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Clare ASKED THE GUIDE

Volkswagen Eos 2009: What's a reasonable price?

A dealer has offered me $7000 for my 2009 Volkswagen Eos TDI with 130 000 on the clock. Is this a reasonable price?

The market value of your car, Clare, if you were to sell it privately is probably between $10,000 and $12,000, so $7000 as a trade-in is roughly what you’d expect. It might be a fraction low, but without seeing the car in the flesh, that’s difficult to say for sure. In any case, it’s in the ball-park. That’s how dealers make money on used-cars; they buy them at their price and sell them at yours.

Assuming you’re trading the car in on a new vehicle, the important thing is not how much the dealer offers for your trade-in, but rather the change-over number. That is, the amount you have to pay to get into the new car. A dealer can often flatter you into thinking you’re getting a good deal by discounting the price of the new car, but if they also slice a few dollars off the value of your trade-in, you’re back to square one, right?

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