Car developed fault after agreeing trade in value

Hope title not too confusing.

I am in the process of buying a replacement car, using my existing one as a trade in.  I'm reasonably happy with the trade in value offered, it's a 10 year old VW.

I'm due to collect the new vehicle on Saturday but my car has just developed a fault.  I'm told it is a faulty sensor on the Catalytic converter, which needs replacing.  The cat itself is ok.

I'd be happy to get this fixed before I collect the new car but it can't be done before Saturday.

If I turn up without it being fixed, I expect some sucking of teeth and a revised trade in offer.  Obviously they wouldn't accept my word that it's the sensor at fault and not the cat.

Anyone been in this position, and what did you do?


  • If it were me, I'd give them a call and explain.  They may be happy to accept the car as is and give you the same trade-in allowance, or they may reduce the trade-in allowance slightly.  If they're going to reduce what they'll give you for it, then how much lower will their offer be?  If they're going to reduce their offer by £300 but the repair will cost you £100 then it's a no-brainer - just delay the transaction and get it fixed (though do check that they'll honour their original offer if you get it fixed).
    I suspect probably that it'll be better for you to just trade it in as-is.  It'll likely cost them less to fix the issue than what it'll cost you to get it sorted.  But give them a call, be honest about the fault, and see what they say.
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