What Car? investigates: sales talk - Trade-in truth-twisters and other fibs

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'Your part-ex car has seen better days'
If you don't want to maximise the value of your car with a private sale, make sure you know how much it's worth as a trade-in. Check online valuations at whatcar.com or in the What Car? Used Car Price Guide.

A dealer is likely to list many 'faults' to lower your car's value, but most repairs will probably cost a dealer peanuts to put right.

'My price guide says the trade value of your car is…'
The trade price is irrelevant - you want the part-exchange or trade-in price.

Price guides such as the What Car? Used Car Price Guide or Glass's Guide conveniently explain the difference in their introduction, so direct your salesman there if they've 'forgotten'.

'A bigger discount will mean a smaller part-ex price'
If you're pushing hard for a decent saving, dealers will try to reclaim what they've lost by cutting the part-exchange value.

Don't let them. When you know how much you old car is worth, and how much you should be paying for the new car, you've got the golden 'cost to change' value which you should keep in mind at all times.

'Our 10% loan offer is a great rate'
Not true - up against a competitive high street rate, that's very high.

Also check that the dealer is quoting the APR percentage rate and NOT the flat rate which makes the loan look cheaper than it is.

'On a weekly basis, it will cost you this much…'
Don't multiply by four to get a monthly figure, because the number you get will be a bit misleading and lower than it will be in reality - there are 4.3 weeks in a financial month.

Be aware of deals arranged over 37 months rather than 36 months, for example, as they'll also look artificially low.

Want to know more?
If you want to arm yourself with even more information before you go into a showroom, see our other features by clicking the links below:

How to haggle
How to haggle

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