How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide

How to Sell Your Car Privately Follow the Step-by-step Guide

It’s likely that you’re looking for suggestions on how to sell a car privately and for the best price if it’s time to find a new owner for your old wheels.

Make sure your car’s in good working order, clean your car, advertise your car, arrange viewings, offer a test drive, agree on a price, sort out the payment, and complete the sale.

Continue reading to find out more.

Selling a Car Privately: The Basics

It costs owing to technology and the internet access to technology and the internet access to technology and the internet access to technology and the internet access to technology and the internet access to technology and the internet access to technology and the internet access to technology If you’re feeling lazy, all you need to do is quickly upload a few photos from your smartphone to a social media site. In fact, if you need to sell your car quickly and you’re offering a clear discount, trying to do so on Facebook Marketplace isn’t a bad idea. If you want to get the best price for a car you’ve always coveted, that strategy is probably not going to be successful.

Make sure your car stands out in the crowd to get the best price possible. Even though online classified platforms make it simple to post a quick ad and hope for the best, when you’re selling privately you need to take the time to create the best advertisement possible.

Buyers always respond to ads that are carefully crafted and presented, so resist the urge to cut corners. Buyers will assume you are the kind of person who likes to do things properly if you have taken care with your advertisement, which includes taking care of your car. A slapdash ad suggests you probably take a similar approach to car maintenance, which is absolutely the worst impression you want to give prospective buyers.

This means that any “car for sale” advertisement should have a description that contains crucial details and high-quality pictures of the car’s relevant components.

Naturally, we’d strongly advise having your car detailed and cleaned before you take the photos, as a presentable car will be more appealing to buyers and give a good first impression. The documentation is all the same in this regard. Buyers will be drawn to you if you have a wallet full of receipts for car maintenance and servicing. Also keep in mind that you can use all of this advice to sell your car to a dealer or a business that says it will buy any car because it will help you get a fair price for it.

How to Sell Your Car Privately Follow the Step-by-step Guide
How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide

How to Sell Your Car Privately?

Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to sell your car privately.

Make Sure Your Car’s in Good Working Order

Making sure a car is mechanically sound before selling it is the first thing to do; a full service is typically a good idea.

The RAC offers vehicle inspections that cover 218 mechanical, structural, and other points. As an alternative, if you schedule a car service through us, all repairs made at our pre-approved garages are covered by a 12-month warranty. You can ensure the subsequent owner won’t deal with the same issues for a while in this manner.

Buyers might assume your car has issues if its MOT is short (less than three or four months), so it’s probably worth taking it in for a test.

Clean Your Car

This is an area where your car might fall short because dealers can spend hundreds of pounds getting ready each car for sale.

Either hire someone to clean the car for you, or put on your work gloves and give it a shot.

Nobody wants to purchase a filthy car, not least because the muck may be concealing the vehicle’s true state. Buyers will be able to see the car clearly and are more likely to have a positive first impression if it is clean both inside and out.

This guide will go over how to wash a car at home and some frequently asked questions about best practices for washing cars in order to assist you in keeping your car clean. 

How to Sell Your Car Privately Follow the Step-by-step Guide
How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide

Reaching a market of potential buyers is your next step once your car is looking its best.

Where to Advertise

Some of your options for selling your car include:

  • Selling it independently locally.
  • selling it on a website for used cars.
  • Selling it to a dealer.

Each option of selling your car privately has pros and cons, so consider what each will require of you. For example, selling on your own may take more time and legwork but may get you a better price. Although it might cost you a little money to list your car online, doing so could give you access to more potential customers. Selling to a dealer might lower the sale price but could put money in your pocket sooner and with less hassle, especially if your car isn’t in pristine condition

Taking Photos for the Advert

Discover a background that is neutral, such as a park or some trees. Make sure photos are in focus by tapping the phone screen to make it focus on a specific area, crouch down so you’re level with the car, and take photos from the front, back, sides, and three-quarter angles (i.e., standing a distance from each corner of the car and taking photos so they’re partially side on and partially head/rear on).

Snap the interior, front and rear, from a variety of angles, including one of the driver’s seat shot from the open front door from a slightly raised angle.

Photograph the dashboard and driver’s binnacle while the engine is running to display the vehicle’s mileage and the absence of any warning lights.

In order to avoid sun glare or distracting reflections, take pictures of each wheel as well as the boot.

Don’t photograph your car on the driveway, as this can give away your address to all and sundry, and make sure the background of your photos isn’t strewn with rubbish.

Writing the Advert

Once you enter your registration, the majority of websites will automatically fill in information like the make and model of the car. Verify that this information is accurate.

Depending on the website, additional space for a more thorough description might be available. Include some broad details about the car’s history and condition here without going overboard. A 50 to 75 word-long advert is considered the ‘sweet spot’.

If you’re stuck on what to say, our guide on how to write the perfect used car advert is a great place to start.

Don’t undersell the car, but do be honest about it. You don’t want to waste any potential customers’ or your own time. Be upfront about any issues that the buyer might want to fix up front.

How Much Should I Ask for My Car?

In addition to knowing your market, you also need to estimate the value of your vehicle before you commit to selling your car. Consult online tools for valuation or websites for used-car dealers for advice. To get an idea of what people are paying for similar cars, head to an online marketplace for car buyers and sellers. These resources can give you a glimpse of what you might reasonably ask for the vehicle.

How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide
How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide

Arrange Viewings

The easiest viewings to attend are typically those that take place in your home, and since you’re there already, you’ll feel at ease when it comes time to negotiate. Keep your address handy in case the buyer wants to verify that it matches the address on the V5 registration document.

To inspect the vehicle more thoroughly, buyers might decide to bring a companion. Someone booked through RAC vehicle inspections for example. So, if they arrive with a qualified mechanic, don’t be shocked.

If you’re worried about a stranger visiting your home, consider having a friend or relative there to provide reassurance, or even ask a neighbour to keep an eye out for you. You don’t even have to invite the buyer inside, most of the time they’ll be outside looking at the car.

Give the car a quick inspection before they arrive to make sure there are no obvious problems that you were unaware of. Does the car start without a hitch when you pull away and is it clean?

Offer a Test Drive

Test drives are common indications that a buyer likes what they see and are a necessary step in the purchasing process. However, there’s the important matters of insurance and road tax to consider.

You should request to see proof of insurance and note that the car must be taxed or the buyer runs the risk of receiving a fine of up to £1,000. You are within your rights to inquire about this if the car is still insured in your name and their policy may allow them to drive other vehicles.

Despite the fact that it only offers third party insurance (and therefore won’t cover your car if the buyer is in an accident), this will give the buyer the right to legally operate your vehicle.

Even test drive insurance is available from The RAC, providing customers with short-term comprehensive coverage from one hour to 30 days in just 15 minutes.

If the buyer is not insured to drive your car, but you are the policyholder and the car is otherwise legal, offer to let them drive in the passenger seat. It’s not as good as driving the car themselves, but it should give them an idea of its performance.

Depending on your location, try to give the buyer a good drive on a variety of roads, allowing them to travel at speeds up to 60 or 70 mph. There should be enough time, about 20 minutes. How to Sell a Car When You Still Have a Loan?

How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide
How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide

Agree on a Price

You should have thought about the negotiation beforehand since it is inevitable.

The key is to set a maximum discount that you’re willing to accept in your mind. Depending on the value of the car, this could range from two to ten percent of the asking price.

Allow the buyer to bring up negotiating; when they do, be assertive. If you’ve done everything in this guide, your car should be desirable and you’re in a strong position to hold your nerve.

Allow the buyer to make the opening bid. If it falls short of your target, lower your price so that it is more in line with the buyer’s budget, but don’t get too desperate. Don’t worry about letting the buyer leave if you and they can’t come to an agreement on a price. They might have a change of heart after they’ve thought about it, or someone else might call about your car the second they walk away.

Sort Out the Payment

You’ve located a buyer and reached an agreement on a cost. How do you want to be compensated now?

  • Cash

This is one of the safest ways to be paid.

The buyer should be met at your bank so you can pay the money in with them there. Count the cash out carefully; if possible, have someone else double-check it for you. If you are worried about counterfeit money, ask to be met there. In this manner, the cashier can examine your notes for you.

  • Bank transfer

This may be easier than taking cash but can take time.

The buyer can transfer funds to your account using an app, online banking, phone, or in-person at their bank, but don’t let them leave until the transfer is finished.

  • Cheque or banker’s draft

The time it takes for the funds to clear makes this method of conducting business quite antiquated. Before handing over the car, make sure you have the money in your account, just like with a bank transfer.

Never be afraid to tell a buyer that the deal is off and walk away if something ever doesn’t feel right.

Complete the Sale

Once the money has been handed over, you’ll need to draw up some simple paperwork to keep things clear and above board for both parties.

You must at the very least give a written receipt, so it is important to use proper grammar. For maximum protection the AA recommends including the following statement on the receipt: “sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee”. In fact, the AA website offers a straightforward one-page contract that is perfect for the job. Simply print out a few copies, ask the buyer to sign both of them with a date next to yours, and keep one copy for yourself and the buyer.

You’ll also need to complete the ‘new keeper’ section of the V5C logbook and sign the declaration, as will the buyer who should keep the small V5C/2 section of the form as proof of the change of ownership until their new V5 arrives. Read more: How to Sign Over a Car Title?

How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide
How to Sell Your Car Privately? Follow the Step-by-step Guide


Is It Legal to Sell a Car Privately?

The only legal terms that cover a private sale contract are: The seller must have the right to sell the car. The vehicle should match the description given by the seller.

Who Pays the Most for Used Cars?

Regardless of the age of the vehicle, we again found that Carmax is the best bet for a seller looking to get top dollar. For vehicles made in the last six years, as well as those from 2009 and earlier, the difference in offers is especially noticeable.

What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car Privately?

You will need a Notification of Change of Ownership (NCO) so you can transfer the right of ownership of your car. (This is available at your local traffic department) When you want to sell a used car, you and the buyer must sign copies of the NOC form. To the Department of Transportation must be sent one copy.

Where Can I Do Change of Ownership of a Car?

The purchaser must visit the registering authority with all required documentation to change the ownership of a vehicle. The seller only needs to complete a NCO form, which the buyer should also bring when requesting a change of ownership for the vehicle. The buyer does not need to visit the Registration Authority.

Summary: How to Sell Your Car Privately?

Trading in may be an easy route if you’re intent on buying a replacement, but that’s not going to get you maximum value.

Dealers will always include in their calculations not only what the car is worth, but what they think they can get for it, and how long it might sit on their forecourt before it’s sold. There will always be less money available than the car is actually worth.

So, what about selling it yourself? You’ll receive more money than you would from a trade-in, and you’ll then have a little more negotiating power when buying your next vehicle. Here, we’ll details the ins and outs of private car sales, explaining how to sell a car privately, what prep work you should do when selling a car yourself, as well as other information such as if you can sell your car without an MOT, or what’s involved in selling a car with mechanical problems.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. KV Auto tries to give you the best car industry information. Thank you for reading.

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