RACQ Motoring

Trading in an old car

used car

Trading in your old car can be a convenient method of disposing of it, as well as subsidising the purchase of the new one.

However, it may not be the most financially sound method, as the dealer will be looking to take your trade-in for as little as you will accept and resell it at a profit.

Selling a registered car

Selling your old car privately may produce a better sale price, but you need to weigh up the likely costs and inconvenience involved. If you are selling a registered vehicle, consider that you will have to pay for any repairs necessary for a Safety Certificate before you can advertise the vehicle for sale. It may take some time before it sells, you’ll have to pay advertising costs, and you’ll have to deal with the inconvenience of having people look at it and test drive.

Selling an unregistered car

If you wish to sell your vehicle unregistered, you will need to satisfy the requirements of The Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland. The requirements include lodging a completed Vehicle Cancellation of Registration Application form ( F3517) and to hand in the registration plates for the vehicle at a Department of Transport and Main Roads Customer Service Centre or if you live in a rural area, a Queensland Government Agency Program office or your local police station. Once the car is no longer listed as being registered, it becomes the buyer’s responsibility to obtain a Safety Certificate. For this reason, prospective buyers of cars that are sold unregistered may only be willing to purchase the car at a reduced price.

Older cars and cars in poor condition often have little resale value and some dealers won’t accept them as a trade-in.

For guidance about likely trade-in values and the best way to sell, RACQ members may contact our Motoring Advice Department on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.

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The information provided in this fact sheet is intended as a general guide only. You should carry out further research and investigations into the topics outlined above prior to implementing any actions or recommendations


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