How to sell a bargain car
Saturday 09 July 2011
Selling a bargain car might sound daunting, but we’re here to help ensure it’s as quick and easy as possible.
And you can pay less to advertise your car with Auto Trader’s £14.95 offer for cars priced under £1,000.
How Auto Trader can help: Sell my car
Setting the price
The easiest way to find your car’s market value is to:
• Compare your car to 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 buyers to haggle but avoid pricing it too high – you could end up paying more in re-advertising fees
• Get an expert car valuation with a CAP Auto Trader valuation
How Auto Trader can help: Value a car
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
• Include any significant maintenance work carried out recently, such as a replaced exhaust or a set of new tyres
• Include details of any problems or damage – be as honest as possible to help attract the right buyers and not risk wasting your time or theirs
• If your car isn’t road worthy or you’re selling it for parts, mention this first to attract the right buyer
• Keep the advert as concise as possible
How Auto Trader can help: Writing a car advert
Taking great photos
Good photos make it far more likely you’ll have a successful sale quickly. Taking them needn’t take a long time.
• Clean your car inside and out to create the best first impression
• 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 shot
• Photograph important details such as alloy wheels and don’t forget the interior
How Auto Trader can help: Taking great photos
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. 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
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 them to advertise elsewhere with the promise of dozens of buyers looking for a car identical to theirs – yet the buyers rarely appear
How Auto Trader can help: Dealing with canvassers
Closing the deal
Now you’ve found a buyer for your bargain car, you need to negotiate a price and payment method.
Buyers will be keen to haggle on your asking price. Be firm, without being unreasonable.
• Expect to 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
Writing a receipt and filling in the paperwork can seem like an anticlimax after the excitement of negotiating a sale, but it’s no less important. Without it you could end up liable for the new owner’s traffic fines, such as parking tickets and speeding fines.
• 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: Closing the deal