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Swapping Your Used Car

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 12 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Used Car Swap Swappers Mileage Makes And

One of the fastest and cheapest ways to get a used car is to swap it for your existing car. A used car swap means there is no need to pay an auctioneer’s commission or a dealer’s cut. Advertising costs can be kept to a minimum and, as long as it’s a straight swap, there’s no need to set up an expensive finance deal.

Of course, the difficulty is finding someone who has the car you want and is willing to swap it for the car you have. It seems like a long-shot and, in some respects, it is, but a car swap is easier to achieve now than it has ever been.

The place to start is the Internet. There are now websites dedicated to those who want to swap used cars. Potential swappers can search for specific types of cars or look at what is available in their own area. Another option is to place an ad in a motor magazine or local newspaper, stating what you have to swap and what you are looking for.

Swaps Aplenty

There tends to be plenty of good, reliable cars available to swap. Perhaps a growing family needs an estate car and will settle for an older model in exchange for a high-performance small car, or maybe the children have left home and dad wants to trade his Volvo estate for something more nimble.

Be realistic, though, because no-one is going to swap their two-year-old Porsche 911 for a six-year-old Ford Fiesta. Equally, don’t give away a valuable used car for one worth considerably less.

This is where a certain amount of research is needed to land the best deal. First get a good idea of what your own car is worth. Then look at second-hand values of makes and models of cars you would be interested in swapping for. This should give you an idea of what to expect when you swap in terms of age, mileage and condition of the car.

Unusual Winners

Swapping is not for everyone and some will find it difficult to get the swap they want. To increase your chances of success, try to pick a few makes and models that you would swap for rather than stubbornly sticking to just one choice. Those with a more unusual car are more likely to succeed. For instance, it is far easier to swap a sporty two-seater for a family saloon than vice-versa. That is simply because the market is swamped with family saloon cars whereas sporty two-seaters are, relatively speaking, few and far between.

Once you have chosen a car, don’t forget to give it a thorough check. Don’t be tempted to skimp on the inspection just because no cash is changing hands. Remember you will be handing over a car with a resale value and you don’t want to be left with a dud in exchange.

So remember to give the bodywork and interior a close examination and look under the bonnet. Those not sure what to look out for should take along someone who does. Insist on a test drive and be wary of any swappers who don’t show the same level of interest in your car – because they may be trying to offload a dud.

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