How to Sell Your Car
Have you ever asked yourself: how can I sell my car online? Many people feel anxious about taking the plunge, but it's really not as hard as you might think. Just follow our ten simple steps to sell your car with ease.
1. Know why you’re selling
Maybe you’re selling a small car because your family is growing and you need something bigger, or maybe you’re selling your beloved sports car for a more practical option. These are legitimate reasons for selling. It sounds rather obvious, but buyers will be comforted by knowing you’re not getting rid of a dud; rather, the car has served you well but now you’re looking for something else. Being able to explain this will help you to write a better advert and answer questions from interested parties.
2. Know how much you want to get
Perhaps the easiest way to price your car is to look at similar adverts here on our site. Look for the make, model and approximate age of the car you’re selling. If you can, find cars with the same trim/spec (for example, GTi), similar mileage, and one that’s been serviced as regularly as your car. Once you’ve found a few adverts, you can decide how much to ask for your vehicle – go lower if a quick sale is more important than getting the best price. Alternatively, you may want to consider asking for more than you really want to leave room for any haggling.
3. Gather all the paperwork
You’ll need to have the V5 document (logbook) to transfer the vehicle to the new owner, plus a stamped book to prove you’ve had the car serviced regularly – if you haven’t, it’s not the end of the world but it might impact the selling price. You should have the latest MoT certificate too, but if not, this can be checked online at the gov.uk website. If you have a spare key, get that out as well.
4. Get your car ready to sell
A clean, tidy car with no obvious problems will sell much better than one that doesn’t look cared for. You can do simple things for free like an exterior wash or a vacuum and wipe down of the interior. If possible, top up things like water, screen-wash and oil so there are no warning lights on the dashboard. If the car has minor problems or a short MoT, buyers may use this to negotiate a discount. So, if you can fix these problems easily and cheaply, it could be worthwhile.
5. Make an eye-catching advert
As soon as your car is washed and clean, take some photos of it looking its best – do this in daylight and make sure you snap the sides, front, back and interior. When you’re writing your advert, keep it concise and to the point, emphasising the best things about your car. Include the age/year, mileage and standout features as well as how regularly it’s been serviced – a full service history (never missed a service) is a particular selling point.
6. Responding to interest
Hopefully, your well-crafted advert is now generating some interest. If it isn’t, don’t despair. It can take time, so patience is key, but you may wish to revisit your asking price or even tweak your advert. When queries do come, answer honestly but don’t talk your car down – if you’ve followed our guidance, you’ll have priced it fairly, factoring any issues into the price. Before arranging viewings, make sure to check out our tips on staying safe below.
7. Doing viewings
This is the part of selling a car that people typically don’t enjoy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult – when prospective buyers come to view your car, open it up and stay nearby while they’re having a good look. Some will point out flaws, but if these are in line with the age of the car and the asking price, don’t be scared to remind them of that. Decide your rock-bottom price before the viewing and stick to it if buyers make offers.
8. Staying safe
As you’ll be dealing with strangers, it makes sense to consider your safety. Plus, responsible buyers will understand why you’re putting the following measures in place:
- Have a family member or friend there if you can
- Ask to see a prospective buyer’s driving licence
- Always stay with the car and keep hold of the keys
- Only hand over keys once you are in the passenger seat
- For test drives, ask for proof of insurance or drive the car yourself
9. Making the sale
When you’ve shaken hands on a sale, don’t hand anything over until you have the full amount in cash or money in your bank account. Once you have the funds, you can hand over the keys and paperwork. You should fill in the new keeper section of the V5 document (logbook) and give it to the buyer. It’s also wise to prepare two copies of a simple receipt that confirms the sale and includes the car’s make, model, registration and mileage – both buyer and seller can then sign, date and keep a copy each.
10. After the sale
You’ll need to notify the DVLA that you have sold the vehicle and provide details of the new keeper. You can do this by posting the appropriate section of the logbook online at https://www.gov.uk/sold-bought-vehicle. If you pay your car tax upfront, you’ll automatically get a refund on any full months left. Of course, don’t forget to cancel or transfer your insurance too.
Selling your car online really doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow our straightforward guidance. Take a look at our guide on how to prepare your car to sell quickly for more handy tips. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!