How to sell a carSelling a car might sound daunting, but we’re here to help ensure it’s as quick and easy as possible.

Sell your car >>

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

Setting the price

Pricing your car correctly can mean you get a quick sale, so it’s worth taking the time to think the price through.

• Try our Recommended Sale price tool, which is free and tells you how much similar cars to yours sell for on Auto Trader
• Get an expert car valuation with the CAP Auto Trader valuation tool
• Compare your car with similar models for sale privately on Auto Trader
• Consider your car’s mileage, age, condition and features for a more accurate price
• Factor in room for the buyer to haggle

How Auto Trader can help:
Setting the price
Car valuations
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Writing the car advert

Auto Trader does some of this work for you by automatically displaying your car’s basic details in the writing field. All you have to do is:

• Ensure your ad reads well and sells your car’s strong points, without exaggerating
• Write clearly, avoiding jargon or complicated terms e.g. ‘metallic red’ rather than ‘Fire Opal’
• Include key features and desirable equipment such as leather seats or air-conditioning
• Include how long the tax and MOT has to run and any recorded service history
• Keep the advert as concise as possible

How Auto Trader can help:
Writing the car advert
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Taking great photos

Good photos make it far more likely for you to have a successful sale quickly, and taking them needn’t take a long time.

• Clean your car inside and out
• Make sure your pictures are sharp and in focus
• Take pictures when the car is well-lit and dry
• Clear space around the car so you can get the whole car in
• Photograph important details such as alloy wheels and don’t forget the interior

How Auto Trader can help:
Taking great photos
Preparing your car for sale
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Preparing your car for sale

A clean car looks like a cared-for car, so spending a morning making it sparkle could add hundreds of pounds to its value.

• A good wash creates the best first impression
• Cleaning the interior is essential and an air-freshener might help
• Check – and top up – oil and water levels and make sure the tyres are correctly inflated
• Gather all the paperwork and arrange it so buyers can examine it easily

How Auto Trader can help:
Preparing your car for sale
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Dealing with buyers

Buyers will almost always want a test drive and to inspect your car thoroughly before handing over any money.

• Always ensure any buyer test driving your car is suitably insured – if not fully covered by their normal insurer they should obtain temporary car insurance for the test drive. Ask to see proof first
• Never leave the buyer alone with the car keys and turn off the engine if you swap drivers
• Give the buyer time to view the car and let them arrange further inspections if they want to

How Auto Trader can help:
Dealing with buyers
Sell my car

Dealing with canvassers

Occasionally sellers are contacted by unwanted canvassers, but Auto Trader’s Telesafe system can help you avoid them.

• Telesafe is a free service for sellers that replaces your phone number with another number which we can use to block calls from known canvassers
• Canvassers typically contact sellers persuading you to advertise elsewhere with the promise of dozens of buyers looking for a car identical to yours – yet the buyers rarely appear

How Auto Trader can help: Dealing with canvassers

Closing the deal

Buyers will want to haggle your price down, and some will be eager to pay, but make sure you’re satisfied the payment is genuine before you take the car

• Expect a haggle – buyers expect to get some money off so have your lowest price in mind and stick to it
• Be sure you’re happy with the method of payment; pay cash into your bank and ensure you can “draw funds” against cheque payments before you let the buyer take the car

How Auto Trader can help:
Closing the deal
Fraudulent payments
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Doing the paperwork

Writing a receipt and filling in the paperwork can seem like an anticlimax after the excitement of negotiating a price, but it’s no less important.

• Write a receipt for you and the buyer
• Complete the relevant parts of the logbook, and send them to the DVLA
• Let your insurance company know you’ve sold the car

How Auto Trader can help:

Doing the paperwork
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