A Top Gear PH reader asks: How should I price my used car?

What\'s the basic computation for this?
Nov 21, 2012

Hi, Botchi. I consulted you before regarding my purchase of a car two years ago. Currently, I have a dilemma concerning my vehicle and my next car purchase.

First, I bought a Chevrolet Cruze in Oct 2010, and I would like to sell it now. But I guess with the model still being quite new, no one is selling on the secondhand market, so I have no basis for pricing my car. I have checked out various websites to see if someone else is selling, so I can use it as a basis for my car, but to no avail.

What are the general rules for pricing a secondhand car when you\'re selling it? I have heard a rule that says once a car rolls out of the dealership, you automatically slash 20 percent off its value, and then 10 percent more for every succeeding year.

Second, after selling my car (if I\'m able to, that is), I would like to replace it using my current budget of around P1.1 million. I have looked around to check which cars are within that price range, and have seen a few like the new Honda Civic , the new Mazda 3 and the Hyundai Tucson. Which one would you recommend on an overall basis?

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Jerome Lagustan


Hello, Jerome. Regarding your Cruze, I think since it\'s two years old, a safe way to go about estimating its current market value is to ask a Chevrolet dealership how much it is worth secondhand now, then add P30,000 to P50,000 on top of that. When a dealership accepts a car you\'re trading in, they lowball their offer to you because they need to make about P30,000 to P50,000 on the car when they resell it. This is true for most mass-market cars costing right around P1 million brand-new, based on what I\'ve seen dealerships do. That\'s a fair assessment of your car\'s actual value on the secondhand market.

As for buying a new car to replace your Cruze with, do you really want a car that is a class higher in terms of body size, or do you want better value for money? I always recommend the Honda Jazz simply because it has everything people are looking for: small exterior space so it\'s easier to handle in tight spots; a very roomy and versatile interior space to haul your entire family quite stylishly; a very fuel-efficient engine even in the top-of-the-line 1.5-liter V guise; and driving dynamics that are far better than many cars costing more.

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If you insist on getting a bigger vehicle, the Hyundai Tucson iX seems to be your best bet as it has excellent interior space. The high seating position makes it easy to drive as well, and it looks good and is built pretty well, too. But I\'d spring for the extra P250,000 and get the diesel engine to really get the most bang for your buck.

For cars, the new Honda Civic is OK, but leaves me kinda cold. I feel it\'s too much money to pay for that car. The Hyundai Elantra is better-equipped and looks better, too. It has better value for money and offers almost the same level of driving dynamics as the Civic. Sure, the Honda is better-engineered, but are you the type to really appreciate all the fine engineering that went into it? I personally am such a person, but the value-for-money factor is hard to beat, which is in Hyundai\'s favor. Overall, Hyundai\'s resale value has improved collectively despite the Korean-built tag.

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The new Mazda 3 looks good. I like its driving feel, but I haven\'t spent much time with it yet so I\'m holding off judgment on the car for now. But it does look promising indeed. Problem with Mazda is that the brand suffers from the stigma of being poorly built and unreliable cars, hence their resale value suffers a lot.

If you can stretch your budget a bit more, the all-new Subaru Impreza is, in my opinion, the best car in its class: excellent driving dynamics; a very fuel-efficient powertrain despite being AWD; roomy interior; and a good build quality that rivals that of European brands. As for resale value, you might be surprised. Nobody ever thinks of selling their Subaru anymore because everyone loves it. If a Subaru owner does sell his/her Subaru, it\'s because they are getting a newer Subaru model. Overall, Subaru\'s resale value is high. The cost of after-sales service is comparable to that of other Japanese brands, too.

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Hope this helps. Good luck!

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor



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