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AutoTrader's new Instant Offer plans to compete with car buying services

AutoTrader has launched a unique service offering called Instant Offer, whereby motorists wishing to sell their cars can get a unique, market-driven valuation within minutes and a solid cash offer within hours.
AutoTrader's new Instant Offer plans to compete with car buying services

According to AutoTrader CEO George Mienie, this unparalleled service offering means that selling a car is now easy for motorists – and they’re guaranteed a live-market related trade price on the car too from a brand they already trust. “We worked extremely hard to come up with a concept that makes the consumers’ online selling experience easier, more convenient and quicker than any other car buying service in the market today,” he explains.

Thanks to Instant Offer, consumers will be able to sell their cars after following three simple steps. Firstly, the consumer utilises AutoTrader’s unique Car Valuation Tool to see how much he or she will get for the car. “Our unique technology matches a car against live-market data in order to provide unprecedented accuracy when determining the trade value of a car. However, we don’t just stop there - the crucial difference with Instant Offer is that we ensure that the consumer’s final offer on their car is in line with current market trends, thereby giving peace of mind that consumers are getting the best trade price,” explains Mienie. Currently, only AutoTrader can calculate accurate car valuations based on live-market data - a free service to consumers, and built right into Instant Offer.

There are two values for any used car: trade or retail. Trade value – paid instantly – is the price consumers can expect to get for a car in showroom condition from a car dealership (the trade). Retail value on the other hand, is the price you can expect to get for your car (in showroom condition from another consumer. In this stance, the seller needs to list the car on AutoTrader and then wait for consumers to make contact; this process can take time and could be inconvenient.

The second step is acceptance of the Instant Offer. Once the consumer is happy with the free car valuation result, they simply complete an easy obligation-free online application that takes less than five minutes. This provides AutoTrader with vehicle details and ‘condition’ along with photographs. Next, consumers will receive a written offer within one hour.

The third step is a physical inspection whereby – assuming no material faults are found – a final offer is made. The inspection will take place at a location convenient to the seller, on the same day – meaning that the entire process is extremely efficient and fast. “We understand two very important things: motorists wanting to sell their cars don’t want to waste lots of time and encounter delays in the process. Instant Offer means that consumers can sell their cars in hours – not days. Secondly, the process shouldn’t be complicated. So, we have deliberately made Instant Offer a simple process that is expedited in minimal time,” explains Mienie.

In keeping with the fact that this is an AutoTrader product offering, an AutoTrader team member will accompany the buying partner to the inspection and ensure that the entire process is effortless and easy for the consumer. This is being done deliberately – in order to give sellers complete peace of mind. “We are aware of security concerns faced by private sellers; we’re doing everything in our power to ease that angst,” says Mienie.

What’s more, cars that go through the Instant Offer platform, end up reconditioned and back on car dealership floors. This helps the automotive industry as a whole to reduce risk to a future buyer as actual car dealerships recondition the cars before selling them.

One of the less obvious – but significant – benefits of Instant Offer is the availability of reconditioned cars. Once a car has passed through the Instant Offer platform, it is acquired by a dealer – who reconditions the car before reselling it. This substantially minimises risk for the purchaser of that vehicle – because he or she is less likely to be buying a so-called “lemon”.

Instant Offer – which is also applicable to cars that are financed – will be launched in a phased approach, is currently available in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban. It will be available nationally in the coming weeks .

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AutoTrader is SA's leading online vehicle marketplace. Bringing together buyers and sellers across all types of vehicles with 5 million visits each month across more than 78,000 vehicles on mobile, tablet, desktop devices and apps.

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