There are around seven million used cars bought and sold in Britain each year, and many of them change hands through private sales. If you’re thinking of selling your vehicle, here’s a helpful step-by-step guide to walk you through the process…
According to The AA, the simplest way to sell your vehicle is to trade it in or part exchange it when you’re buying a new one. But these aren’t the only options.
Flogging your motor to a car buying service is quick and easy, and you’ll often get a web valuation straight away. Some even guarantee you a sale. However, this will give you the lowest price and so if you value your cash over your time, then maybe this isn’t for you.
Comparison sites Confused.com and Motorway.com will give you an indication of what firms are willing to pay for your vehicle, and you can decide if this is an option.
Put a “for sale” sign in your rear window that gives your contact details and the price. This markets your car for free and gives potential buyers a chance to get a close-up inspection of your vehicle, cutting the number of time wasters.
Advertise for free on a car sales site, such as Autotrader, Preloved or Gumtree. This is an efficient way of generating a sale, and gives you a much wider audience than just people who’ve spotted your car’s “for sale” sign.
You can also look at social media sites, such as Facebook Marketplace, to source potential buyers.
If you decide to sell online, for instance on eBay, then you need to weigh up the pros and cons.
One positive is that you’ll get a secure payment for your vehicle. However, the downside is that with fees you will probably be selling it for less than it’s worth.
Buyers will want to know all the information they can about your car; first and foremost, the make, model and year of registration – even if you’ve included a photo – as well as the total price.
Not only do these give the buyer essential information and help adverts to get picked up in online searches, they’re also a legal requirement.
It’s against the law to give an inaccurate description of the car you’re selling, and you will need to honestly include details, such as the mileage, colour, condition, MOT dates and whether the vehicle has a full service history or not.
Don’t forget to include any modifications or extras, as well as your contact details.
It’s a buyer’s market, but some buyers are less savvy than others, so don’t be afraid to stand your ground. If you’re not good at haggling, ask someone who is to lend a helping hand in getting you the best possible price.
Once you’ve agreed a price, it’s important to get paid securely…
Make sure you count the money and check for forgeries – as this can’t be rectified once the car is out of your possession. If you can, meet the buyer at a bank for the cash withdrawal so you know the money is genuine.
This will mean you have to give your bank details to the buyer, so it’s worth asking for proof of identity – a passport, for example – before doing so.
These are the most common methods of defrauding sellers. If you decide to take payment this way, be sure the money has cleared and that you have proof of the buyer’s name and address – possibly a copy of a utility bill – so you can trace back the transaction and report it if there’s anything untoward.
Whichever way you get paid, always remember the number one rule of selling a car – don’t hand over the keys to the vehicle until you have the cash in your hand.
Once you’ve agreed a sale and you have the cash in your hand/bank, make sure you dot all the Is and cross all the Ts…
Millions of cars change hands every year, but it’s worth keeping your wits about you if you’re planning to sell your vehicle.
A high-value item like a car is a prime target for unscrupulous fraudsters. If you’re selling your car privately then be aware of some common scams…
Potential buyers are likely to be complete strangers, and so taking some basic security precautions is vital…
Now you’ve got your tips on how to sell your motor, why not check out our handy car buying guide.