At some time in your motoring life, you will be faced with the problem of selling a car.
If you've never done it before, it can be quite daunting.
RAC has compiled this simple step by step guide to take you through the process and relieve any apprehension you may feel.
You will need to give the right impression if you want to sell your car privately.
Wash and polish the car and clean the interior.
Carry out any simple mechanical repairs that are needed.
Make sure all the lights and electrical components (wipers, heater, air con etc) are working.
Tidy up loose bodywork items (door handles, trim panels, mud flaps etc) and touch up any minor paint defects like stone chips and rust spots.
If you are advertising in a magazine, newspaper, internet, or on a community or work notice board - be honest about the vehicle's condition. List any extra features and give as many details as you can (sedan, hatchback, station wagon, colour, engine size etc).
Avoid using statements like "first to see will buy" as it does little to convince buyers of the vehicles condition.
Be realistic about the asking price. Don't overprice the car, but leave some room for haggling.
Don't misrepresent the car, if it has a serious defect that you are aware of, tell potential buyers or risk being sued for damages.
One on the best things you can do when selling a car is provide potential buyers with a complete service history of the vehicle. Show them the service book and any receipts for repairs that you might have.
Have the vehicle documentation (current licence papers) ready for viewing.
Trading in your vehicle is one of the least painful ways of disposing of a car.
You will still need to clean and polish the car and repair any minor defects. Remember a vehicle that is well presented will attract a better price.
Don't settle on the first price offered.
Shop around, as prices can differ significantly and can depend on such variables as:
- The mood of the salesperson.
- How many vehicles they have in stock.
- How much you are paying for the car you are purchasing.
- If it is near closing time.
- Your attitude.
Many licensed dealers will purchase vehicles for cash and it can be a very quick way of disposing of your vehicle with a minimum of paperwork and hassle.
When selling to a dealer you cannot expect to achieve the same price as selling privately. The dealer will have to allow for his costs, profit and an allowance for warranty repairs. You should shop around for the best price.
Leaving your car with a licensed dealer on consignment is fraught with danger. You will still have title to the car (you still own it) but you will have little control over what is happening to it. The car can be taken anywhere and driven by anyone without your knowledge. If the vehicle is damaged or stolen, it is your problem as you are still responsible for anything that happens to it, including traffic infringements.
Another problem with leaving your car on consignment is that you will be depending on the dealer to tell you when it is sold, which may not be immediately. You also have no control over when you will be paid for the vehicle.
Some licensed dealers take out insurance with the Motor Trade Association to cover them when dealing with cars on consignment. We don't recommend that you sell your car on consignment unless you are sure that the dealer is covered by this insurance.
Selling your car at auction has some advantages.
The auctioneer will look after the paperwork. You won't have the hassle of people telephoning about the car and taking it for a test drive, there will be no "time wasters".
Most auctioneers provide car detailing services (for a fee) and give advice on what price you can expect for the car.
They will advertise your vehicle and expose it to a large car buying audience.The fee you pay will be a percentage of the selling price.
The auctioneer will discuss a reserve price with you and once the reserve is reached, the vehicle is then sold to the highest bidder. If the reserve price is not reached, the auctioneer will then negotiate a price between the highest bidder and you.
Be realistic about the reserve price or you may end up not selling the vehicle.