I need a smaller car than my current Audi A6. Should I sell it separately and import?
Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'
I need a smaller car than my current Audi A6 (12-reg) diesel. Will I suffer in a trade-in against a small hatchback? Should I sell separately and import?
Aidan: Be careful when downsizing. Also, what is your definition of a small hatchback? If it is a Polo/Yaris/Fiesta sized car then you are leapfrogging a lot of shapes and sizes on your way back there? If you mean something like a Golf or an Astra then the readjustment will be noticeable but less severe.
I think you will find it difficult to achieve something resembling a straight swap.
If your intention is to change cars without having to spend anything, then you might fare better selling your car privately and using the proceeds from the sale to buy something on a straight sale basis.
Superminis are generally not economical to import. I think you should keep things simple and buy from a dealer here who will give you warranty.
Eddie: Yes, you will suffer trading in against a small hatchback. It's going to come as a big shock to you, so I propose you take half a step and buy yourself a nice small hatch such as the Audi A3.
Why? It keeps you in the brand and helps to avert a heavy hit on your trade-in's value.
Otherwise sell privately - be prepared for a lot of calls - and buy a good fresh A3 here or in the UK. Do your maths carefully after checking which route provides lowest cost of change. Factor everything into your calculations such as, in the case of an import, any travel/accommodation involved.
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