Thursday, May 22, 2014

Changing the car - a difficult experience

It's eight years since I last changed my car - I traded in a Volvo S40 against a 2005 Volkswagen Golf which was just one year old when I bought it. It was the longest I ever owned any one car for. Today I reluctantly traded it in for a 2011 Hyundai i30 1.6 diesel (pictured blow) imported from the UK. In the end I am pleased with the deal I got, but why do I have to go though the second-hand car sales game to do this.

Why is it that:

  • dealers tell you that the car they are selling will hold its value, but years later tell you that it is not worth very much?
  • as part of the sales process they tell you how brilliant the car they are selling is, and how rubbish your trade-in is?
  • that there are no faults with the car that they are selling, but that your trade-in is "old", "scratched", "will be hard to sell", "will have to be sold to trade", "will cost to provide a warranty", or "will cost €100s to clean up"
  • every dealer offers you a different price for your trade-in (€2,000 difference between highest and lowest I was offered for VW)
  • every dealer has to ring someone while they check out your trade-in
  • dealers offer you the "best price" that cannot be negotiated, but end up negotiating anyway?
  • and finally - that no matter what deal you get, there is still a feeling that later on in the evening that the dealer is sitting in the pub over a beer telling his mates about the punter that walked in today and how much money he made on the deal
Anyway - I'm looking forward to driving the new (3-year old) car for the next eight years at least before I have to go through this ordeal again.

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