These tools will ensure you are better prepared to buy or sell a car

Many out there equate the used car market to gambling. The deals out there range from fantastic bargains to money-pits that will eventually drain the last cent out of your pocket. Dealers and individuals are trying to make as much as they can off buyers, who are sometimes blinded by that good deal that is too good to be true. Sellers also face the problem of getting the best price for their wheel in a competitive market, while con artists linger around looking for easy prey to swindle. Ok what to now

The sad truth is that those unscrupulous characters are probably in the minority, but make things difficult for legitimate players because nobody can tell who is honest and who isn’t. All the sellers dream of finding a buyer who has money and won't ask too many questions. Buyers search for the holy grail of "that old lady driven car with low mileage" that's still like new and just happens to be the exact make, model, and colour that they were searching for. 

Every seller's nightmare is finding themselves duped by a buyer, or at the very least having to accept a pittance from a buyer who preys on their desperation. Every buyer’s nightmare is finding out that the deal was actually too good to be true and now they are stuck with a car that was overpriced, to begin with, and is now eating away at their kids' education fund with the never-ending list of parts breakages.

What if there was a way to level the playing field and minimise the risk? What if there was a way to find out more about the prospective car had been accidentally damaged or stolen before laying down your hard-earned cash? What if you could accurately find out how much a car is worth to protect yourself when buying or selling? What if it was possible to safeguard yourself and your pocket against mechanical failures after purchasing a used car? The great news is that the answer is a resounding "yes" to all the above questions. See a list a useful tools to aid your buying and selling tactics.

VIN Number Check

Unfortunately, many sellers mislead their customers to make a quick buck. There are many cases where the buyer is assured that the car has never been in an accident, when in fact it has had extensive repairs. There are also many cases where buyers get conned about the model and trim of the car and end up paying more than it’s worth. There is even a worst-case scenario of buying stolen car unknowingly and risk losing both the car and their money to criminals out there. The VIN number check eliminates these possibilities.

So what is a VIN Number check? The VIN number is a unique number that each car in the country has to identify it in the system, and on various databases. All the details of the car are linked to the VIN number, so each car has a history. A VIN number check searches through the various databases to bring up the real history of the car. Some of the details in the VIN number check include:

Specifications – These include all the details of the car as it is registered, such as:

·         Make

·         Model

·         Full Name

·         Original colour

·         Transmission

·         Fuel type

·         Introduction month

·         Discontinuation month

·         Warranty start year

·         Warranty period

·         Serve plan period

·         Maintenance plan period

·         Servicing intervals

The VIN number check also checks the financial status of the car to see if there is any outstanding debt on the car, and some of the details include:

·         Finance Bank/House

·         Finance contract start date

·         Finance contract end date

·         Finance account number

In addition to these details, the VIN number check also checks if the car has been in an accident or been reported stolen. It can also inform the car buyer if the car has been fitted with a microdot, and if so, it gives the fitment date and pin. Other details provided in the VIN Number check include retail value, trade value, and auction value.

Armed with the VIN number check, a car buyer can gain knowledge of the real history of the car to give themselves the upper hand when negotiating, as well as to avoid being swindled.

Car Book Value Tool

Whether buying or selling a car, everyone wants a fair deal, and it can sometimes be challenging to negotiate a reasonable figure. The car book value tool can be a valuable asset to both buyers and sellers looking for the actual value of a car. It uses the details of the car such as make, model, mileage, and condition to give the exact value of the car, and also provides details of what prices people have been paying around the country, based on real sales. Some of the information included in the car book value tool include:

Retail Values

·         Estimated resale value

·         Estimated low value

·         Estimated high value

Trade Values

·         Estimated trade value

·         Low estimated trade value

·         High estimated trade value

The report also contains the estimated auction value and provides a list of recent sales around the country, and what prices the cars were sold for. By using the car book value tool, both sellers and car buyers can have peace of mind that they are getting the best deal based on real-world sales.


There is no perfect used car buying and selling platform for the private person. You mitigate a large portion of the risk by using a car dealer, but obviously you are going to pay more from them. And if you sell your car to them, don't expect the best price - they need to spend money on your trade in to make it good for sale again. Hopefully the above tools will guide you as to what you might be able to buy and sell a car for.

Author: Pierre Theron