Sponsored Feature:

Gumtree.co.za’s #DreamTradeIn competition has had thousands of South Africans drooling over their favourite cars, but how do trade-ins actually work? There are more than a thousand professional dealerships on Gumtree that will gladly take in your old vehicle and put you in something brand new.

Determine what the car is worth

Don’t just look up the book retail value – look up how much the cars are actually selling for using the Gumtree car price checker. This will show you how much cars of that make, model and age are selling for. Note that you might make more money selling your car privately but there are always risks involved when transacting with individuals as opposed to a dealership. You will also have the hassle of paperwork to do yourself, which takes time.

Know your lingo

The dealer will use terms such as retail price (which the dealership will sell your car at), the trade-in price (the price the dealership will offer for your car, used to settle finance on the vehicle or paid in cash to you) and the blue book value (the dealer valuation book by TransUnion) which they will use to determine their price.

Fix up the car a little

Spending money to fix nicks and dents will help – dealers will use these to negotiate a lower price. If you’ve recently serviced the car or bought new tyres – mention it. If the car is still under warranty/motor plan – mention it. All of this will make the deal more attractive.

Buy your new car at the same dealership if possible

Dealerships have targets. They want to sell your trade-in quickly and they want to put you in a new car. You can negotiate a great deal on a new car and a trade-in if the dealership can make a sale through you.

Timing is key

Your petrol-guzzling 4x4 might not sell very well after a fuel price hike, and your convertible won’t be as attractive during the rainy season, so pick the right time of year to trade in and trade up.

Pick the right dealership

You won’t get as good a price for your Ford EcoSport if the dealership has ten of them sitting on the shop floor, unsold. Pick a dealership that is low on stock for your particular model. Drive around, make phone calls and check Gumtree religiously to see what they are selling. Don’t limit yourself to just one area either – dealerships can easily arrange transport for cars across provinces, and you might get a better deal that way!

You can view over 45 000 cars sold by trusted dealerships here.