Trading down... - mab23

I have a Mercedes SLK, worth maybe 21k trade in or 23k-ish if sold privately. If I needed/wanted to trade down to an "old banger", what would be the best way of doing this, bearing in mind (a) money and (b) hassle?

* sell the car privately? Do people buy cars this expensive privately, given the lack of a safety-net?
* sell the car to a main dealer?
* sell the car to a non-main dealer specialist?
* "part-ex" the car for a cheaper, older model and get "cashback"? (can you even do this?)

Thanks in advance,

Trading down... - Jonathan {p}
You could try to sell it privately, but not many people would spend £21k on a private sale car.

A dealer may take it off your hands, or they may even offer to sell it for you (ie you leave it in their showroom and they sell it and take a cut of the sale, this is beneficial for them as they don't have to outlay all that cash and for you as they will negotiate a higher price than you could.

Don't even think about part-exing for a cheaper car, you'll not get anywhere or you'll be shafted.


Trading down... - Jase
Other backroomers may disagree but I would try to avoid the last option. Although this approach is lowest in hassle terms, I think you will lose out financially. Dealers always prefer money coming in to the business in transactions with customers rather than the reverse.

If you are not in a hurry you could get it valeted and try it privately. Posh broadsheets like the Sunday times are full of private sale heavy metal like yours.

Once you've sold it then you are in a position to buy for cash, which is perfect for bartering the best deal.

Good luck
Trading down... - pd
It's a good time of year to sell an SLK. You could try privately, but it would be worth calling round your local Mercedes dealers (particularly the one you bought it from or have had it serviced at) and see if they'll sell it for you on a sales commission basis.

If it's a nice spec they'll probably be pleased to have it on their forecourt at this time of year.
Trading down... - DavidHM
I agree with Jase and PD - there is no absolute way of knowing, but it's highly unlikely that a dealer with a stock of old bangers will be in a position to market a car like an SLK as effectively as a Merc franchise. Therefore it will tie up a much larger proportion of their capital for much longer, meaning it's got to be an exceptionally good earner for them. The result is that they'll probably have to offer you less than the franchise could afford to.

I could be wrong of course and you could get lucky and find a dealer who wants one for his wife, for example, in which case he might be in a position to offer you a good price. All things being equal though, if the car is recent and in a good colour with a good spec (auto, leather, air, metallic) and low mileage (under 15k a year and 50k in any event) and fMBsh it'll do best with a franchise. If it's not, you might have a slightly trickier sale and it then depends how much patience you have.

Depending on how much cash you want to realise, you may find that you're better off in the long term going for something a little newer. £1500 on a ten year old car from a dealer can look very expensive if it only lasts two years if you could get a similar three year old with a high mileage for £4500 and make it last eight.
Trading down... - ucjtckc
I've just sold a 51 reg Golf for 13.5K in Autotrader on the web. OK, so I wasn't asking for what you are asking for but it's worth trying - it costs only £15 to advertise for 6 weeks on the web only.

I think you will get some people who are after a bargain and won't mind paying over 20K for a privately advertised vehicle - a colleague of mine bought an M class from a private seller in Autotrader for 21K not that long ago. It's worth a try for £15...

Trading down... - Gen
Would be interesting what kind of 'old banger' you are trading down to...
Trading down... - Colin M
> Posh broadsheets like the Sunday times are full of private sale heavy metal like yours <

Yes, and the ads don't work. I have privately bought and sold many cars worth over £20k over the last 3 years. If the car has balance of warranty then the buyer has almost as much protection as buying from a dealer as any main dealer will fix any (warranty type) faults.

If the price is right, anything will sell. My own experience is to run with printed as well as web ads and IMHO Top Marques and Autotrader have the market cornered.

Don't skimp on a web only ad "to see how it goes". Carefully word your ad and determine a reasonable price (don't try to compete with the dealers here, you need to be realistic about what your SLK is really worth). Make sure the pic is one with the roof down. Priced right, it'll be gone the week after your ad appears.

HJ has a lot of useful info on buying and selling here. The only difference is I pre-approve all drafts if the buyer is using that method (he faxes it through to me morning of collection and I ring issuing bank to verify no funny business).

Trading down... - mab23
Thanks for all the advice. This is something I'm only considering right now, but as you say it's the season for selling convertibles (even though it's pouring with rain outside), so if I don't do it in the next month or so I will need to wait another year I suspect.

As for what I'm trading down to, I'm looking to spend no more than a couple of grand, probably on a well-depreciated car like an older Audi (A4/100/80), Volvo or Merc (C/E class). Something reliable.

Trading down... - clog
I sold my SLK privately in September last year. The best I was offered by a main dealer was 20k. The same dealers were advertising similar cars to mine for c26k. I advertised it in the Sunday Times for 24.5. without a single call. The following week I put it in Thames Valley auto-trader and sold it for the (same) full asking price.

I think the problem with the Sunday Times is that without spending mega-bucks on a longer descriptive ad you are competing with other cars almost purely on price. The week-end I advertised there were probably a dozen SLK's for sale, most of which were cheaper than mine.

Having said that, next time I would probably use Top Marques and Autotrader as I only got a couple of calls from my TVAT ad. Lots of cars sell privately for well in excess of 20k and of course you can buy a warranty that's as good or even better than a dealer warranty for a couple of hundered pounds.

Value my car