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The sale of a car can be quite a nightmare, but don't worry, here's an updated guide on how to make your sale experience more financially sensible.

Category: Car Selling Advice


Every once in a while, you read about a tempting new car or chance upon a dream pre-owned one up for sale on sgCarMart.com, and you know what must be done - get rid of the old and make way for the new.

Now, there are a number of ways to conduct the sale of your car. In the past, you would go to a used car dealer or try your luck by posting a sale advertisement in the newspapers. But, times have changed and so have your options. Today, cars can also be sold via trade-ins, using online mediums like sgCarMart to direct buyers, and through consignment schemes.

The sale of a car, from personal experience, can be quite a headache. We've touched on this topic before, but here's an updated guide on how to make your sale experience more financially sensible.

1. Selling via trade-in

The convenience of trading in your car for another comes at the price of lesser money back

If you have already found a car you want to buy, you may consider trading in your existing car to the dealership. When you trade-in your used car for a new one at an authorised dealer, your car is very likely to end up at a used car dealership because authorised dealers like Kah Motor (Honda's local distributor) work hand-in-hand with used car dealers, who handle most trade-ins.

Selling via trade-in is the most convenient and easiest way to sell your car, as the dealership will handle all the loan, paperwork and ownership transfers, as well as time the handover of your existing car, together with the delivery of your new car. The value of your existing car can also be used to directly offset the down payment of the car you are purchasing.

Another benefit of trading-in your car is over-trade, a practice in which car firms offer a higher trade-in value for used cars than the prevailing market rates. This practice helps car buyers tide over the large sums of down payment limited by MAS loan restrictions. You can read more about the current car loan guidelines here.

Authorised dealerships typically pass trade-ins to used car dealers and take a cut for acting as a broker

As an illustration, when you buy a $200,000 new car, you'll have to cough up at least $80,000 (40 percent) as down payment. In an over-trade transaction, the dealer will raise the car price to $210,000, and at the same time offer you $10,000 more than what your trade-in car is worth. Although you now need to pay $84,000 for the down payment, you'll receive an additional $10,000 more for your trade in.

Hence, effectively, you only need to fork out $74,000 for the down payment. This practice is prevalent amongst distributors of premium marques like Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

The downside to trading-in your vehicle is that you typically get a lower value than what your car is really worth. Reason being, most authorised dealers source for only three to five quotations for your trade-in vehicle. With such little competition, the offer won't be high. In addition, the authorised dealership takes a cut of your trade-in car's value for acting as a broker.

2. Selling to a direct buyer

Selling directly to a buyer may get you the most financial returns but it's the most time consuming method. Post an ad at sgCarMart here

Selling your vehicle yourself to a direct buyer guarantees you the most financial returns but it takes time and comes with a little paperwork hassle. When selling to a direct buyer, you'll need to advertise on a tested and proven advertisement platform. Well, what's more effective than posting an ad on sgCarMart.com?

Over 200 cars are sold on sgCarMart each day. As a testament to its popularity, 96.2 percent of all car sellers list their cars for sale on sgCarMart. This is hardly surprising as over nine million searches are made every month on sgCarMart, making it the car portal with the highest traffic in Singapore for seven years running.

An ad on sgCarMart.com costs just $58 until it's sold with a full dedicated page - sufficient space for even the smallest of details. With online advertisements, you get more freedom to advertise your sale with attractive pictures to show your car at its best, and include detailed descriptions that would enhance your car's selling price.

sgCarMart isn't just a proven advertisement platform but also one that helps sellers and buyers with essential documents

An inconvenience of selling direct is the amount of sales enquiries you have to handle and also the paper work involved after sealing the deal. To ease your burden, essential documents for the transaction are postal-mailed to when you list an ad on sgCarMart, inclusive of sales agreements, test drive indemnity forms, handover forms, and payment receipts.

Once you have agreed on a deal, sgCarMart Connect can help the buyer of your car apply for a loan, settle your outstanding loan if any and apply for an insurance refund, draft legal documentation for both parties, and protect the buyer by providing a car condition report. sgCarMart Connect can be contacted at 6744 3540 or through Whatsapp at 8686 3540.


3. Selling to a dealer

Pushing your vehicle to a used car dealer is the fastest and most convenient way to get it off your hands. A trip down to your dealer, some negotiation and a few phone calls thereafter, your vehicle is sold. Dealers handle all documentation for the sale and provide you with the payment.

But, bear in mind that dealers need to cover their overhead costs and make a profit, too, so the offer you receive will be below market selling price. Dealers will nitpick the condition of the paintwork and interior, et cetera, and slash their offer price. Don't be surprised to see an advertisement of your car with a new coat of paint for a price much higher than what you got for it.
Be cautious when signing any documents with a used car dealer. They are very experienced in the complex field of motor trade, and always insist on all verbal agreements to be written down. Also, do not rush the sale. Ask around and check with a few dealers on prices before confirming your sale.

Many used cars sold by dealers look new because they are bought at a lower price, repaired and resprayed before selling

You can also consider auctioning your vehicle and have the dealers come to you instead. In doing so, you save a lot of time and energy spent on visiting multiple dealerships to source for offers. Online car auction platform sgCarMart Quotz (Quotz) is one such auction service, which helps obtain the highest price for your car.

sgCarMart Quotz helps car sellers get the most attractive car sale price from a network of over 500 used car dealers. Cars go through a 188-point inspection before being listed on an open bidding system. The highest offer will be ready within an hour and the seller gets to choose whether to accept the offer.

Once you accept the offer, it will pay you a cash deposit to seal the deal. The balance sum will be paid to you once you handover the vehicle. You can choose when to handover your car, up to 14 days later. It will handle all the transfer paperwork and documentation. Quotz has transacted over 15,000 cars, and as a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings & sgCarMart.com, it will deliver on its promises.


To save on time, sgCarMart Quotz helps obtain the highest price for your car through an online auction service

The service comes with a $100 guarantee that it will provide an unmatchable highest dealer offer available in the market.

The process is simple. You're only required to make an appointment with sgCarMart Quotz's staff via Website, Whatsapp, SMS or Phone for a professional 188-point inspection and photo-taking of your car before the pictures and details are submitted for bidding.

Should you feel that the price is not right, there is absolutely no obligation to accept the offer. Say goodbye to stress.


4. Selling via consignment

In a consignment scheme, you authorise a consignment agent to market your car and make the sale on your behalf. If a sale goes through, simply pay the agent a fee and everyone is happy. Depending on the agent's modus operandi, you can either leave your car with them or continue driving the car as they source for a buyer.

The benefits of consigning your car is that you get to decide on your car's asking price while the agent handles troublesome aspects of the sale, such as enquiries and documentation when the sale is done.

Consignment agents can help with wear and tear repairs before a sale is made

Once a buyer is found, the consignment agent usually takes a cut from the sale of the vehicle, ranging from a flat fee of $500 to one percent of the final selling price, depending on the consignment agreement.

The agent will also assist in the touching up of your car's paintwork and grooming before handing the car over to the new owner. Touch-ups to the vehicle are done upon your buyer's request and will knock a few dollars off your asking price.

Apart from the financial, insurance and paperwork support, it is such repair and grooming work an agent is able to assist with that makes the sale of your car much easier. After all, nobody wants to buy a car that would require many post-purchase wear and tear rectifications.

It's important to pick the right agent to handle your consignment sale as there have been horror stories of consignment agents, who use high pressure techniques to coerce sellers to repeatedly lower their prices, and others who charge hidden fees pre and post sale.

A consignment agent handles the sale and paperwork of your car, while you get to continue driving it

sgCarMart provides a reliable list of consignment agents, who practice a 'no sale, no charges' policy. 

You can find them here: List of consignment agents 

So, now you know!

In a nutshell, trading in your car for another is quick and easy, but this is the method that nets you back the least cash. 

Selling your car to a direct buyer gives you the most cash returns, but is more troublesome due to the fact that you've got to handle sales enquires and work out the documentation with the new owner. But, not to fear, as mentioned earlier, sgCarMart Connect is ready to help with any loan, insurance or documentation matters.

When selling to a dealer, you should visit multiple used car dealerships to source for the best offer and compare them. To enjoy convenience and better offers, you can consider sgCarMart Quotz's service, which obtains the highest price from over 500 dealers for your car through bidding in just one hour.

Also, keep in mind the option of selling your vehicle through consignment. You get to decide the selling price and the consignment agent handles all the work. On top of that, you are able to maintain ownership of your vehicle, and if something doesn't work out or if you change your mind halfway, you can choose not to sell.

*This article was updated on 9th March 2018.
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