We’ve put together answers to the most common questions from Motorway customers looking to sell their car. If you can’t find the information you’re after here, feel free to contact us at any time.
Motorway gives you a free online car valuation from multiple car buyers. When you provide us with your registration number and mileage, we instantly retrieve valuations from our car buying partners, and display them in a handy table.
The valuations provided are instant quotes from our various car buying partners, and represent the price they’re willing to buy your car for, assuming it’s in good condition. They’ll provide these valuations based on their own valuation systems. What your car is worth is down to a huge variety of factors (in fact, it can be up to 200+ factors). As well as using information about your specific car’s history, our partners will also use car industry trade valuation guides for cars of your type, data from the current used car market and their own trading history to provide an indicative price. You can read everything you need to know about valuing your car in our car valuation guide.
However, here are the main things that will affect your car’s value:
When you enter your registration and mileage into Motorway, we pass this information instantly to our car buying partners. They will use their own valuation algorithms to instantly generate a valuation they’re willing to offer, and these are then all displayed on our website for you to compare.
They will use data sources like the DVLA database (to provide all the details about the make, model and engine of your car), and may also use third-party market data providers to provide indicative market values. They’ll also have their own trading history of buying and selling cars. All this will feed into a final price they are willing to offer, and these are the prices we display on Motorway.
As well as asking you to enter your registration number, we ask for your mileage details to make our online estimate more accurate.
As a price comparison site, the offers shown on Motorway are provided by our partner car buying sites, so we don’t have control over the prices. Our goal is to find you the best possible instant offers from companies of this type.
Online car buyers often offer lower prices than you might find via a private sale. However, the process is instant, hassle free, and you can complete the sale within 24 hours with free collection and same day payment.
It is likely that you can achieve a higher price for your car by selling it privately (such as on Auto Trader or eBay), or through part-exchange for a new car. But that process takes longer, and has no guarantee of success.
It’s worth noting during your research that the prices you might see on sites like Auto Trader for similar cars to yours are often sold by car dealers, not private individuals. Dealers can achieve much higher prices than an individual can, because cars are verified, guaranteed and they often offer the buyer finance deals, free servicing, condition warranties and so on, which private sellers cannot offer.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to selling your car here, this guide outlines the options for private sales and part exchange as well as other options.
To get an instant online car valuation, all you need to give us is your car registration plate, your vehicle’s mileage and your contact information.
With this data, our car buying partners can generate vehicle information from the Government’s DVLA database, for example (your car’s make, model, colour and age). This will be queried alongside data from the current car market to give you an online valuation.
The price quoted by car buying partners is always the price they will aim to pay subject to a check in-person or over the phone from one of their team.
For further, general info about car valuations, we also offer a full car valuation guide which has more info about online, part exchange and car dealer valuations.
It is in the interest of our car buying partners to offer you the best possible price they can for your car so you want to sell it to them. Since many of them will need to sell on to a further dealer before final purchase by a new owner, they need to leave room to make a margin on your car. For that reason, the valuation offered is not likely to be quite as high as what you may see on private sale websites like AutoTrader or eBay. However, our partners will offer to buy your car instantly for cash. Selling privately will take much longer, and involve a lot more hassle.
In all cases, you are under no obligations to sell your car at the valuations provided, and you’re free to explore other methods of sale (such as selling privately or directly to a local dealer) and you can always come back to our buying partners at a later date if these routes don’t work out.
You can find out more about the different options you have for selling your car in our Top 10 Car Selling Tips Guide and (if you have a little more time on your hands) our Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Car
Each of our partners have different policies on how long your valuation is valid. In general, most valuations are valid for a 7 day period. Even though there may be price fluctuations in the car market from the time, your quote should not be amended during this window.
Once this period has expired, you’ll need to do a new valuation before completing your car sale, so it pays to move quickly if you want to accept an offer presented.
We immediately pass your contact details to the car buyer you select if you choose to continue, and they may be in contact with you to discuss the sale of your car – either via email or over the phone.
Some of our partners may also call you with an offer 24 hours after you value your car on Motorway if they are interested in purchasing your vehicle.
We aim to help you sell any make, model or value of car. Our partners will buy nearly-new cars, cars aged 1-3 years with a few thousand miles on the clock right up to older models aged 5-15 years with 50,000+ miles behind them.
However, if your car is at all unusual or potentially of high value or at all ‘out of the ordinary’, we may not be able to give you an instant valuation online. In these instances, we will let you know after you enter your car details online and we will then give you a number to call to discuss your car sale with one of our buying partners, who may have further questions for you before a price can be quoted.
As well as every manufacturer and every class of car, you can also sell vans via Motorway.
Yes, provided the damage is light. If your car has dents or scratches it will affect the final price, but if the car is a ‘runner’ and is roadworthy and in re-sellable condition, then we will be able to find a price for it. Unfortunately, many of our car buying partners are not able to buy written off or ‘non running’ cars – i.e. cars that are not roadworthy and in very bad condition. You can read more about selling ‘junk’ cars in our scrap my car guide.
Yes, although we or our partners cannot offer any additional loans to pay off existing finance. If you sell your car via Motorway, the car buying partner you select should be able to help you settle the car finance as part of the selling process (provided the amount owed is lower than the value of the car) and give you the remainder of the money straight into your bank account.
With a standard ‘HP’ or ‘PCP’ finance agreement, you will need to settle the finance on the car or end the agreement by paying off any money owed before you are able to sell the car on. There is a very simple process for this, and our car buying partner will guide you through everything you need to know.
Ending car finance involves getting a ‘settlement figure’ from your finance company so you have a stated amount that must be paid before the finance can be ended. If you request it, your car finance provider has to post a settlement figure to you within 12 days (however, the figure is usually given to you within 1-3 days).
Once you have received the figure, the number is usually valid for 10 days to pay it off. You would need to keep an eye on any Direct Debits set up so you do not overpay (you can cancel the direct debit when the settlement process is complete), however, even if you overpay for your finance via direct debit in error, your finance company is legally obligated to pay it back to you.
While our car buying partners do everything they can to honour online valuations or quotes they provide through Motorway (transparency is our number one priority), they will need to perform an actual physical inspection of your car before they drive away and transfer the money into your bank account. This usually happens on collection day.
All prices quoted are subject to a successful inspection – provided the details you’ve provided to the car buying company are full and complete, there should be minimal change to the quote provided online.
In all cases inspectors are experienced at checking cars over internally and externally, and will never look to ‘chip off’ money unnecessarily before you’re given a final price.
Unfortunately our partners can not buy non-running cars (cars that are not able or authorised to drive down the road) at present. If your car fits this profile, it may be worth considering scrapping your car – many scrap car firms will collect your vehicle.
Motorway provides valuations and offers for your car from multiple car buying partners. Some of these partners require you to drop off your car, others offer a home or work collection service which is often free.
If you need to drive your car to a drop-off location, most of our buyers have numerous locations around the country where you can deliver your car.
When you enter your reg to value your car at Motorway, in the comparison table results for your car valuation, you will be able to see the nearest drop-off point to you.
Depending on which car buyer you choose, you can book an appointment with the partner in question at one of their branches and drive your car to the drop-off location, or you can arrange collection.
We have detailed the differences between our partner car buyers in our WeBuyAnyCar Alternatives Guide which lists the various collection and drop off criteria of each car buying website.
Many of our car buying partners have an option for your car to be collected from any home or work address.
If you do not want to have to drive to a drop off point, just select a buying partner offering a collection service. Collection is usually free and can be arranged within 24 hours.
Partners which offer a collection option are generally able to collect your car from anywhere in the UK – whether that’s a residential address, a work address or other location.
You will be able to confirm this by contacting them on the phone to discuss the details of your sale before your appointment.
Our partners generally collect cars during the working week from Monday to Friday and operate during office hours 9AM to 5.30PM.
This will depend on the car buying partner you select to sell your car with. Collection is usually free when offered, but any fees will be clearly outlined in the comparison table.
You will be paid by instant bank transfer. The time it takes for your money to be received depends on the partner you’ve chosen to sell your car to and their payment options. Most offer a same day transfer option, either for free or with a transaction fee. Please refer to the comparison tables on your car valuation to confirm the options for the partner selected.
No, physical cash payments (i.e. bundles of notes) are not possible. For security reasons our car buying partners never carry cash with them to buy your car, nor do they store any physical cash at collection points.
You will be paid in cash via a bank transfer straight into your bank account after the successful purchase of your vehicle.
Payment is either immediate (on ‘collection day’) or can take 3-5 days, depending on who you have sold your car to and the service you have selected.
We sometimes use ‘cash’ in our website terminology in reference to money, to make it clear that we pay for your car outright (i.e. not part exchange), but physical cash is never suggested or offered via our platform. You can read more in our cash for cars guide.
Exactly that: this means your payment is instant and usually happens before our partner drives away with your car.
This instant payment is only be possible for UK-based current accounts (in £ sterling) that are able to accept online transfers.
This depends on the car buying company you choose to sell your car to. Some have no fees, and others may charge a fee on successful purchase. These fees are clearly set out in the comparison tables shown on our website, and in the terms and conditions of the buyer you select.
Our partners will need various documents in order to check the validity of your car, perform an instant bank transfer of your money into your bank account on sale day, and complete the transfer of ownership. Have these documents ready in advance:
If you are the registered keeper of the vehicle:
If you are not the registered keeper of the vehicle:
It’s essential to have a record that the person selling the car is the owner of the car or the owner (or estate in the case of death) has authorised the sale of the car. For that reason, you’ll need to get a new V5(c) document before you can sell your car. For instructions on how to do that, please follow this link to the DVLA.
If you have more than one month of road tax left on your car, you can easily claim back money from the DVLA.
On selling your car, if you pay by Direct Debit, the Direct Debit will be cancelled automatically, otherwise you will get a refund cheque for any full months left. The refund is calculated from the date DVLA gets your information and the cheque is sent to the name and address on the vehicle’s log book.
More information on this can be found on the DVLA website.