Are We Buy Any Car worth it and what can you expect from them? Take a look at my recent selling experience with them so you’re fully prepared.
First of all, congratulations to We Buy Any Car. Along with Go Compare, they have managed to create one of the most catchy, yet annoying jingles in the modern era. Something that probably took seconds to write will probably stay with me until my death bed…
I’ve only sold a couple of cars since We Buy Any Car’s inception and always given them a wide berth. The fact is, they need to make a profit so will always give you lower than market value. And some recent research showed that 60% of us are offered less than the original quote we received from the internet.
A little background
To be honest, the whole process took me a little by surprise. My wife’s car had gone in for a bit of maintenance and the garage told us that in fact, there was almost £1500 of work that needed to be done. After a spot of bad language and the realisation we had spent almost £2000 in the last year on repairs, we decided that enough was enough and to cut our losses. The cost of repairs over that period were far more than the car was worth!
So the next step was to start looking at replacement cars. This meant spending hours looking at vehicles out of our price range before settling on something else. Actually, it only took a couple of days before we found something suitable. The only issue was, we were pushed for time as the mechanic had warned us we only had a limited mileage on our car before the work needed doing.
A major factor in deciding how much we could afford to spend relied heavily on how much we could get for our old car. That meant I had to do some digging to get an idea of worth. Usually, I just trade the car in with a dealer but wanted to make sure I got a decent price. To be forewarned is forearmed so they say.
First stop was Parkers, who valued our car in good condition at around £1600, which I felt was a little low.
Next, I took a look at classified adverts from the likes of auto-trader. Private sellers were looking for around £2500, which seemed far more reasonable.
Then I decided to check We Buy Any Car. I wasn’t seriously considering it but thought it gave me an extra indicator. The valuation came back at £2000. This was quite good, but from what I had heard from other people, I knew they would never give me that.
Obviously, I didn’t want to sell the car to a private buyer as it needed work doing. So the only real option was to sell it to a company that could do the work for a lower cost to them.
I quite enjoy car shopping, although not so much when it’s for somebody else. The main issue I have is that I can’t believe a word that comes out of a car salesperson’s mouth. The last two cars I have bought, I have been told that the garage wasn’t making any profit on them and they couldn’t reduce the price any further. Yeah, right.
Then there’s that ‘friendly banter’ they do that tries to get you onside which always feels uncomfortable. Anyway, we found a car we liked and long story short, they offered £1350 for our car which was too low for my liking.
Instead, on the way back from the garage, I booked an appointment with We Buy Any Car
A great booking system. Not
Already having my quote, I went online and booked my appointment for 30 minutes later. Easy. Except that 5 minutes later I received a call from Phil who worked at the local branch. Apparently, I had been double booked! He said that he could see me but we would be a bit pushed for time. When I said that I wouldn’t be selling that day, he tried to put me off coming in. Quotes received are only valid for one week and he seemed concerned that if we didn’t complete the sale in time, the vehicle could drop in value. I insisted though as I really wanted to know how much they would offer.
Haggling. There’s always haggling
Fortunately, I got to the branch before the other customer. And when I say branch, I mean a small garage in an industrial building. Phil was very friendly and explained everything that was going to happen. We had a look through the car’s logbook and he printed out the last MOT certificate for us. He also said that he wasn’t expecting the car to be in great condition as it was over 10 years old. “We don’t expect it to be in showroom condition,” he told me, “that’s unfair because of its age.” He then proceeded to walk around the car, marking on a bit of paper every scratch and mark.
Now, this seemed to contradict the last thing he told me! Anyhow, after a few minutes it was back to the computer. After entering all the marks onto a database, it came back to tell us that they won’t give us £2000. No, just £1000. So technically, they do expect it to be in showroom condition if you want to receive your original valuation.
But Phil didn’t want to give us just £1000 for our car (probably because he knew where he could stick his £1000). Nope, he got out his calculator and typed some figures in and offered us just under £1500. Both my wife and I have no idea what went on and we must have looked very confused.
I’m guessing it’s all part of the game. They knock the price down and then put it back up to let you think that you’re getting a good deal. However, it was still a better offer than the garage would have given me for trade-in.
So, not a bad price then?
There are a couple of other snags. We Buy Any Car charged a transaction fee of £49.99. That’s right, they buy something and I pay them for the privilege. Imagine popping into Tesco and taking £10 back from them as a transaction fee. This fee varies depending on the value of your car but it can be as much as £74.99.
And that is the only fee. Think we live in a modern world where we can send money instantly? Wrong. You can pay £29.75 and have the money in your account within 2 days. Pay £24.75 for the cash to be with you the next working day… or nothing if you can wait for 4 working days.
It’s quite a hefty sum to tell Shelia from accounts to send the money now rather than in 4 days time it appears.
Would I use them again?
Actually, I would. I hated all the messing about with the price of the car and the sneaky fees. But they offered more than the trade in price and in my eyes, cash is king! Yes, I’m sure that I would have received more if I had sold privately, but I didn’t want the hassle and the breaks really needed changing.