Selling your car is not a complicated process and not something to worry about.  That said, potential buyers will call at any time of the day or night.  Remember, every missed call may be a lost customer so try to make sure you don’t miss any requests.

When selling your car, it’s a great idea to leave your mobile number, therefore, allowing potential buyers, should they want to, to call you whenever they want and more importantly, wherever you are.  I would also recommend that you set up an answerphone which will allow buyers to leave a message should they miss your call.

Data Check

Generally, the first thing a buyer will do is to run a car data check or vehicle inspection, to reassure themselves that the vehicle is credible.  Do not take the car to meet potential buyers; however reasonable they may seem, arrange to view the car at your premises where someone else is with you.

Preparing your vehicle for sale

Preparing your car for sale is an uncomplicated but effective way to attract a buyer and increase the possibility of a deal. First impressions are essential, and it’s highly likely that the first detail the buyer will notice is the appearance of the vehicle and what features it comes with such a cruise control or a Navigation Unit. Clean the car inside and out, remove personal items from luggage compartments and the boot, and give it a vacuum and wax.

Make sure all documents are available for the buyer to see in a folder, including:

  • All receipts
  • Maintenance records
  • Service history

Finally, check tyre pressure and replace fluids including oil.

Test drive

Always allow a test drive with the buyer; it helps to sell the car to the customer. However, before you allow the buyer to drive, make sure either their insurance or yours cover them.

Be cautious, don’t leave strangers alone in your home while taking a test drive, and always keep hold of the vehicle’s keys. It may be easier to have a friend or partner to help you when buyers come for viewings.

Negotiate a Price

Negotiating a price for a vehicle is very common, and you should be prepared with a figure in mind of how low you will sell your car for before any viewings. Make sure you don’t feel pressured to sell below your valuation, you can always ask to take their telephone number and call them back later once you have decided. 

Be calm, polite and friendly, and a buyer is more likely to follow through with the purchase if you are.  No matter how genuine a buyer seems, ask for some identification and take a telephone number so you can check their details before they collect the vehicle.  Do not hand over anything before payment has been finalised either by clearance of a cheque or by cash. Write a receipt for both you and the buyer, stating that the vehicle is being sold.

Advert Writing

Writing your advert may seem a bit confusing as you may not know what to include in your advert, what the most important features are, or what will impact the prospective buyer the most when viewing your listing.

The first tip is to keep your advert clear and brief but to the point. Adding too much irrelevant description may put the potential buyer off from reading the entire advert; you don’t want to put the buyer off already!  Keep the report nicely laid out (in clear paragraphs rather than a large block of text).  What are the most important features of your vehicle? Look upon these as the selling points, the things that buyers like to see on a car. These could be for example:

  • Air conditioning
  • Traction control
  • Leather trim
  • Metallic paint, and so on.

Other vital inclusions are the colour of the vehicle, the mileage, service history if the car has MOT and road tax, and the number of owners. These are all essential factors to include and all inform the buyer of the critical details of the vehicle, no need to clog up your advert with unnecessary niceties such as oak finished gear knob and fluffy dice!

Consider the way you write your advert. Using uncommon abbreviations may not help the buyer understand what you are trying to explain, for example, you may know what ‘LWB’ means and may include it in your description, but many people may not know that it stands for ‘Long wheelbase’. If you wish to use abbreviations in your description.

Make sure you are honest throughout your advert. Deceiving people about the condition of the car or any other factors you may have described will only waste yours and the prospective buyers time.

Adding at least one photo to your advert is another great way to attract response to your vehicle. Adding multiple photos is very beneficial as it can display different angles of your vehicle. People like to see what they’re buying, as what can be described and what can be viewed are sometimes two completely different things.

Advertising your vehicle at a realistic price is also very important, not many people like to part with more money than they have to, and the chances are that there will be several vehicles the same as yours advertised at a similar time.  Remember, even the cheapest prices, might not mean that your car is sold.  Take a look around and find what prices other people are advertising a similar model for. Also, take a look at the going rate for your vehicle in our vehicle valuation section.

You may find that some vehicles sell easier or at different prices at different times of the year, for example, the demand for a convertible in winter may not be that of in summer months. However, the choice of when you decide to sell your vehicle is of course entirely yours, and with the number of people hunting for vehicles frequently high, the chance of finding prospective buyers is good (100’s of thousands of searches performed each month for used cars on UK search engines).

Lastly, spell check your description and title. As our site can use the description as a search term, misspelling words may result in your advert not being found in some search results.

Don’t forget! You can optimise your ad by using several additional options to enhance the visibility of your listing including:

  • Bold title font
  • Highlighted title font
  • Featured placement
  • Front Page Featured placement
  • Gallery Featured placement
  • Click here to view option prices