So it’s time to part ways. Breakups can be hard, but sometimes they’re necessary. You thought it was true love that lasted forever, but then the engine started getting sloppy and you found yourself a younger model with electric folding side mirrors. We are, of course, talking about selling your car. But how do you sell your motor? We’ve put this guide together detailing the best way to sell a used car for a great price.
Know your car’s worth
Before selling your car you’ll need to know how much it’s worth. At this point, you will only be able to get an estimation, which you can do by entering the registration on a sales website like Autotrader.
The value is based on the make, model and mileage but doesn’t take factors into account like damage, quality of tires, service record and how long the MOT has left. However, you will be able to get a ballpark figure that should give you a decent idea of your car’s worth. You can use this when setting an asking price.
A private sale is generally the best way to get the highest amount for your car. You won’t need to pay any admin fees, or other costs associated with dealerships and online car sales websites.
You can sell your car online with websites like AutoTrader, Gumtree and even eBay. And while a private sale might get you the highest amount of money, it’s also the most time consuming and carries the highest risk.
Just remember that it will take more of your time as you need to book appointments, ensure that all the documentation is correct, and arrange safe ways for buyers to see the car and provide payments should they wish to buy it.
Using a car dealership might not give you the optimal price, but it’s hassle-free, and they will take care of the majority of the sale. You also have the option to part-exchange your car for a new make and model. Essentially, a dealership gives you more options when selling.
If you’re part-exchanging, the dealership may be more inclined to find an agreement with you, as they’ll want to sell their car and might be happy to offer a bit more for your vehicle if it means doing a deal on a new car.
Over the past 10-or-so years, car-buying websites have increased in popularity. If you’re after convenience, then this could be the best route to go down for selling your car. You simply enter your reg number on the company’s website and get an estimated valuation.
However, once you turn up to sell your car, you’re likely to receive a lower offer, as the online valuation is subject to a physical inspection of the vehicle. You will also need to pay an administration fee. This option can be a good one if you're in a rush to sell your car. But if you have time on your side, it might be worth exploring other options, like a private sale or part-exchanging at the dealership.
Selling your car with finance
You can sell a car by your chosen method even if it has outstanding finance. However, you will need to inform the finance company first and ask them for a settlement figure. This will be the amount they require to pay off the loan.
Once the car is sold, you will need to pay the settlement figure, along with any early repayment and admin fees (if any). Any money left over will be yours to put towards a new car or anything else that takes your fancy.
Which option gets me the best price?
A private sale could get you the highest amount of money upfront, but selling to a dealership is often the best all-around deal, especially if you’re part-exchanging. There should be an appetite on their side to do a good deal, as they’ll want to sell one of their cars. Whichever option you choose, just remember to be thorough, check the documentation and ensure you’ve paid off any finance owed. Take care of the details, and you can look forward to selling your car and getting the keys to a shiny new motor.