There are many reasons why you might think about selling your car.


Perhaps you have a larger car than you need and you wish to downgrade. Your dependents may have moved out and it no longer makes financial sense to keep such a vehicle on. You may consider buying something smaller and more rewarding to drive, such as a coupe or a supermini (or a supermini coupe!).


Or you may have moved house, where the public transport is good and you no longer need a car. However, it’s important to weigh up annual public transport costs against car ownership outgoings - and consider the freedom and independence you might lose as a result.


Another reason motorists decide to sell their car is because their financial circumstances change and they need to re-evaluate if their current model is worth the cost - and if a cheaper car is a wiser choice.


Keeping a car in working order is undoubtedly a costly undertaking in the UK. Every year you have to pay for:


Vehicle insurance

Vehicle tax


MOTs and services

Annual roadside assistance cover is also considered an essential by many drivers.


Working out what your car costs to run

With variables such as fuel, it’s a good idea to work out what you spend annually. This might help push you to buy a more efficient car, for example. You may also have found that your car requires more regular servicing than other models, perhaps because it is older or is simply not in great condition.

Your car’s condition

A new car tends to lose most value in the first year of ownership. After that depreciation slows until the third year when it loses value at a faster rate again. Selling your car soon after you bought it might not make financial sense. For many, selling up in the fourth or fifth year is prudent, since you’ve had a lot of mileage but the car is still in good condition and attractive to potential buyers.


If your car is starting to cost a lot in terms of servicing, it might be time to sell up and buy a more dependable alternative.


Going electric?

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is coming - albeit more slowly than the government or car makers have anticipated. In 2018, just over 15,000 pure EVs were sold in the UK - a drop in the ocean compared to overall car sales. However, the government is investing heavily in charge points - although cutbacks in state incentive schemes have hit EV sales. The maximum grant for EVs has been reduced from £4,500 to £3,500.


You may wish to sell your combustion-engine car in order to invest in an EV.



Alternatively you may wish to buy a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), which could dramatically reduce your fuel costs. However, incentives for this vehicle type were cut by the government in 2018, denting their take-up.


Whether you're considering an EV or a PHEV, selling your current car will free up funds to do so, although depending on the cost of such a new vehicle, it may not cover the purchase price.


Selling an older car for scrap

If you have an ageing car that costs a lot to maintain, it could be wise to sell it - or, if it’s in a very poor state, a scrap merchant may buy it and take it way for a modest sum.


In the end, choosing whether or not to sell your car is a personal decision - and one that demands you to do some serious thinking - not to mention sums.


What documents do I need to tell my car?

You'll need to transfer the VC5 document into the name of the buyer. You may also need to locate and provide the vehicle’s service history, MOT and any outstanding finance paperwork (if applicable).