Used Cars

Reporter: Rodney Lohse

At 88, Reg Bawron is no fool, especially when it comes to buying cars. In fact, after a lifetime's practice of driving hard bargains, he doesn't trust car dealers.

Reg knows what his car is worth. "Twelve, twelve and a half, thirteen thousand", he said.

So we took his much loved Outlander to eight dealers, looking for their best cash and trade in prices. Their offers in a minute, but now what do the experts say a 2003 Mitsubishi with 103,000 kilometres on the clock, is worth -- new it was $38,000.

The car has been well looked after. It's never been in an accident, regularly serviced, religiously serviced, no problem whatsoever and it's never given me a day's trouble", Reg said.

Motoring group RACQ's Manager of Vehicle Technologies, Steve Spalding and his team have scrutinised the Mitsubishi. They agree, it's no rust bucket and is in generally good condition with no major defects.

So, what then is a reasonable trade? Chris D'Sooza oversees Glass's Guide --the largest car valuation service in Australia. After doing his sums he's come up with some figures for a car in it's condition.

If Reg were to sell it privately he could expect $16,500; to a dealer we should get between $12,000 and 13,000. Anything less, we're being short changed because a dealer will put this car back on lot for around $17,800,

Its time to cut a deal. Our first dealer didn't spin any "bulldust" -- his cash offer was on the money -- $13,000 -- $15,000 for a changeover.

Our second dealer it is fair to say, was below average. He was under to the tune of $2,000 -- $10,000 and $11,000 trade-in price.

Our next salesman swooped on Reg. He looked strangely familiar and

Again, he was about $3000 under the odds.

We first met Zac years ago -- we caught him red handed selling cars with dodgey roadworthy certificates. We hadn't forgotten and neither had he.

But Zac's deal wasn't the worst. That went to Great Deal Motors, who offered $7,000 -- six thousand dollars less than the Glasses Guide.

But if you thought that was bad deal, his crazy trade in idea was worse -- an 18 year old Nissan Patrol with 400,000 on the clock for Reg's Outlander plus $1,000 -- that's a rip off anyway you look at it.

In all we visited eight dealers, with 90% falling short by thousands of dollars. After a day's trading, Reg has decided to keep his Outlander, but the experts say we can all get the right price.

"My advice is to sell your car privately and you'll get a lot more for it", Reg said.