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Top Tips If You Are Selling Your Car

Are you thinking about selling your car? We’d like to give you the top tips we believe will ensure a speedy sale and make sure you get the best value for your vehicle.

1. Privately Selling Your Vehicle

The best way to achieve value for money when selling your vehicle is to sell it privately. By selling to a private buyer, you will be responsible for the car to be well-cleaned and well-maintained prior to the exchange of keys. You will also have to respond to all enquiries, book test drives and deal with all paperwork.

That said, it comes with more hassle and takes longer than if you were to sell it to a dealership, but the price you receive will be significantly less if you do the latter as any dealer will be looking to make money off the further sale of the vehicle. 

2. Condition, Service History & Presentation

If your MOT is due to expire within the next 3 months it would be wise to get a new one done prior to selling your vehicle. By doing so, you are avoiding issues further down the line with it potentially failing and the buyer having a dispute with you. It also makes it easier to sell as the buyer will not have to worry about booking it’s MOT straight after purchase.

You should also make sure that your car is fully cleaned inside and out, have any minor mechanical issues repaired and fix any minor damage to the paintwork. Every little imperfection or slight issue will be a knock on your negotiating position and could turn would-be buyers off all together.

3. The Law – Is Your Car Ready To Be Sold?

The most obvious law when selling your car is that you must have the legal right to sell it. However, you must also ensure that the car is roadworthy and that your ad description is 100% accurate.


Related Reading: The Least Depreciating Cars In The UK: Get The Best Value For Money


4. Do You Have An Outstanding Finance Agreement?

Without getting permission from the firm that financed your car deal, or without settling your outstanding balance, you will not be able to sell your vehicle.

5. Be Realistic On Price

Before listing your vehicle you should do your research first. By looking on the market at cars similar to yours, you can gauge the current asking price and price yours accordingly.

You will want to build in a slight amount of ‘haggle room’ into your price, to allow the buyer to feel like they have struck a deal, resulting in a quicker sale. By setting your price too high, you significantly reduce your chances of a quick sale.

6. Have 100% Accuracy & Transparency In Your Description

The description that you post should be as accurate and transparent as possible. Do not seduce people with untold truths that result in them being disappointed, or worst lose confidence in you, when they come to see the vehicle.

It is wise to focus mainly on the features that will entice buyers the most, such as when the car was first registered, where it is located and also how many months it has remaining on its MOT. That said, you should still include all details you think are relevant to the buyer.


Related Reading: 10 Fastest Depreciating Cars In The UK 2023: Top Models To Avoid


7. Gather Your Documents

You should gather all documentation relevant to your vehicle and have them ready to pass to the new owner with the keys. These documents include, but are not limited to, MOT certificates and service history records. Having a detailed service record can add value to your vehicle when you come to sell it.

8. Take Precautions With Arranged Test Drives

When arranging a test drive with a potential buyer you should gather their contact details and check their driving licence prior to letting them drive your vehicle. You should also insist they meet you at your home, rather than you taking the vehicle to another location.

These are precautions worth taking to reduce the risk of your car being stolen, damaged or driven illegally. Extra precautions you can take can be to accompany the potential buyer when they test drive the vehicle.

9. Create A Receipt With Details

Have every single possible detail included on the receipt you give to the buyer, including if they have purchased it for parts. Also include if the buyer has seen the vehicle and it’s sold as seen, if they have test-driven it and if it’s sold with/without a guarantee.


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10. Release The Keys After Payment

Before giving the buyer the keys you should ensure you have received payment. The quickest ways are cash or bank transfer. If they are going to pay with a cheque it may take a few days to clear, so don’t hand over the keys until the payment has reached your account.

11. Draw Up & Print Contracts

You should draw up a contract, print it and have both parties sign it, before you safely store your copy. This is essential for any future comeback and finalised position.

12. Make The DVLA Aware

While point 11 is not necessarily legally binding, you need to inform the DVLA the vehicle has a new owner who is now responsible for it. You can do this online or via post. If this isn’t done you will be held accountable for any convictions and/or fines until ownership is swapped over.


Related Reading: Car Prices Have Gone Up: What Does This Mean For You?



Related Reading: When Is The Best Time to Sell Your Car?