Canberra is not the easiest place to sell a car. A population of well-paid civil servants keeps new car agencies busy and clogs the used car market. Anybody posing the question “how much is my car valued in Canberra” soon finds the answer is quite a bit less than for a similar vehicle in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Adelaide.
This is one time we can really blame the government. Planners put Australia’s capital in the middle of nowhere so the residents of Sydney and Melbourne scored a goalless draw. The net result is that until recently anybody wanting to sell a car for cash in Canberra had two choices: either accept an instant car valuation from a Canberra used car lot, or drive to another centre and take their chances.
We established The Car Buyers with a view to eliminating structural unfairness in the Australia 2nd hand car market as much as humanly possible. We do this by shipping cars from Canberra to other centres where prices can be a whole lot better. We also keep our profit margins tight. This makes it possible for us to help people living in isolated places like Canberra and Darwin get better cash for cars.
I’d like to mention the example of Molly Isaac who was retiring from her job as pa to a top government official. The gist of her email that arrived in my inbox was “my car sale is going nowhere … everybody in Canberra wants a new car … some dealers won’t even do an old car valuation”.
Enquiries revealed that Molly owned a 2004 Ford Focus that she’d had from new. Apparently there’s not that much to do in Canberra because she had only clocked up 27,593 kilos. Bearing in mind the profile of the owner and the low rust factor I figured out the car must be worth in the region of $13,250. Yet according to Molly Isaac the best price she’d seen on online car buying websites was $1,500 less.
“To add insult to injury,”” she added, “a Canberra dealer with a lot wallpapered over with signs like top cash for cars and cars for cash offered me $11,000 and told me he was doing me a favour because I reminded him of his mother.”
To be honest I hear stories like this all the time. It’s a reality of the fact that we live in a huge country with the wealth clustered on the southern and western seaboards. Prices are not the same everywhere and online car buying has not met its promises of levelling the Australian used car footie ground either.
The penny finally dropped at a planning session I was holding with the managers of my used car lots in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney four years ago. We developed a model of being able to respond to people “hoping to sell my car” all over Australia. We decided to kick off with online car evaluation services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Townsville, Mackay, Cairns, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wodonga, Echuca, Mildura, Horsham, Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong.
Since then The Car Buyers has gone from strength to strength. We now buy cars for cash and sell cars for cash in every town and city. We provide online car valuations free of bugs and other errors and we don’t charge for them in the event we buy the vehicle. Customers are also welcome to advertise their cars on our website and sell them for cash directly. In this case they purchase an online vehicle valuation from us for the low price of currently on special offer.