Seven things to help you get more for your Brexit-bashed trade-in
Brexit, or to be more precise the flood of used UK imports, may be knocking up to €2,000 off the price of your trade-in, but you can help stem the losses.
The most important thing is to make sure your car is in the best shape possible and that you are getting the most competitive deal with it.
You'd be amazed at how many people sell themselves hundreds of euro short by not doing the small things - from valeting to checking out prices with more than one dealer.
I'm not saying you will claw back the €2,000 that is estimated to have been knocked off the value of your car. But you can make it extremely difficult for someone to offer you even less.
It's a competitive market out there. Six months ago I would have been advising that you could add a few hundred to the price of the trade-in.
Now it is looking more like a preventative measure aimed at ensuring a few hundred more aren't knocked off.
As you may know from our story last Friday, Ciarán McMahon, chairman and managing director of Ford Ireland, estimates the level of imports has reduced second-hand car values by €2,000.
If you are trading against a new car for 2017 that means you have a wider gap to bridge.
Because of the big rise in imports, Mr McMahon said dealers are being forced to offer lower prices for trade-ins against 171-reg models.
That is due to the widespread uncertainty about what used cars will be worth on the market in the new year.
As Mr McMahon explained, dealers have to cover themselves or risk being lumbered with expensive trade-in stock they can't shift. With that in mind, here are seven ways to help reduce the impact of Brexit on your pocket:
1 Obvious, but often overlooked: spend a few euro and give your car a really good valet.
If you have the time, do it yourself, but a lick of a damp cloth is no good.
You want your car sparkling inside and out. It has to stand out as a vehicle that has been well minded and looked after.
2 Make sure your service history is complete, transparent and up-to-date. If it is not, you need to have a legitimate and plausible explanation. These things matter a lot.
3 Regardless of your car's age, if it hasn't been serviced for a few months get your technician to give it a bit of a 'top-up' so it is ticking over smoothly and is in tip-top mechanical shape.
4 Check the tyres are in good condition; check there are no bumps or cuts and that they are properly inflated.
5 Touching up a few scrapes and scratches can make a big difference to how your car looks. But don't try to mask the obvious big dent or bent bumper. You'll only make things worse.
Never, ever sell a car in a dangerous condition.
6 When you've got it looking as best you can, drive it to a few pre-arranged garages and get an on-site quote for how much it is worth and how much it will cost to change to a new one.
Don't be sidetracked by Dealer X giving you more than Dealer Y for your car. You want to know how much it will cost to get into the new car.
Try at least three dealers because they will have different outlets and stock levels so your motor could be in more demand with one than the other.
7 Ask the dealers how much the new car would cost if you bought it 'straight' and sold your own privately. That may be the best route for some.
You may get a bit less than the dealer is 'offering' but he/she may be able to give you a better cash-price discount on the new one that is greater. So you could be a few hundred euro up on the Cost to Change.