Closing the dealCar buyers usually expect some negotiation on price and there are a number of ways to pay. We show you how to seal the deal quickly, for the price you want.


Buyers will be keen to haggle on your asking price. You need to be firm, without being unreasonable.

Decide the lowest price you’re willing to sell the car for before you begin negotiations. A CAP Auto Trader valuation will help. Don’t decline a sale if a buyer’s highest offer is only slightly below your set price – it could cost you far more in re-advertising fees, time and hassle.

Here are some golden rules to haggling:

• Stay calm
• Have your lowest price in mind before the seller arrives
• Indicate you could be open to offers if you’re asked on the phone, but don’t enter negotiations until the buyer has seen the car – you could be haggled down more than you want
• Don’t accept the first offer
• Push the buyer hard but once you’ve given them your negotiating price, stay quiet
• A tank of fuel or extra tax can make a good bargaining tool


The best way to accept payment is in cash at a bank, allowing you to pay the money straight into your account and letting the cashier check for fake notes. If the buyer gives you cash outside of banking hours, keep it in a safe place and pay it in as soon as possible, keeping posession of the car until it’s in your account.

If the buyer gives you a bank or personal cheque, ask the bank if you can draw funds against the cheque – merely asking if the cheque has cleared can mean something different.

Top tips:

• Ask to be paid in cash – this is the safest method of payment for smaller sums of money
• Payments by cheque will take a few days to reach your account and they can also be cancelled or issued without the available funds in the account
• If you receive payment by electronic transfer, the funds can take a few days to appear in your account
• Ask the buyer for ID with an address and landline telephone number in case of problems
• If possible, go with the buyer to the bank to draw the cheque

Don’t hand over your car until the full amount is in your bank account.

Despite popular belief, bank or building society cheques aren’t as good as cash – forged cheques are common. Find out more about fraudulent payments.

Once you’ve sealed the deal, you’ll need to write a receipt acknowledging the following information:
• The date
• Price
• Make and model
• Registration number
• The names and addresses of the buyer and seller

Make two copies – one for you and one for the buyer – and make sure all parties sign both receipts.

More in-depth selling advice:

Setting the price | Writing a car advert | Taking great photos
Preparing your car for sale | Dealing with buyers
Dealing with canvassers
Closing the deal | Doing the paperwork

How Auto Trader can help:
Closing the deal
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