Selling a used car in South Africa is not a particularly difficult process because there is a large and thriving used car market. Selling a used car and making a large profit is a little more difficult than simply settling for a quick sale, but you can easily make some extra cash if you apply the correct techniques. Most sales techniques require relatively little effort but can greatly increase the resale value of any car.
Obtain the Correct Documentation
A second hand car must have all of the necessary documentation for a legal sale in South Africa. Sensible buyers will want to check that all of the documentation is in order before committing to buy. At the very least, having all of the proper paperwork prevents a buyer from having an obvious complaint that may facilitate haggling. Check that all of the most important documents are present and have not expired. Even a missing owner's manual may undermine the buyer's confidence, but the roadworthy certificates and transfer of ownership forms are particularly important. The lack of a roadworthy certificate is an instant red flag to buyers, as the paper proves that a professional mechanic at a licenced inspection station checked the vehicle and deemed it safe to drive. Also, bear in mind that the transfer of ownership form must arrive at the Licensing Department no more than 21 days after the sale. This prevents the seller from being liable for any fines or penalty points accrued by the new owner of the vehicle.
Check the Market Price
Potential car buyers treat a used car purchase as seriously as any other buy. Sellers must price their vehicles accordingly, with the cost low enough to attract potential buyers but high enough to make it worth it. Be sure to do some market research and find out what the general asking prices are for the make and model of your vehicle. For example, small commuter cars like the Fiat 500 or Mini Cooper may sell for a higher price in large, built-up cities such as Johannesburg, but sell for less elsewhere. Trucks and SUVs are more popular in the more remote regions of the country and around the mountainous regions of the Cape Peninsula. Numerous professional agencies are happy to supply any consumer with the approximate value of their vehicle for a small fee. Large insurance groups like Santam also offer this service. Conducting market research at home is relatively straightforward, and simply browsing classified ads and used car showrooms is one way of achieving the same result.
Service the Vehicle
Be sure to take the car in for a thorough service before putting it up for sale. While primary motorways are in excellent condition, it is a large country and rural areas often have pot-holed or poorly serviced roads. Ensuring that the shocks, springs and suspension system are in order is the most important factor to consider during a service. This is because many potential buyers often request a test drive before committing to buy, and a poorly maintained vehicle is sure to send them running.
Clean Before Advertising
A fairly basic step, but the importance of properly cleaning and servicing the car cannot be understated, particularly in dusty rural areas. Be sure to wash the car thoroughly inside and out before taking any pictures for advertisement purposes. Pay particular attention to the wheels and arches on the outside and the ashtrays and carpets inside. Have all of the seats and upholstery washed and remove any rubbish or debris from the boot and glove box.
Advertising is important, but it need not be expensive. There are numerous ways that you can advertise a used vehicle and many are free of charge. Local newspapers are often free for advertising purposes, and there are plenty of other printed publications to consider that allow for cheap advertising. This may include coupon books, local business directories, telephone books and smaller car publications such as Auto Trader. Several online marketplaces and classified websites also allow a seller to get their word out for free. Finally, never forget that the oldest tricks often work the best. A simple sign left in the window of the car or placed in a local supermarket may also yield results.
With the correct attitude, selling a used car need not be hard work. Whether you own a BMW, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford or any other model car or truck, you can reach a large range of potential buyers with classified ads, online advertisements or just a simple sign. Always ensure that any advertisements are clear and concise to avoid confusion and remember that a picture tells a thousand words. Combine a succinct advertisement with some excellent pictures of a clean and well-serviced car, and selling a used vehicle should be a breeze no matter where you live.