Selling your car is often regarded as one of the most stressful activities in life – and, if you’re not a car expert, it can often feel like the sale is largely out of your control.

So, here are 8 great tips that will help you sell your car – and put you back in the driving seat.


1. Getting an understanding of your car’s true value

Though you might value your car highly – it might even hold great sentimental value for you – when you come to sell it, you’ll quickly discover that its true value is set by the market.

Your car’s value will be affected by such factors as age, mileage, condition, and service history – but market prices are the biggest driver. So, it is essential that you get a good idea of its true market value before selling.

2. How to value your car

The good news is that getting an accurate idea of your car’s value is quicker and easier than it’s ever been. There are now many online websites – such as Motorway – that will provide you with an instant estimated sale price for your car based on current market data, just by entering your reg number.

However, you could also scan the pages of Auto Trader and eBay to check what prices similar models are reaching in private sales.

3. Making an informed choice

Knowing what you want from the sale of your car will help inform how you sell. Ask yourself, what do you care about most? Speed, convenience, or final selling price?

If you just want to sell the car as quickly as possible – and are willing to sacrifice a bit on the end price for convenience, then you should probably choose an instant car-buying website or part-exchange your car at a dealership.

If you are more interested in getting the best price you can for your car, then selling privately on a classified website or online auction is typically a better option. However, before embarking on this, it is worth remembering that selling privately can be a long and drawn-out process and it might involve you showing your car to a large number of prospective buyers over a long period.

4. Pick the best selling route for you

If you do decide to sell privately, you might attain a higher price than you would at an instant car-buying website. However, you’re also picking a sale route with no guarantees. Plus, you will most likely have to deal with several prospective buyers coming to your house, putting up with timewasters, and potentially bartering over the car’s price.

Until recently, private selling, part-exchanging and instant car-buying sites were the only way to sell, but if you want convenience and the best price for your car, you could try Motorway.

Motorway will put your car on sale with a nationwide network of more than 4,000 verified car dealers – who will then compete to buy your car. Not only is it quick and easy, but with this free online service, you can potentially receive more than £1,000 more for your car.

5. Preparing your car

If you’re selling to an instant car buyer or part-exchanging, you won’t need to do too much with your car except to remove your belongings from it before handing over your keys.

If you’re selling privately, however, you should ensure that your car is looking as good as possible to avoid prospective buyers chipping away at the price at the last minute.

Make sure that your car is cleaned thoroughly inside and out and – if it’s worth your while – fix any minor issues, such as correcting small dents and scratches. Replacing worn floor mats and buying a good-quality air freshener is usually a good idea.

If you are using an online service like Motorway, it is also a good idea to make your car look as good as possible, as their network of verified dealers will study pictures of your car before they compete to make you an offer.

6. Knowing when to negotiate

Though you are less likely to negotiate if you use an instant online car-buying service, some will try to chip down the price at the last minute if they discover the condition of your car is in any way different to how you initially described it.

If you are selling privately or part-exchanging then you should probably be prepared to barter over the price if you want to make a good deal. When meeting a car dealer

or prospective buyer ensure you’re armed with research about what your car is worth. You should always try to stand your ground and be prepared to walk away from the negotiation if a dealer or prospective buyer tries to radically reduce the price when they inspect your car.

If you have done the requisite research, this will give you confidence about the car’s true value – and you will know when a dealer or potential buyer is trying to pull a fast one.

If negotiating with buyers and dealers seems daunting, consider using Motorway’s free service which will match your car with a verified dealer willing to pay the best price without the need for negotiating.

7. Getting payment

However you choose to sell your car, it is vital that you don’t hand over your car keys until you have been paid. Never allow a buyer to pay by cheque or promise to transfer the money later.

A reputable buyer will understand you need to be paid before you hand over the keys – either with cash or bank transfer. If it’s a transfer, you need to confirm that the appropriate funds have reached your bank account – or request evidence that the transfer has been completed in the form of a receipt or digital transaction statement.

Motorway’s service is totally free for sellers – and payment is always made by secure bank transfer.

8. After the sale

Once you have confirmed payment for your car, you should hand over your car keys (including any spares), the ‘new owner’ section of your V5C (logbook), and your service and MOT history.

As well as informing the DVLA that you have sold your car, you need to cancel your car insurance and reclaim your road tax. Many drivers don’t realise road tax can be reclaimed after the sale of a car. The DVLA actually makes this process very easy on their website.

This article was brought to you in association with Motorway