Thinking of upgrading your car? Here's how to sell it

Windscreen wipers

If you’re thinking about upgrading your car and need to raise funds, selling it privately can earn you more money compared to selling it to a dealership. Here, a comparison site for cheap car insurance in the UK,, share advice on how best to sell your car.

Organise paperwork and prepare your car

You’ll need the car’s V5C (logbook) and ensure that the written description matches the car. You must also ensure the car is roadworthy unless you’re specifically marketing it for parts only.

Remember that your V5C contains sensitive information about your car so don’t let anyone take copies or photograph it, especially the reference number and vehicle identification number (VIN) of your car. This information can be used to steal or clone your car.

If your car is at least three years old, you should also include its MOT certificates in the sale, as well as any servicing records. If you’ve had any work done to your car, you’ll need relevant receipts too.

To increase the chances of a sale, it’s well worth having your car professionally cleaned, both inside and out. If you notice any minor issues such as smeary windscreen wipers or chips in the windscreen, it’s a good idea to rectify them before you put it on the market.

Advertise your car

Check to see how much other cars of the same make and model are being sold for on the used car market. This ensures that you’re not under or overpricing your car but it’s worth factoring in some room for negotiation as buyers often like to haggle.

When you advertise your car, provide as much information as you can, but make sure you stick to the facts. Most buyers will want to know essentials such as:

  • The year of registration or plate number
  • Price
  • Car make, model and colour
  • Transmission and fuel type
  • Mileage
  • Number of months left on its MOT (if applicable)

You might also want to include any additional features that you think might be appealing to certain buyers, for example:

  • Integrated dog guard
  • Boot liner
  • Isofix fittings
  • Collapsible rear seats

Arrange viewings and test drives

The majority of buyers will want to test drive the car so arrange visits during the day when you have plenty of time and don’t feel rushed. Before you let anyone drive your car, check they have a valid driving licence and have suitable insurance.

Some buyers may have car insurance with a ‘driving other cars’ (DOC) clause, which enables them to get behind the wheel of someone else’s car (with permission). If they don’t have DOC cover, they can arrange temporary insurance instead. These policies can be arranged quickly and for as little as one or two hours.

To keep your car safe, you should accompany any potential buyers on a test drive. And to keep you safe, it’s recommended that you ask a friend or family member to come along too. If not, then you should tell someone what you’re doing and where you intend to go. Similarly, you should always arrange for buyers to come to you, rather than taking the car to them.

Finalise the sale

Bank transfers are the most efficient way to take payment for your car. If you also manage your account online, you’ll be able to check that the money’s been deposited into your account.

If the buyer decides to pay by cheque or banker’s draft, always make sure that the funds have cleared before you part with the keys.

Don’t forget to provide the buyer with a receipt. You should make sure you include any relevant notes – for instance, that they’ve seen the car and have test driven it.

Tell DVLA and your insurer you’ve sold your car

If you sell the car, you’ll need to give the buyer the green ‘new keeper’ part of the V5C form. You should then tell the DVLA you’ve sold the car.

If you’ve got any remaining months of car tax left, telling the DVLA will entitle you to an automatic refund. Bear in mind that you’ll only get a refund for any full months remaining, for example, if you have three and a half months left, you’ll only be refunded three months’ worth.

You will also need to tell your insurer that you’ve sold the car and no longer need your insurance policy. If you paid for it upfront, your insurer will arrange a refund if necessary. You should also be able to transfer the policy to a new car if you want, but make sure you discuss this with your insurer, as your premium could go up or down depending on the car.

More News

FOXY Car Reviews
FOXY Information
FOXY Top Tips
Women in the Motor Industry
FOXY Blog Archive


Vuelio - Top 10 UK Automotive Blogs
Don't ignore your tyres - check them once a month