Writing a car advertOnce you’ve worked out the right price for your car, turn your attention to wording your advert to provide potential buyers with all the information they’ll need, making your sale as quick and smooth as possible.

Enter your car’s details

By entering your car’s registration number, Auto Trader can automatically fill in vital information such as:
• Make and model
• Age
• Body type
• Colour
• Transmission
• Fuel type

Creating your advert

Auto Trader will give you the basic details of your car, but you’ll need to enter the mileage and any optional, interesting or desirable features it has.

Enter the description you want to appear on your advert in the box. Be as clear as possible but try to avoid jargon: ‘metallic red’ is more helpful than ‘Fire Opal’.

Make sure you include:

• How long the road tax has to run
• How long the MOT is valid for
• Whether the car has a full or partial service history – this can add hundreds to the price of a car
• Number of owners – cars with fewer owners are generally more desirable
• Extras like air conditioning, sat-nav, alloy wheels, electric windows and leather seats are all desirable
• Modifications, but be aware some can reduce your car’s value
• Reason for sale – are you buying a new car or moving abroad? Reassure the buyer

Remember that if your car isn’t in great condition, be honest. Otherwise you risk wasting your time and that of potential buyers.

Keep the advert as concise as possible and only include essential information. Auto Trader allows up to 1,500 characters on its online adverts, which is around 250-300 words. It’s best to stick to around 50 to 75 words for an online advert or 20 to 30 words in print; the exact length depends on the kind of advert you want.


• Using block capitals as it makes the advert harder to read
• Vague terms and clichéd phrases, such as ‘excellent condition’, ‘lovely driver’ or ‘first to see will buy’

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
Sell your car