What to do before selling your car
So, you’re thinking of selling your car - but the sheer thought of timewasters and tyre-kickers is seriously putting you off. Whether you’re selling privately, part-exchanging or preparing to face an auction, here are three things that you must do before you put your prized motor on the market
#1 Set yourself a realistic price
The key here really is to be realistic. If you slap on a super high price, most people won’t even bother to give it a once over. On the other hand, if you choose a price that’s far too cheap, you probably won’t get much interest. Although this might seem strange, people are often very suspicious of low-cost second-hand cars, because they usually come with a load of problems. And anyway, if you go too low you’ll be the one left out of pocket!
The best way to set a decent price is to check out other cars online. Browse similar models, engines, ages and conditions to see what they’re generally going for. There are plenty of sites out there that offer free valuations (or you can give us a ring!) so you can get a good idea of what you can expect.
Once you get a figure in mind, round up a little – this gives room for negotiation. Selling your car is unfortunately a tricky business, because nobody ever wants to pay the asking price.
#2 Set about writing the ad
Whether you’re selling in a newspaper’s classifieds or on a used-car website, squeeze as much detail about the car into the ad as you can. Include as many photos as possible – people love looking at pictures and they’re much more likely to buy if it’s a surprise-free event when it comes to viewing the car.
Include all the car’s selling-points. Leather seats and electric windows? Make sure you tell the world. It also helps to display the mileage, and the length of any road tax or MOT that’s left.
Don’t forget – free advertising! If your car is parked in public view, there’s no harm in popping a note in the window for some free advertising. Just keep this simple – price and telephone number – because people will be passing (or even driving!) by quickly.
#3 Dealing with buyers when they do show up
So, you’re nearly at the point of sale… You’re starting to get calls and people want to view your car. Good times! When people start to show up always be prepared for a constant stream of questions. It’s good to have the log book handy, and also the V5 registration certificate.
Give a buyer some space when they’re checking out the car – but never leave them alone with the keys. Switch off the engine if you swap seats during the test drive. People will want to take it for a spin, so make sure contact your insurance provider to confirm that they’ll be covered. If they’re not and there’s an accident, it’ll cost you a hefty amount of cash.
Don’t forget – clean that car! A clean car looks like it’s really been looked after. Giving it a good polish will make it more appealing to any potential buyers – and don’t forget the interior too!
Ready to close the deal?
If all goes well, you’ll be ready to close the deal. Expect a little haggling – people will always try! This is when you should keep in mind you lowest price… And stick to it!
When you’ve agreed on price and payment method, always ensure you have the money in your possession – whether that’s in cash or by instant bank transfer – before you part with the keys. Always issue a receipt (a written one will do) for both you and the buyer. Then, complete the right bits in the logbook and send it off to the DVLA. Don’t forget to cancel your car insurance!
If you get this far when selling your car, congratulations… It’s deal done!
Don’t forget – if you’re not much of a salesman or you simply haven’t got the time, we can buy your car. We’ll give you and instant valuation and instant payment. To find out more, head over to our Sell My Car page.