“We’ll buy your car”, and Carsale24: test & experiences

Twelve years is enough. The kids are out and the family van is up for sale. This is the starting position. But what is the VW Sharan still worth? Just three years ago, many dealers groaned: the silver Volkswagen with a 115 hp TDI engine, five-speed Tiptronic and outdated Euro 4 exhaust technology was not in great demand.

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The situation has recently turned: The range of used cars is tense across all brands. Good deals are rare and many cars are around 20 percent more expensive than they were a year ago. Experts therefore speak of a seller’s market. Nevertheless: With normal advertisements there are still the familiar annoyances in the form of “What is the last price” emails or outrageously low offers. Digital purchase portals, on the other hand, promise extremely convenient processing and lure with high purchase prices. But does this really work well?

Used car market - VW Sharan 1.9 TDI United

Our decoy: a twelve-year-old VW Sharan from the first owner with around 144,000 kilometers on the clock. TÜV Süd calculates the dealer purchase price at 5500 euros.

How To Cars makes the practical test. “We’ll buy your car”, and have specialized in professional purchases. Their business model: The companies then market the vehicles profitably to commercial and private customers throughout Europe. Used cars are a cross-border business and German pre-owned cars are popular. Because they are considered well-groomed. In advertising, the buying process is described as child’s play. And indeed: After entering the data such as key number and initial registration as well as some information in the input masks on the clearly laid out website, half of the work is done. Including uploading some photos of the Sharan, we took the first step towards the sale after fifteen minutes.

Neutral assessment by the TÜV: 5500 euros

We previously presented our VW Sharan to TÜV Süd Auto Plus for an objective vehicle evaluation. After a short test drive in the yard, even minor damage is meticulously documented. In addition, the professional checks the vehicle on a lifting platform. According to the repair calculation, the elimination of all defects would cost 4233 euros. The dealer purchase value is 5500 euros, the retail value in the repaired, defect-free condition is 8900 euros. Cost of the assessment: 142 euros.

Offer from Carsale24: 6000 euros plus voucher

Carsale24’s online business model is based on the brokerage of used cars. From the advertisement to negotiations with interested parties to the conclusion of the purchase contract, a comprehensive service package is put together. And without incurring any costs for private customers. With our data, Carsale24 initiates a multi-day bidding round aimed at professional buyers. The seller asks for a desired price in advance. This is often difficult to determine for laypeople without market knowledge. Especially with older vehicles, the condition and thus the market value also depends heavily on the condition of the vehicle. An independent appraisal from a professional is therefore a sensible investment in order to be able to correctly assess the value of your own vehicle. There is only an obligation to sell if a previously agreed price has been reached. In our test, the purchase offer for 6000 euros plus an Amazon voucher of 75 euros remains unbeaten.

Offer from “We buy your car”: 5611 euros

With “We will buy your car” we will receive an initial purchase offer online. In addition, however, we have to arrange a viewing appointment. Fortunately, this can be chosen flexibly. In addition to a short but brisk test drive on the Hamburg company premises, our Sharan is checked for a good 20 minutes in a closed hall. After 30 minutes of waiting, we get our Sharan back. In the past there have always been disappointments among sellers because the prospective purchase prices were sometimes significantly higher than the later offers. That has changed. At 5611 euros, this is 111 euros above the sales value determined by TÜV. And with it a bid of 5120 euros. The price will later be increased online to 5611 euros. A fair course, because the TÜV appraiser had appraised the VW at 5500 euros.

Offer from 6000 euros

The car portal relies on a free partner network of car dealers. An appointment is made quickly online. The on-site visit takes about 20 minutes. Our contact person is friendly and takes photos with the tablet. Damage to the bumper will be judged fairly. You can have them repaired by a painter for 300 euros. There is no test drive. A test run and an audio sample in the engine compartment are enough for the professional. The offer on site is initially 5300 euros, later it is increased to a proud 6000 euros via e-mail. So around 400 euros more than the competitor. It’s obvious how good business is at the moment.

At the Hamburg branch of “We buy your car” park dozens of used cars that have been deregistered – from the Dacia Duster to the Audi A8 to the Tesla Model 3. The great advantage of the portals: the payment is properly regulated. Money flows directly via bank transfer. The deregistration is also done. Carsale24 even picks up cars. And since all tested online providers offer more than expected, this test is consistently positive.

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