25 Sept 2022

Selling your car? Here's your need-to-know guide about the whole process

Selling your car? Here's your need-to-know guide about the whole process

Used car prices are booming at the moment, with the shortage in supply of brand-new cars causing more buyers to turn to used models instead. As a result, many people might be considering selling their own car in order to get the best possible price for it.

But when it comes to selling your car, there are some different things you need to consider and look into so that you get the price you want. Here, we’re going to look at what you need to know about selling your car.

How much should I sell my car for?

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to how much you should be pricing your car. Age, mileage and general condition are key points, but you should also take into account its servicing history and the ‘life’ left in consumable parts such as tyres and brakes.

There are also many websites that will be able to give you an instant valuation of your car. However, remember that many of these are based solely on mileage and age, so have a look at online classifieds and at other similar cars for sale to make sure you’re on the right track.

Is there a quicker way to sell a car?

Of course. Many car-buying services are there if you need to sell your car quickly. Such companies will give you an instant valuation and if it’s acceptable to you, then you can take the car to a multitude of drop-off locations and get paid for it quickly.

Just remember that, though you might get a better price compared with a trade-in value at a dealership, you’re unlikely to get as much money as you would when selling privately. It’s likely to be quicker, however.

Should I prepare my car before I sell it?

Absolutely. Nothing is more off-putting to a prospective buyer than a dirty, unprepared car, so put some extra effort into making sure that your car is looking top-notch. You can save money by doing this yourself at home, or if you’re not happy to do so you can always get it valeted by a professional.

Don’t be tempted to overload the car’s interior with strong fragrances or air fresheners as this could put people off too.

If my car’s NCT runs out in three months, is it worth renewing?

Definitely. If your car’s NCT only has a short amount of time left on it then it’s always a good idea to get this renewed prior to sale. Though it might slow down the whole process, there’s a better chance of it selling quickly if the car has a full NCT.

Where do I list my car when I want to sell it?

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to car selling websites. The big hitters are in the likes of Carzone and Donedeal, which offer access to thousands of prospective buyers and have easy upload processes to make selling your car as hassle-free as possible.

Remember, that you’ll have to pay to list your car on many sites while others will charge fees once you’ve successfully sold your vehicle.

Is it best to be honest in an advert?

Of course. When writing your advert, try to be as detailed as possible and don’t leave any negative points out – people will inevitably find them when they come to see the car in the metal. Talk about any mechanical work that the car has had done and any noticeable issues that you may have had with it.

Buyers will feel far more confident about a car if you’re open and upfront about it, so make this clear in the description.

What documents do I need to have together?

Much like the advert description, it’s best to have as much information about the car’s history as possible when you first meet with a prospective buyer. Receipts for mechanical work, NCT sheets and servicing manuals can all help to show that you’ve taken close care of your car.

Have all of this prepared in one folder so it’s simple and easy to find.

Should I accompany a buyer on a test drive?

It’s likely that a buyer will want to take a test drive of your car, but it’s paramount that you accompany them when you do so. In order to remain covid-secure, it’s good to make sure you’ve cleaned down all of the major touchpoints in the car and drive with the windows ajar to aid ventilation. Make sure that the buyer has appropriate insurance to drive your vehicle, too.

How do I accept payment?

If the buyer offers you a certain amount and you’re happy to proceed then there are a number of ways to proceed. Remember, however, that if you don’t want to accept the offer then you’re completely free to back out – don’t feel pressured into a sale.

You can accept cash for a vehicle, but it may be worthwhile doing the handover of this near a bank in order to transfer it to your account quickly. Don’t be tempted to accept a cheque; as these take a few days to clear so it’s a somewhat risky method.

A bank transfer is one of the safest methods. But remember, don’t hand the keys over until you’re confident that the new funds have hit your account.

Do I need to transfer ownership once I’ve sold my car?

Yes. If you sell your vehicle privately, you must complete and sign the change of ownership section on the back of the Vehicle Registration certificate (VRC). The buyer must sign the same form. The seller is responsible and must send the completed form to the Department of Transport for updating. The Department of Transport will post the VRC to the new owner.

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