Getting your car ready for sale is essential. Clean the car inside and out and make sure it's tidy. It's also worth getting a new MOT as this says a lot about the car's basic condition. Many people like to see the car has a certain number of months still taxed so if possible try and see with some cover still left.
Time to Impress
Key point If your vehicle has a serious defect and is unroadworthy, you could be breaking the law by selling it, if you haven't described it accurately.
Consider a full, professional valet service. It can really make a difference to the price and how easily you can sell the car. Repair any minor paintwork damage or simple mechanical faults too. Now you're ready to market your car, so here are some tips for a stress-free sale.
Ten Top Tips for a Smooth Sale
1. Price your car realistically. This is vital if you want a quick sale.
- Check the prices of similar cars in popular classified ad magazines or online
- Try car price comparison sites such as http://www.cararena.co.uk or car buying sites such as http://www.bestcarbuyer.co.uk or www.freecarvaluations.co.uk
2. You can't sell a car with outstanding finance.
- This includes outstanding hire-purchase or conditional sale agreements.
- If you do want to sell, get the finance company's permission or settle the finance first.
3. Don't make false or reckless claims. Take care how you word your advert.
- Lines like 'First to see will buy' won't convince anyone.
4. In adverts, stick to facts that will interest potential buyers.
- Describe the car as accurately as possible.
- Quote the year/number plate, how many months are left on the MOT and where you are based.
5. State the condition of the car in adverts and on the receipt.
- If it's being sold for spares only, or it requires substantial repairs, say so.
- Include this information on the receipt once you've agreed to sell.
6. Have all documents and history handy.
- Keep receipts for work carried out.
- Have all MOT certificates and service records to hand.
- A fully-stamped dealer service record adds value if you've got one.
- Don't forget to hand over all relevant documents when you sell.
7. Check the buyer is insured to test drive the car. Your own insurance may cover you.
- Always go with them.
- Key point Avoid becoming a victim of car theft – if you change seats part way through, take the keys with you and hand them over when you get back in the car.
8. Build in a margin for haggling.
- That way the buyer's happy and you still get close to the amount you want.
9. Provide a 'Sold as seen, tried and approved without guarantee' receipt.
- Bear in mind that no wording on the receipt is foolproof.
10. Get paid.
- Don't let anyone drive your car away until you're satisfied that you've been paid in full.
- Cash or CHAPS transfer directly into your bank account are always the best ways to be paid
- If you are given a personal or building society cheque, wait for it to clear in your bank before you hand the car over.