Newest Review: ... the advertiers in auto trader are buisinesses but most are just people like you and me trying to sell there car. Auto trader claims to sel... more
Gone In 60 Seconds
Member Name: I Like Blue
Date: 09/04/02, updated on 18/02/05 (450 review reads)
Advantages: Good comprehensive publication, Very good sales service
Disadvantages: None that I can think of
An interesting title especially as I have never seen that film but I thought it would be quite apt for this opinion. Truthfully it shouldn't be 60 seconds, more like 60 minutes, for that was exactly how long it took me to sell my Nissan Twin-Cab through the Auto Trader. More about that later, first the customary bit of the opinion/review telling you about the publication.
• To Start With •
Auto Trader is a fortnightly publication and normally varies in price between about GBP1.50 and GBP2.00 (Sorry I don't have the 'Pound' sign as I have a Greek keyboard). Auto Trader is a national publication but it is split into 13 regions, all of which are listed on the 'magazine' itself.
Living in Kent our regional version comes under South London.
Within the many (colour) pages you can browse through many more colour photographs of vehicles ranging from Farm vehicles to Ferraris. All the vehicles are categorised and the sections colour coded so it makes it much easier, and quicker, to get to the section/category you want.
There are different sized photographs and advertisement sizes for the vehicles on offer and they all have a brief description of the vehicle, it's condition, any special features or extras and the price. Should you find a vehicle you are interested in there is also a contact telephone number included too.
As is customary with a lot of publications the Auto Trader also has plenty of other advertising, ranging from Car Insurance, Car Dealers, Finance/Loans, and spare parts to name but a few.
• Do You Remember? •
In my previous opinion I explained that I brought my Nissan back to the UK from Cyprus. As is customary in such matters (and UK Tax Laws) when bringing a tax free vehicle back to the UK unless you are willing to pay the tax (which sort of defeats the whole reason for bringing a t
ax free vehicle back to this country) then you must keep it for a year before selling it.
Originally we had every intention of keeping the vehicle no matter what but events overtook us namely my wife's job now meaning she was working in the community a lot more. Sadly the Nissan had to go and a more practical vehicle for the purpose sought to replace it.
Everyone saw 'Awww'. Thanks.
• What Happened Was •
As luck would have it (sort of) this happened in June 2001 which was only a couple of months before we would be allowed to sell the Nissan. This gave us a bit of time to both look for a replacement vehicle and get the Nissan priced up for selling.
A car mad colleague at work buys the Auto Trader every fortnight without fail and I often browse through it. Now I was browsing through it to see if there were any other Nissan Twin-Cabs or similar type vehicles for sale and see what the prices were to give me an idea how much to put mine up for.
Another option I had in mind was to approach a dealer with an idea to sell it to them or through them. Funnily enough there is a main Nissan dealer just down the road from us, literally. So along we went with our Nissan.
Cue the same chap as mentioned in my previous opinion.
We asked him if through his Nissan sources/publications he could price our Twin-Cab. He asked a few questions about the vehicle first and then announced that we would be lucky if we got GBP2000.00 for our beloved Nissan as there wasn't a market for such vehicles and it probably wasn't worth much more than that anyway.
I tried to convince him otherwise that there was a market for these vehicles but he was unmoving on his 'expert' analysis of the current trends in the motor trade.
What to do now?
• Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy •
So, selling the Nissan to or through a dealer was now not an option a
nd the thought of trying to sell it privately by placing ads in shops and/or local papers wasn't exactly inspiring, there had to be another way.
Back to the Auto Trader.
I have never sold a car through a publication like Auto Trader before and to be honest I was a little daunted by the prospect of going through that kind of process.
I needn't have been, it was a lot easier than I ever expected.
A big part of what made it easy was the fact that in the front pages of Auto Trader is a pretty comprehensive guide to buying and selling vehicles, especially through Auto Trader. By following the easy to understand instructions I was part of the way there to selling my Nissan.
The hardest decision of the process was deciding which size advertisement we wanted as there are 3 or 4 to choose from and obviously the bigger the advert you want the more expensive it is.
Auto Trader also offer (and have done for a long time now) a 3 for 2 offer. This simply means you pay for 2 weeks and you get a 3rd week free. The first 2 weeks run consecutively and the 3rd week you can have whenever you like as long as you give Auto Trader enough notice.
If you take the 3 for 2 offer but say you sell your vehicle in the first week then as long as you contact Auto Trader before the start of the second week then you get refunded a week's payment.
I have noticed in recent issues that there is a change in procedure too. When I sold my Nissan I contacted the Auto Trader rep (photographer) nearest to where I lived, whose contact telephone number was displayed on the back cover of the publication. Now you have to phone the regional office and arrange it through them.
Once arranged the Auto Trader rep/photographer came to my home and photographed the Nissan and also took my payment (by credit card). It is normal for vehicles to be digitally photographed which speeds up the process because once taken the re
p/photographer sends the finished article electronically to the regional office. This also includes the description of the vehicle and all other relevant details.
I was a bit cheeky because I asked the rep if in his experience he thought the price I was asking for the Nissan was pretty fair (the price was substantially more than the Nissan dealer had quoted me), which he agreed was. He also said that he would be surprised if the vehicle was still for sale within a week as he believed (in his experience/expertise) that a vehicle like my Nissan sold like hot cakes and were never in the Auto Trader for very long.
Once completed it was now just the wait until the publication day, Thursday, which was just a few days away. The feeling is a bit like that on dooyoo, wondering what response/reaction your 'offering' is going to get.
• Sold! •
Well Thursday came and I was at work that day. On my way to work I had bought the latest issue of Auto Trader and there in all its glory was the advert for my Nissan. That was at about 7 in the morning. By 8 o'clock I had received 3 telephone calls about the Nissan.
One of them was an offer straight away! The chap who phoned me was a dealer who specialised in this type of vehicle. He was based about 150 miles away and after making a firm cash offer (after some customary haggling) he stated he would drive up later in the day to collect it.
Sure enough by mid-afternoon he was at my home and checking out my Nissan. I thought he might try to start negotiating a price again but he was more than happy with what he saw and handed over the agreed amount, in cash. The amount was more than we really wanted for it so we were happy and he was happy because he now had a specialist vehicle that he obviously knew he could sell on for quite a bit more.
So within a few hours of it being in the Auto Trader my Nissan was sold and gone. With the cash my wif
e bought a car more practical for her job and I got my own little toy.
A motorbike. A Honda Transalp 600V to be precise, ooh lovely!
The next day I contacted Auto Trader and told them my Nissan was sold and a few days later I got a refund of my second week's payment. I was still getting a plethora of phone calls about the Nissan for the next week or so and each person sounded rather disappointed, although not surprised, that my Nissan was already sold.
• The 'Expert' Nissan Dealer •
Right, back to this chappie. A couple of months or so after selling my Nissan I noticed that on the forecourt of the aforementioned Nissan outlet were a large amount of new 4x4 Nissan vehicles in varying shapes and sizes for sale!
Not bad for a type of vehicle there isn't a market for, apparently.
• And Finally •
Although I haven't bought a vehicle through the Auto Trader I know people who have and they have been more than happy with the process. From a personal point of view I was more than happy with my dealings with Auto Trader and selling my vehicle and apart from not hesitating to do it again I would also recommend it to anyone else thinking of selling their car, van, motorbike or tractor.
The publication itself is a thoroughly good read and a good source to look for good replacement/extra vehicles and somewhere to compare prices.
Go buy it and see for yourself! Or go and visit their website at -