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Lifestyle Guides

How to sell a car

Make selling your car easy with this advice from Admiral. With top tips on price, taking a good photo and staying safe, this is an essential read


Time to get a new car or you no longer want yours? Whatever the reason for selling your car, we have some top tips to guide you through the process.

Selling your car privately is more than likely going to give you the best return, but it takes a little time and effort to get your vehicle sale-ready. 

In a competitive market, you're going to have to make sure your car stands out from the rest, so follow our top tips to help get you a quick sale.

1. Check for outstanding finance

If you bought your car on finance it is illegal to knowingly sell the car with outstanding finance. You must contact your finance company to get a settlement figure and pay this off in full before selling your car. You may also be subject to early repayment and administration fees.

2. Make sure your car looks its best

It goes without saying really, but you have to make sure your car is looking its best. A buyer is more likely to snap it up if they feel the car has been well looked after. So, thoroughly clean the motor inside and out or even splash out on a valeting service. Think about touching up any minor dents or scratches.

3. Work out how much to sell your car for

Use price comparison websites to make sure you correctly price your car; the right price could mean a quick sale. Consider your car's mileage, age, condition and features for a more accurate price and make sure you factor in a bit of wiggle room for haggling.

4. Take great photos of your car

No one's going to be interested if your photos are blurry or the car looks like nothing more than a coloured dot on the page. Make sure your images are sharp and in focus and take them when the car is well-lit, dry (and clean!). Get the whole car in and get close-ups of selling points such as alloy wheels or leather seats.

5. Choose where to advertise 

You have plenty of options for advertising your car - local newspapers, 'free ads', online sites such as Gumtree, notices in shops, sticking a 'for sale' sign up in the car or even selling it at auction. If you're writing an advert be sure to include all the relevant information such as make and model, registration and plate number, mileage etc. And of course, don't forget the price and your contact number.

6. Stay safe

If you're privately selling there are a few simple steps to make sure you, and your car, are safe. Never let the buyer go on a test drive alone - they may not come back, and make sure the driver is insured to drive your car. Don't meet the buyer alone if you feel nervous and always ask the buyer for proof of identity.

7. Sign a contract

Before your buyer drives off make sure you are satisfied that you've been paid in full. You should also have a seller's contract drawn up and completed by you and the buyer. Contracts should be signed and dated by both parties, and make sure you each keep a copy. You can also provide a written sold as seen receipt. You can create your own contract online very easily.

8. Notify the DVLA

Don't forget to tell the DVLA that you are no longer the registered keeper of the vehicle. It's up to you to do this - you don't want to potentially end up paying for the new driver's offences.

Looking into buying a new car for yourself? See how Admiral Loans could be able to help you.