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Driving Today

An Alternative to the Ubiquitous Trade-in

New division of U.K.-based WeBuyAnyCar.com promises to provide a hassle-free option for selling a ca...

What is my trade-in worth? It is a question that immediately comes to mind if you’re in the market for a new car. But now there is a national alternative to the timeworn practice of trading your old car in when you buy a new car, and it has the advantage of helping you keep those two transactions separate. The new American division of the British firm We Buy Any Car (WBAC) claims it provides a fast, safe and fair alternative for consumers who are selling their cars privately. Part of a 60-year-old family-owned automobile business in the United Kingdom, WBAC offers its services nationally, and it will be opening numerous branch locations across the country.

What sets WBAC apart from typical car dealerships is that it simply purchases vehicles directly from the public, without trying to sell them anything. This eliminates pressure from salespeople, because there aren’t any. The company says it provides a pain-free way for customers to receive a fair price and quick payment for their cars.

The process works like this: Prospective used-car sellers log on to WeBuyAnyCar.com and provide basic information about the car, such as the make, model and mileage. They also have the option of going through a more comprehensive assessment using the Reconditioning Wizard to report any changes that have been made to the vehicle, such as part replacements, interior and exterior changes, damages, etc. Once this is completed, customers receive an instant online quote in as little as 60 seconds based on real-time market conditions. Upon receipt of the quote, the consumer has the opportunity to instantly schedule an appointment at the nearest branch. There the car is quickly inspected, and a final valuation offer is created. After the customer accepts the price, WBAC handles all paperwork and immediately provides the customer with a check.

“We’re in the customer service business, not the used car business,” says Chris Adams, chief operating officer for Car Group Holdings and a 20-year retired veteran from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Our branches are company-owned locations, not affiliate dealers, which enables us to provide fast, safe and fair service to differentiate WBAC from other solutions.”

Currently, WBAC has more than 20 locations. They also have plans to open new branches across the country throughout the remainder of this year and into the first quarter of 2012.