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How to sell a car privately?
Are you doubtful about the value of your car while selling it? Don’t fret! Market your car, van, or truck privately on Motor Breaker for as long as you want and it’s completely FREE. On our platform, you will receive various offers/bids from different potential buyers with no obligation to sell. Keep your ad alive for as long as you wish and accept the deal that suits you best.
If you do not like to sell a car to a dealership, selling it privately is a good option. However, the process will consume a lot of your time and can be annoying. Furthermore, it involves more admin with no promise of success in the end. On the other hand, it will give the highest possible price for your vehicle.
So, if you do not want to try car-buying sites or online car purchasers and plainly desire to evade vehicle dealing firms completely, here are some tips to sell a car privately.
Outline: selling a car privately
Reasons to sell a car privately
When you make up your mind to sell a car privately, you should be ready for laborious tasks. You have to do everything on your own; advertise your vehicle, meet the potential customers, tell them the good and bad things in your car, give a test drive, and negotiate the price. Taking care of all the aspects will not be easy without getting help from a company.
Understand that selling a car privately is a painstaking task. If you seek to sell a car quickly and easily, it certainly isn’t the best route forward. Online vehicle buying services are ideal for a faster and hassle-free selling experience.
That said, do not let all of that dissuade you. Selling privately allows you to get the money you desire. We will discuss everything you need to know to sell a car privately in this guide. So, keep reading!
Is your vehicle really stand out?
Bear in mind that no matter how special is your car; it may not attract even a single buyer. Thousands of vehicles advertised on the private market every day confuse buyers giving them plenty of choices.
Therefore, when you are in the market to sell a car, ensure your vehicle is noticeable and sticks out to appeal to potential buyers.
You must understand that your car is just one of the numerous vehicles a buyer is considering. For that reason, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to increase the chances of a sale.
Can I lawfully sell my car?
While this may seem a clear question, no one can deny its importance. You must own the right to sell a car before you start the trading process.
The very first thing you should do is to clear any outstanding finance on the vehicle. Secondly, you must possess the complete documents. To settle the finance, you need to contact your finance firm and ask them for the settlement figure.
Also, you should have all crucial documents ready, including your V5C registration document (also known as a logbook), car manual, service book (if available), and valid MOT certificate.
In case you have misplaced any of these, you should order new copies from the relevant departments. Find more on the documents later on in this guide.
What is my car’s worth? What should be my target price?
Before you put a price on your vehicle, you must ask yourself what my car's worth is. Thankfully, there are plenty of free online car valuation tools available to give you an idea of your vehicle's value.
We recommend using HeyCar, Parkers, and What Car? valuation tools before you finalise your advertisement to sell a car. It is wise to use multiple tools to get a better understanding of your vehicle's value. Of course, they simply give you an estimated price but are good enough for you to set a target price.
Car detailing: must before you sell a car
So, now you know your car’s value, you may want to create an advertisement without delay. But wait, is your vehicle dirty and unpresentable?
A dirty car will not fetch your desired price, so you must clean it from inside and out. Use these car detailing tips, and we are sure you will get the price you are aiming for. It is a fact that buyers pay higher for vehicles that look spick and span and well-cared for than those that are unkempt.
While washing your vehicle completely may take hours and is laborious, it is certainly worth the time and effort to sell a car. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, teaching you how to keep your vehicle appear brand new. You can even hire a professional car valet service near your place in the UK by performing a quick search for ‘car valet near me’ on Google.
What channels should I use to sell a car?
When you have decided to sell a car privately after knowing its value, the next step is to post an advertisement. The question is, what is the best place to advertise my car for sale. You also need to make sure your ad stands out through clear and proper pictures as well as the car's honest description.
First off, you need to select the best car marketplace for your advert. Undoubtedly, Auto Trader is a clear option. The classified ads magazine started operation in 1975 and have come a long way to become the UK’s most successful used car market.
Although they are now operating solely online, people still prefer them to other channels when they want to sell a car privately. And why they shouldn’t be. According to recent statistics, it receives more than 7 million web visits every month. It makes them the most well-known dedicated online car market in the UK.
Nevertheless, Auto Trader is not the only choice when you like to sell a car privately. Indeed, we have a range of alternatives like eBay, Gumtree, and Motors.co.uk. All these work as a bridge between private sellers and buyers, allowing them to negotiate the deal directly. It means you do not have to visit a dealership or talk to an online car buying firm to sell a car. You can also try Facebook Marketplace to locate car purchasers in your local area. It is an excellent option lest you abhor your neighbours.
If you are not much into tech, perhaps local advertising would suit you best. You can give an ad in local papers, pubs, and shops, or tell your friends and family that you want to sell a car. Moreover, you can put a ‘for sale’ sign in the window of your vehicle while parking it on a public road. However, be sure to know the law because it can be illegal in some ways.
Coming back to sell a car online, Gumtree and eBay are two sites worth considering owing to the monthly traffic they receive. That said, these are not dedicated car selling websites, so, likely, your advert may not get the due attention it deserves.
On the other hand, Motors.co.uk, Exchange & Mart, and others are dedicated online car marketplaces. You should definitely try these. The best part is they are totally free.
While these are ideal places to sell a car, understand that they do not get the monthly traffic you could find on Auto Traders. Therefore, it is worth trying different online car selling channels to maximise your chances of trade.
Selling a car for free is an ideal option for many, but only if you select the right channel. Otherwise, your vehicle may remain unsold for months.
How can I make an ideal car advertisement?
Now that you have decided on the best places to advertise your vehicle, it is time to learn to create a suitable advert. With tens of hundreds of vehicles popping up on online marketplaces every day, you need to ensure your ad stands out.
Start by penning down a thorough description, providing all the key details of your vehicle. You must add in the following particulars: Colour, Mileage, Condition, Your contact details, List of equipment/taxes, Full service history (or not), The exact make and model, The year of manufacture and registration identifier (eg ‘09’ or ‘59’ plate for 2009).
Besides describing your vehicle's main details, you should also inform the faults it contains. It is typical for used cars to wear with time or experience dents and scratches. Therefore, do not be shy to list the defects. Obviously, you do not want a buyer returning to you angry, disappointed, and shocked.
In today’s age, you cannot sell a car without posting its clear pictures. So, we must say it is where you make or break your sale.
Firstly, take complete pictures of your car from all angles. Wiki-how shows us the way to do it professionally, so make sure you read this guide.
Besides taking exterior photos, including tyres, dents, and scratches, you must also take interior pictures. Click pictures of the dashboard, steering wheel, passenger seats, boot space, and any special equipment in the car.
Discovering a suitable buyer for your vehicle
So, your advert is live, and potential buyers are calling you and rolling in to see the vehicle. You obviously have to attend them all, give them a tour of the car, and let them test drive it.
However, you must be cautious here. When you sell a car privately, you have to tolerate the possible time-wasters and scammers.
It is wise to meet prospective car purchasers in a location recognisable to you. Meeting at your home or workplace is a good option or any spot you are aware of and feel secure in.
A word of advice: never give your car keys to the potential buyer for a test drive. You should always be in the vehicle during the test run. Additionally, do not allow them to take snaps of your car documents.
How to haggle with a possible car buyer?
In a car trade, both the buyer and the seller want to avoid a bad deal. The seller likes to get a high price while the buyer would tempt to bargain and strive to drive the price down.
Therefore, it is wise to set your asking price above average than what you desire to get. It will consequently provide you the freedom to negotiate easily and settle on a price.
That said, this move can be counterproductive if you set the price too high. Therefore, know your car’s worth and be realistic.
What documents I must possess to sell a car?
When you sell a car privately, you must have all the needed documents ready. These should comprise your V5C document (giving the evidence of ownership), your service history (it should add value to your vehicle), and MOT certificates. The latter will assist you in showing how well kept your car is, not allowing the buyer to chip down your price.
It is crucial not to tender any document to the likely buyer or allow them any picture or photocopy of these before finalising the sale. When you have sold the vehicle, you then require to give the purchaser the top bit of the logbook and any other paperwork. Here’s what you need to complete, exactly:
- Write a receipt and take two copies – one for you and one for the buyer. The receipt must mention the date, price, registration number, make and model, as well as your and buyer’s names and addresses.
- Fill and send the V5C document to the DVLA. You need to provide the new keeper’s information (section 6) and sign section 8. Give the new keeper part of V5C to the purchaser.
- Deliver the new owner your vehicle’s handbook, the keys, the service book in addition to any receipts, and the MOT certificate (of course needed for vehicles more than three years old). When you sell a car with complete service history, the purchaser would also want to get previous MOT certificates and maintenance receipts.
Nobody wants to get ripped while he or she sells a car. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you ensure the payment reaches you securely. Request the purchaser’s phone number and scrutinise before you allow them to view your car. Ensure they truly wish to purchase your vehicle.
The majority of classified advertisement websites suggest online bank transfers as the perfect way to receive payment instead of hard cash. However, you would have other choices as well.
Third-party firms (such as ESCROW) retaining the cash may work to your advantage as well, but you must ensure they are lawful.
Moreover, it is prudent to get in touch with the Financial Conduct Authority to evade dealing with a sham firm. Besides, you can opt for other payment means such as a banker's draft.
Do not hand over the keys until your bank or payment provider validates the payment.
Essentially, whatever payment method you choose, once you sell a car, you should give the purchaser a receipt and retain a copy for yourself.
Final advice to sell your car privately
We have tried our best to cover all points for those asking us, ‘how can I sell my car privately.’
One important thing; when you sell a car, it is crucial to inform the DVLA, and your insurance and finance firms.
Once you deliver the car keys to the purchaser, ensure you dispatch the DVLA, the bottom piece of the V5C document (logbook).
Finally, eliminate all the adverts from different channels so that nobody seeking to buy your used car can contact you.