the average price for similar brands and models, you can use this information to correct it and bargain for it.

Do not be distracted by the optional additional features the dealer will offer to close the sale. A gas tank and some car MATS are a nice addition to the deal, but it may not be worth passing up the bargain. It is better to forgo these benefits to ensure a 5 per cent reduction – although in practice this rarely works.

The benefits of trade-in

Quite simply, trading in old for new is a faster and more convenient process than buying and selling privately. You execute two trades at a time, and if you try to trade on your own, both can take weeks. Even so, you should not let this cause you to pay more than it’s worth. When considering a trade-in, you need to constantly weigh how long you think it will take to sell your car versus buy another car privately, and how much cheaper it will be.

By trade-in, you can buy and sell cars in an afternoon without doing any real work. Before you begin a trade-in study, you need to do a private study of the vehicle’s needs. Use the online tool provided by Glass’s Guides to do the assessment. Or get the average of pen and paper from the latest version of AutoTrader.

Besides speed, of course, there are safety factors. By trading in the old for the new, you don’t have to worry about being scammed, the cost of advertising the ads, or any of the other difficulties that come with buying or selling a car privately.

Keep in mind that

Some cars have better trade-ins than others. If your car is particularly old or depleted, the percentage difference between the price offered by the dealer and the price offered by a private buyer can be significant. That’s because dealers can only buy cars they think they can sell reasonably quickly. Private buyers, on the other hand, can buy any car they use. There may be a seventeen-year-old who has just been given permission, on a small budget, and wants to pay 200 for a Ford Fiesta that he has knocked down. In order for a dealer to justify buying it, they must consider how likely it is that a similar buyer will walk into their home in the next few months. For this reason, old Bunger Hammers tend to command a higher price when sold privately rather than to a dealer.