The trading of second hand cars is a very big market in the UK and an area of great ambiguity (over etiquette and methods). In this article, it is detailed how to find out car trade-in prices and how to trade them, focusing on the UK market.
Judging the price yourself
Because car trades are so flexible, the simplest means of vehicle valuation is by simply thinking ‘how much can I sell my car for’ oneself. This is a good idea if one has expert knowledge in the car market and even if not, because, as is common practice, one can put an ‘o.n.o.’ caveat on the offer. This stands for ‘or near offer’ which means that the seller will sell for the quoted price or (within reason) the next best monetary offer offered (from their perspective). This is usually used when the seller is selling a used car, which they definitively want to get rid of. It is a risky tactic though, because when given a proverbial inch, many buyers could take a proverbial yard, seeing the 'o.n.o.' offer as an invitation to negotiate the price down considerably.
Second-hand car dealerships
In any technological society, there are a wide variety of car dealerships that will deal at least in part in second-hand cars. To this end, the employees are usually happy to give ‘non-obligation’ quotes on cars and then save the seller the effort of selling the car themselves. However, there are downsides to this. Most notably, many will feel unduly pressured into selling their car, often at a price they see as unreasonable because the dealership has gone out of their range to give a valuation. Furthermore, dealers will factor into their quote some of kind of commission for themselves making the effort to sell their car. For this reason, many prefer to cut out the middle man so as to speak and sell their car themselves.
What Car? is a good way of doing this. This is Britain’s self-proclaimed ‘biggest and best car buyer’s guide’. It has car news, car reviews, car deals and a huge amount of advice on motoring issues. One part of the site is devoted to getting valuations for used cars up to eight years old. Valuations The free valuations are done by a ‘team of researchers with years of experience’ and can be estimated as a dealer price, private price, part exchange price, trade price and brand new price. There are also many other sites which do this. These quoted prices may then be used to sell the car on the site itself or as reference points for selling it in shop windows, on social media, to friends or in local papers.