How to Sell Your Car Fast? 8 Brilliant Tips
If you want to sell your car, get a good price for it, and do so with the minimum of hassle – it is crucial to know your car’s true value, where best to sell it, and what to do during and after the sales process.
To sell your car fast, you need to read the following 8 tips, decide the best route for you, and then work out a strategic approach that will quickly drive the sale.
#1 Know your car’s true value
Though you might have strong personal feelings and considerable emotional attachment to your car, it’s a good idea to remember that, when you come to sell it, your car’s value will be determined by the market.
How much you can get for it will be decided by its make and model, and will be affected by such factors as age, mileage, condition and service history. The good news is that getting an accurate assessment of your car’s true value is easier and quicker than ever.
Pick the route that will get you the best price for your car
Before taking any steps to sell your car, do some preliminary online research, as it will likely save you considerable time in the long run.
If you’re thinking of selling privately, visit the Auto Trader website and see what prices similar models are being sold for; or use Motorway’s price comparison tool for a view of what online car-buying services will offer.
#2 Decide what is important to you
Are you determined to get a good price for your car and are prepared to work to get it? Or do you care more about convenience and speed?
If you are keen to get the best price for your used car and are undaunted by the prospect of long selling times, potentially showing the car to several prospective buyers and haggling over the price, then selling privately on sites like Auto Trader or eBay will suit you best.
If you just want to get your car sold quickly, and are willing to sacrifice a bit on the end price to remove the hassle, then choose an instant car-buying site like We Buy Any Car or The Car Buying Group.
However, even if you’re not too concerned about the car’s final sale price, if you do decide to use one of the instant car-buying companies, it’s a good idea to find out if they routinely add on an arbitrary ‘transaction’ or ‘administration’ fee for their services, which can often radically reduce your take-home money.
Pick your selling route wisely
If you decide to sell privately, you are likely to get a better price for your car – however, it can be a long, drawn-out process, and it is important to remember that whilst you’ll likely be dealing with potential buyers arriving at your house, bartering with them, and taking care of the associated admin, you are still not guaranteed a sale at the end of it.
Whereas, with an online car-buying website, as long as you describe your car accurately, sales are pretty much guaranteed – and the money can be in your bank account within 24 hours.
There are now several large online buyers – however, though they purport to be providing the same service there are considerable differences between them.
#3 Prepare your car
If you choose to sell your car privately, to avoid potential buyers chipping away at the price, it is a good idea to make it look as good as possible.
Ensure that your car has been deep-cleaned inside and out on the day that prospective buyers are coming for a viewing. The inside of the car is just as important as the exterior, so clean the mouldings and vacuum the seats, car mats, and the boot. Buy a good-quality car air purifier or air freshener. If the floor mats are beyond repair, then it’s well worth paying £20 for some new ones.
You don’t have to fix every little dent and scratch, but giving it a professional detail is good for newer, more prestige used cars.
#4 Take good photographs
If you’re selling privately, it is essential to take some decent pictures of your car.
If you have access to a professional photographer or have an expensive camera that does everything for you, that’s great. If not, you can still get good results that will help to sell your car fast.
Though it shouldn’t really matter, your car will always look better – and attract more buyers – parked somewhere bright, clean and tidy. Taking pictures of your car parked in a rubbish-strewn alleyway, a dingy backstreet, or on an industrial estate is not going to convey to potential buyers that you look after your car – nor is it likely to make them want to come visit for a viewing or test drive.
You don’t need to drive your car to a stately home or local beauty spot for a full-on photoshoot, but a clean, well-lit street or private driveway will typically present your car to its best advantage.
Ensure your photographs are representative of your car
Having ensured your car looks as shiny and clean as possible, you should upload as many images as is necessary to show it from every angle, inside and out.
Though the number of images you can upload will typically depend on what website you’ve chosen to sell your car through or what package you’ve paid for, usually, 8-10 decent photographs will serve you well and help you sell fast.
It is a good idea to err on the side of caution when it comes to taking overly-artistic shots, and instead focus on getting good coverage of the car.
To properly showcase it, you should include a photograph of the front, back, some side profiles, the wheels, the engine, the seats and the dashboard, including a mileage reading that is consistent with the information in your ad.
#5 Be ready to negotiate
When you meet with potential buyers, ensure that you turn up armed with credible information about the car’s market value – and be prepared to walk away if need be.
If you’ve done the requisite research, you will appear more confident and will be able to speak with a greater level of authority.
Be prepared to walk away from the deal
If a potential buyer views the car and tries to substantially reduce the price for reasons that you consider spurious, simply point out (politely) that you disagree – and stick to your guns.
If they remain adamant, be prepared to wrap it up and look for a more serious buyer.
#6 Hold on to your keys until you’ve been paid
However fast you want to sell your car, it’s crucial to remember that it is not sold until the money is in your bank account.
Do not hand over your keys until you have been paid.
Ensure you get the money during the sale
Whether you’re selling at a dealership or to a private buyer, be extremely wary of anyone that promises to transfer money later or attempts to pay you with a cheque.
Any reputable buyer will be aware that you require payment in advance of them taking ownership of the car – either by BACS/ bank transfer or by ‘cash on collection.’
#7 Get the sales documents prepared early
As soon as you’ve been paid for the car, you will need to complete a number of pieces of paperwork. If you’re trying to sell your car fast, it’s a good idea to get this prepped in advance.
Bring two copies of a receipt – one for you and one for your buyer – to be signed by both parties. This must record the make, model and registration number of the car being sold, plus yours and the buyer’s names and addresses, the date the car was sold, and the price paid.
Get your documentation ready
Complete the ‘new keeper’ details (section 6) of the vehicle logbook (V5C) and hand this to the buyer. Then sign section 8 and send the updated V5C back to the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
You should provide the new owner with the car’s handbook, keys (including duplicates), and service logbook. If the car is over three years old, you should also provide the new buyer with the car’s MOT certificate.
If you’ve sold your car with ‘a full-service history,’ you should also provide the buyer with all the old MOT certificates and maintenance receipts.
#8 Get money back after the sale
It is not over just because you no longer have the car.
An important – and frequently overlooked – part of the sale takes place once you have handed over your car keys and watched the new owner drive away.
As well as sending the remaining part of the V5 form back to the DVLA, make sure you cancel your car insurance and reclaim your road tax.
Few people are aware that they can reclaim any outstanding road tax once they’ve sold their car. However, the DVLA make this extremely easy.
Once the sale has taken place, simply visit the DVLA’s website and follow the steps.