Your options for selling your used car

When it’s time to sell it car, be it to upgrade, downgrade or simply switch to a bicycle (becoming common in larger inner city areas!) you have options available to you.

Each option, on face value has apparent advantages and disadvantages. Making the right choice is about understanding the option and your scenario.

You can drive your car to any dealership in the country, a main dealer chain or a single site used car showroom and sell it within minutes, assuming you have the relevant paperwork for your car. This sounds great, but it will come at a cost, a significant cost. Like all businesses, car dealerships exist to make money and you’ll be offered a lot less for your car than you might expect. You’ll also likely have to make your own way home. This suddenly sounds less attractive!

You can sell your car privately, but this can be incredibly time consuming. You have to market the car, and then you become a used car sales person, having to field sales calls, carry out viewing of the vehicle and more often than not, awkwardly negotiate a price for the car, which may or may not result in a sale. Having said that, you may well get the best possible price for your car by selling it privately, but, and this is important, if you have to market your car for a month or two before it sells you are likely to lose a significant amount of money from advertising, depreciation and your valuable time. Depreciation isn’t to be taken lightly, particularly on newer used cars where a new registration can wipe thousands off a cars value almost overnight. Selling a car privately is a game that requires careful thought before beginning the process, as a lot of cars that are advertised do not sell.

Another option to sell your car is to consider a website where you are paid instantly for your car. This removes the stress of waiting to sell your car and the hassle of having to market it, but can come at a hefty cost financially versus a private sale. Fortunately this market has become much more competitive over the years and now, more than ever before, it is a realistic option for someone wanting to sell their used car quickly, get paid quickly and at a sensible price.

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The unknowns of selling a car privately

When you sell a car privately, you enter into a world of the unknown. Most people will have, at some point sold a car privately, or known someone who has. There’s always going to be mixed experiences but you can be sure that everyone will become an expert if you ask for advice!

The first consideration when selling a car privately is that you do not control over how much time it will take to sell the car, it could be an hour, it could be a year. Both are extreme examples, but not unique! Consider time as a powerful factor into your decision making process when looking to sell as there’s nothing worse than having a car parked outside your house losing money everyday, particularly if you have another car!

Another common unknown, when selling a car you bought used is that it may well have a hidden history that you are not aware of! Of course, this doesn’t doesn’t apply to every car but it’s more common than you might think. A hidden history simply means there’s something that you don’t know about the car and for that reason, won’t tell the new owner. This can range from outstanding finance, which has very serious implications for both you, selling the car and the new owner to missing documents and service books, which are a headache through to complete unknowns such as tyre damage. Selling a car privately often will mean that the car isn’t inspected professionally at all and so poor maintenance can be missed. Whilst the rights for a private buyer are different to a buyer purchasing from a car trader or dealership, you still have moral implications to consider should something occur. This isn’t intended to scare you off selling your car privately, but it is something to be mindful of!

One unknown that virtually everyone ignores is the depreciation and lifecycle of a cars value. Cars lose value quickly, and the used car market is cyclical, that is to say that certain months of the year are quieter than others. In the same way that selling Christmas trees in July won’t result in many sales, the used car market has some parallels! Selling a convertible in November will likely result in a lower price than in March, although this difference is less pronounced on newer convertibles due to their effective weatherproofing, they will be more affected by the plate change.

These unknowns should all be carefully considered before deciding to sell your car privately – it can be more costly than other options!

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Preparing your car to sell!

Selling your car is often a slightly emotional experience, and whilst the process of selling your car online can be made painless, there are still considerations that must be taken into account before handing over the vehicle.

Three primary areas that should be considered are cosmetic, mechanical and paperwork.

Cosmetic areas are concerned with the look of the car, which includes the bodywork, the glass, the interior and cleaning out all the accumulated junk from under the seats! It’s important to be sensible about this. With millions of cars on the road, people have choice! Having a clean car that really sparkles can make the difference between someone making an offer on the vehicle or simply paying the asking price. Over and above this, a car that is cleaned also enables any damage to show up, so putting a car to market that isn’t clean may raise suspicions of hidden damage, perhaps small scratches on panels and stone chips on the bonnet and front bumper. The place to start with getting the car looking good is removing everything from the car that isn’t going to be sold, those old sweet wrappers, pens in the glovebox, and hopefully a small fortune of loose change under the seats!

Once the car is tidy, it’s then a good idea to have it cleaned professionally and it’s a real buyers market today with hand car washes popping up all over the place. Whilst these may not be perfect, they’re a great way to get hard to clean parts of the car looking good such as the alloy wheels and those notoriously stubborn flies that have sacrificed their life to be on your front bumper!

Once the car is clean, you make an assessment for any damage and decide whether it should be repaired or not. If the car is nearly new, it’s virtually almost always a good idea to have small cosmetic work carried out so the car can be sold as new.

We’re very visual creatures and pick up on looks quickly, but another important sense that we all use in decision making is smell! If you’ve had animals in your car, or smoked in it, make sure to remove the smelly evidence!

From a mechanical point of view, cars can and do break down and that costs money. People want to feel reassured that the car they’re considering buying has the least chance of this happening so make sure that scheduled services have been completed and all the fluids are topped up. The ‘schoolboy’ offender is not having topped up the washer fluid. Besides from being annoying, it’s actually an offence to use a car on the road without being able to clean the windscreen. Other mechanical aspects to consider are whether all the lights work, inside and outside, all the switches, dials and controls and if there are any noises from anywhere that shouldn’t be!

Again, make an assessment as to any repairs that are needed. It’s worth finding out what it will cost to fix, as often repairs can be very cheap and make a big difference to a cars desirability.

Finally, paperwork.

If you want your car to be an easy sale, make it an easy buy. Whilst things are changing with respect to tax disks, MOT certificates and so on it’s still very helpful to have as much documentation as you can. At the very least the registration document of the car (the V5c), the most recent MOT certificate if applicable and certainly any sales invoices for the car itself are helpful.

Receipts and sales invoices for parts and servicing over the years should be kept together in a plastic wallet and in chronological order. This makes it easy for someone to quickly make a decision to buy your car!

To conclude, preparation is an important part of the process of selling your car, don’t neglect it!

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Potential pitfalls of selling a used car privately

Whilst many people sell their car privately without a hiccup, many don’t! There’s several important things to be aware of when selling your car. Here’s a few, to have on your radar.

Firstly, your time is valuable! It’s often underestimated how much time you can use up selling a car privately! Beyond preparing the car so that it can be sold, you have market the car. There’s various ways to do this from the more traditional ‘sign in the window of the car’ to the far more common method of listing a car on an online website such as AutoTrader, Gumtree, eBay or similar. These websites all put your car in front of an audience. However, this audience is far from dream scenario of people ready to buy your car right now for the asking price.

Wherever money goes, people go and sometimes for the less than innocent motives. You’re likely to get phone calls, a lot of phone calls from listing your car on the large websites and lots of phone calls take up a lot of time.

Of course, if the phone calls are from people wanting to pay the asking price then great, but they’re not. A significant proportion of the calls will be motor traders (people or companies who buy and sell cars for a living), they will want to pay trade prices for the car and often be very pushy to get the car from you for a low price. Another group of people who will call you are called ‘tyre kickers’, these are people who will never buy. You’ll get calls asking lots of questions about your car, the history of it, why you’re selling it and so on. They make good conversation and may even show up to view the car, but it goes nowhere and you’re still there with your car having paid to advertise it.

Finally, you may get a call from someone who actually does want to buy your car, let’s hope that once you’ve finally got this phone call you are polite and friendly to them after the plethora of other phone calls!

Think about how valuable your time is when selling a car privately, it can be an arduous process to say the least!

Payment is another side of selling a car that can be stressful, as there’s almost always a period of time where you’re concerned that the buyer has actually paid. This emotion is felt across the range from a few hundreds pounds in cash (is the money real?) to tens of thousands of pounds paid into your bank account. With larger amounts, it’s quite natural to feel a little nervous and unless you genuinely trust the seller it can be quite nerve wracking! Of course, with a larger company or dealership buying your car, the stress evaporates, but at a cost of typically a lower price paid for your car.

The solution is these potentially time consuming and financially tricky scenarios is to consider selling your car online to a trusted organisation that has a buyer ready for your car.

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Yes You Can sell Your Car Online And Get Paid The Sameday.

We represent the UK’s best car buying services so you can sell your car quickly and easily

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So what other options do we have to sell your car?

Everyone knows selling your car can be extremely hard work placing Ads and having multiple viewings.

Most UK vehicle owners typically use AutoTrader, Gumtree or Ebay but premium ads are a little expensive
and standard ones offer little exposure, so your vehicle could be sitting on your drive for another six weeks.

The Quickest Way To Sell Your Car Online

We have searched the marketplace to find the best online car buyer, Just enter your registration on the form
at the top of this page and see what you can get for your vehicle today.

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