Dilemma - Phil C
My dilemma is that I have a 94 L Volvo 850 T-5 saloon which has been given to me to dispose of. It has done 82k miles and is in relatively good condition. It also has a full Volvo SH.

As the MOT and tax are due next month my initial plan was to part-ex it along with my own car (Fiat Punto) for a nearly new Fiesta Zetec. No private buyer would want a car which needed taxing and MOTing the following month.

However I have found that the dealers are unwilling to offer anywhere near book trade-in prices for the Volvo (my personal favourite was the £3000 offered by Benfield Ford in Leeds!).

Having spoken to a couple of indepenent Volvo dealers I find that the saloons are not as desirable as the estates and they won't give anywhere near book price for them.

What do you think I should do Back Room people? Take a reduced trade-in price and stump up the cash or get it through it's MOT, tax it for 6 months and sell it privately.

Any thoughts would be welcomed
Re: Dilemma - Brian
Get an MOT done (£25 - £30) and see what money needs to be spent (if any). If economical get any repairs done and flog it privately with an MOT. If uneconomic to repair then PX it.
Re: Dilemma - David Lacey
When there is an good estate model in the range, the 'lesser' saloons can become difficult to sell. A 1994 car is now seven years old and big bills can start rolling in - as I have seen with many Volvo 850's
Re: Dilemma - honest john
David's reason coupled with lack of saleability are the two reasons why offers are so far under book. No one wants a car they're going to have to spend money on and which they can't sell for a profit even after spending the money. Also Phil should never even consider trying to part exchange two old cars for one new one. This is one of the worst ways to try and do a deal.

Solution - David Woollard

To pick up on elements of Brian, David and HJ.....

Superb car but I have known such vehicles go through a fearsome period of expenditure from 85,000 to 125,000 miles, and the dealers/buyers know this.
As HJ says the dual trade in is an absolute no-no, the dealer will have to look at it as if he is taking one as a trade in and the other as a cash buy (or two at cash buy prices!). These real trade values (as opposed to trade in) would make the average private motorist wince. Hence the £3000 is low but not so stupid.

Also the dealer knows he has you by the b-lls when you are trading a large car for a Fiesta or similar, all your defences of the Volvo to keep the value up are blown away unless trading like for like.

So yes do MOT the Volvo and fix a sensible budget for repairs (perhaps up to £150) as it will help sell, even at the dealers. Then try looking round for trade in deals with just one of the cars. There are arguments for both sides but I would try and shift the Volvo into the trade leaving the Punto as a well respected small car that ought to sell to someone's daughter in the local paper or Autotrader.

If you put the T5 in the ads prepare for some right clients to view!

Re: Dilemma - Andrew Tarr
As a non-expert, I would have thought that at a time when one reads (and hears) that 8-9-year-old cars are 'bangers', commanding corresponding prices, it is unlikely that even a reputable car would be worth a large sum. In any case cars of this age, unless unusually good, are not really forecourt material and would give the best return sold privately - provided a buyer can be persuaded to read your ad!

Value my car