Selling your car can be confusing if you have never done it before. There are a number of routes you can take, such as privately listing your vehicle, going through a car auction or using online car buying services.
With so many routes to choose from, selecting the one that will lead to the right sale for you is incredibly important. So we hope our essential tips about selling a car will help make the process quicker and stress-free as well as suggesting how you get a fair deal for your vehicle.
Find out your car’s value
Before beginning the process of selling your car, you need to know how much you can expect to receive from the sale. Once you have an approximate value, you will be able to price your car fairly to make it an attractive deal for potential buyers. You can use independent valuation services, such as this one offered by WhatCar, to get an estimated price for your car. You can also check the same or similar listed vehicles to see how much other people are offering theirs for.
Choose how you are going to sell your car
As we’ve mentioned, there are a few routes that you can take to sell your car. These are:
a) Sell it privately
One of the most popular methods is to advertise privately — something that you can do both online and offline. While there are still dedicated listing publications for car sales, the vast majority of vehicles are now done online. Through listing websites like Auto Trader, Exchange and Mart and the new (and free to private sellers) Sell My Car service at Gumtree you can advertise your car quite easily.
Attractive photos are particularly important so potential buyers can see how great your car is. Here are some tips to help you take stand out photos and sell your car quickly.
b) Sell at an auction
Putting your car up at auction can get you a quick sale, but you will have less control over how much it sells for. This can be both a positive and negative thing, as you could end up with more than you hoped, or you could end up with less. You can auction your car in two ways: drive it to a car auction centre or use an auction website. You can find your local car auction centres by searching online, though each different centre might have its own registration and listing processes.
Using an auction site such as eBay is a lot more convenient if you aren’t willing to travel, as you can specify in the listing that the buyer will need to collect your vehicle. If you have never listed a car before, eBay have an in-depth information resource that will tell you everything you need to know about auctioning your vehicle.
c) Use an online car buying service
An online car buying service can offer you a quick and painless sale, without a lot of the hassle that comes with selling privately or at an auction. Most services are very simple, typically requiring you to provide your vehicle’s details to get an offer and then a company representative travelling out to inspect your car and complete the deal. The representative will also usually drive your car away with them for maximum convenience. Needless to say you won’t get the best price this way but you will be saving yourself time and stress.
Make sure all of your vehicle documents are in order
Before you go ahead with the sale, make sure that you have all of your vehicle’s documents at hand, including: your V5C certificate (logbook), records of service history, MOT certificates, owner’s manuals, and warranty information (if the vehicle is still under one). If you have listed any recent repairs carried out on the car in your advert, try to include any receipts to prove that they have been carried out and paid for. If selling privately, you should also be prepared to provide a receipt of sale between you and the buyer — the AA have a convenient template for a car buyer/seller’s contract that you can use.
Take care if offering a test drive
If selling privately, a potential buyer may request a test drive of your vehicle before they commit to buying it. While it is up to you if you are comfortable doing so, there are a few things to remember before offering one. Make sure you have the buyer’s essential details and also ask to see their driver’s licence. You should check to make sure they are insured to test drive your car — they might have their own cover or you may have to arrange cover on your own insurance. Insist that the buyer comes to your address and be sure to accompany them on the test drive. If you are uncomfortable carrying out the test drive yourself, ask a friend or relative to come along.
If you follow these tips, you can look forward to a relatively smooth sale of your car – and buying a new one of course.