Looking to sell your car? Here are 12 tips to help get a good price - and make a quick sale.
You're likely to get a better price if you sell your car privately. However, it won't be as convenient or quick as selling your car to a dealership. As a private seller, you'll be responsible for making sure your car is clean and well-maintained, and you’ll have to deal with all enquiries, test drives and paperwork.
Presentation, condition and service history
Make sure your car is clean inside and out, and fix minor paint damage and straightforward mechanical issues. If your MOT has less than three months on it, consider getting another one done.
Is your car ready for sale under the law?
Your car must be roadworthy, it must match the ad description, and of course, you must have the legal right to sell it.
You are not allowed to sell your car if it has outstanding finance (such as hire-purchase or conditional sale agreements), unless you get the finance firms's permission or settle outstanding finance first.
Price it wisely
Try to be realistic about what your car is worth. Asking too much will reduce the chances of a quick sale. Look at similar cars on the market for an idea of how much your vehicle is likely to fetch. Build in some 'haggle room'; allowing the buyer a small amount off will give them a degree of satisfaction and make a sale more likely.
Be factually accurate
Your description should be as accurate as possible. Focus on features that will be of interest to would-be buyers. List the number plate/year; remaining months on the MOT; and where the car is located.
Don't give too much information over the phone. Thieves may use the VIN number and your personal details to clone plates. They might then use your car's details to engage in criminal activity, escape fines, or sidestep having no tax or insurance.
Get your documents together
Collect MOT certificates, service records and other important documents. If a would-be buyer asks to take photos or get copies of these, politely refuse. If you have a detailed service record this should expedite the sale and even add value to the vehicle. When you sell, ensure the new owner gets all these documents.
Precautions when arranging a test drive
Obtain the contact details of anyone coming to visit, and ask to see a driving licence before letting them test drive the car. Insist they come to your home address, rather than meeting elsewhere. While unlikely, it is possible your car could be stolen during a test drive, so always accompany the driver. In the event, you need to change seats at some point on the test drive, keep the keys with you and give them back when you get back into the car.
Create a detailed receipt
On the sales receipt, detail the car's condition clearly, including if it has been sold for spare parts (to avoid any come back later). Enter 'sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee' on the receipt. Be aware that even if you sell it 'sold as seen' - it must be roadworthy by law. Click here to read further into a car buyer's/sellers contract.
Ensure you get paid
Ensure you are paid in full before handing over the car. Being paid cash at your bank or arranging an online transfer is safest. Ensure banker's drafts or cheques are cleared before handing over the keys.
Draw up a seller's contract and print off copies for both parties. Ensure they are both signed and keep your copy safe.
Inform the DVLA of the sale
Tell the DVLA online or by post that you are no longer responsible for the car - or you will be hit with any convictions/fines that the new owner is responsible for.
Give the buyer the V5C/2 section – this is their proof of keepership until they are sent a new V5C from the DVLA.