How to sell your car on Gumtree

Thinking of selling a car on Gumtree? You are not alone! An eye-watering 6 million people visit Gumtree motors a month. It is now one of the most popular ways to sell your car privately.

Founded in 2000, it has grown at a stupendous pace. Gumtree quickly became one of the most visited sites in the UK, generating an astronomic amount of interest for people selling anything online – from clothes to jewellery, old CDs to halloween costumes.

But it’s cars that has been the biggest growth area in recent years especially since being acquired by eBay

Selling a car on Gumtree explained:

  1. How to sell a car on Gumtree
  2. Should I sell my car on Gumtree?
  3. What is Gumtree?
  4. AutoTrader vs Gumtree
  5. How much does it cost to sell a car on Gumtree?
  6. Creating an advert on Gumtree (step-by-step)
  7. Finding a buyer on Gumtree
  8. Completing the deal 
  9. Other places to sell your car
gumtree - sell cars
The mighty Gumtree – buy or sell anything – from books to baby clothes, carpets to cars

How to sell a car on Gumtree

Once you have decided to sell your car on Gumtree, there are a few more steps to take to ensure the best chance of your listing being successful.

It might be worth giving your car a good clean, to ensure it’ll look good for the advert.

You’ll also need to make sure any existing finance is resolved and sort out all the important paperwork. This includes things like the V5, MOT certificates and service history. The V5C is particularly important, so if you don’t have it, you’ll have to contact the DVLA for a new one by filling out a V62 form and posting it off.

You may also look to give your car an HPI check which can be talked about in your Gumtree listing to demonstrate it has a sound legal history, is not stolen and has a clean bill of health (for example it is not a ‘CAT D‘ car).

How to place an advert on Gumtree

When selling your car on Gumtree, you need to place the advert yourself. Follow the steps below to get started:

Step 1: Get Started

Click on “Post an ad” on the Gumtree website, create an account and select the Motors/Cars category. If you are an existing user, you can sign into your account. If not, you can create your account along with your advert.

Step 2: Lookup Your Car

Enter your postcode and your car’s registration (number plate), and the website will look up your car’s details. Make sure they are all correct before you continue to write an ad title.

Gumtree advise making your ad’s title snappy and eye-catching. After all, with all the cars advertised on the site, you have to make yours stand out from the crowd.

sell a car for free on gumtree
The Gumtree ‘post an ad’ screen. It’s pretty darn easy to post up your car for sale on the site. And it’s free too!

After you enter your reg, Gumtree will automatically pull in details about your car, including the year, estimated mileage and so on. You then have to write a description of your car.

Remember, you must be honest about your car. You have to give an accurate description of your car, and not misinform or mislead any potential buyers.

That doesn’t mean you have to list every fault the car may have, but be truthful about the condition and history of the vehicle. You should include the following details in your ad:

  • Amount of service history records you have
  • A list of all the cars features, e.g. CD player, bluetooth, heated seats, parking assistant or GPS
  • Something about yourself, how you have been using the car
  • Number of previous owners – it is against the law to misinform intentionally when advertising, so dishonesty really doesn’t pay!

Step 3: Take and Upload Photos

You also need to make sure your car is presentable. This will involve giving it a good clean, both inside and out, as nobody wants to buy a dirty vehicle. This won’t be the most fun job in the world, but don’t worry, our handy guide to cleaning your car will help you with the process.

You’ll then have to take pictures of the car. Gumtree allows you to upload up to nine images for your advert. Make sure they are clear and in focus, and that they give a buyers a good understanding of what the car looks like both inside and out!

Take pictures of every side of the car, close ups of the wheels and front and back seats. There are some great tips over on WikiHow’s guide to taking photographs of cars.

car photos on gumtree
Does your car look great on Gumtree? It will only sell for a good price if the photos you post are clear, sharp and make your car look shiny and presentable

The standard advertisement on Gumtree is free, but you can pay for an additional three features. These will make it easier for potential buyers to find your car, and are all of them last for a week. They all provide slightly different services, so you can choose to buy all three should you want to.

Firstly there’s the ‘Spotlight’ option. This places your advert on the Gumtree homepage for 7 days at the cost of £24.95. There’s also the ‘Urgent’ feature. This allows potential buyers to see that you want to get rid of the car quickly. This is priced at £11.99, and may help you find a buyer quickly.

Finally, there is the ‘featured’ option. This places your advert at the top of category listings, meaning it will be easier for people browsing the motors section to find your car.


Is Gumtree the right place for your car sale?

Before you decide to advertise your car on Gumtree, make sure selling it privately is the way to go! There are other options available, like selling to dealers and online car buying companies. So make sure you have explored all options before creating your ad.

Also, Gumtree is free to sell, but there are other options to sell your car for free, so do explore them.

As selling your car privately can be a time-consuming process, it is important to consider all the paths available to you.

Motorway allows you to compare offers from leading online car buyers, helping you find the best stress-free deal for your car. But it’s not right for everyone…

Once you have made up your mind to sell privately, this guide will help you through the various stages of selling a car on Gumtree.

How your car will appear in the Gumtree listings

What is Gumtree? Gumtree explained

Owned by eBay, Gumtree is one of the largest local community classified ads sites in the UK.

Unlike Auto Trader or, it is not a specialised car ad site – so you can find pretty much everything on there.

Originally designed to help to connect Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans either in, or moving to London, it quickly expanded across the UK and the rest of the world. It soon caught the eye of bigger companies, and in 2005 it was acquired and snapped up by eBay’s classified group.

Since then Gumtree continued it’s rapid growth as part of the Nasdaq-listed eBay – in fact in the UK, Gumtree Motors now outpaces eBay’s car selling numbers. Under eBay’s wing, it has became one of the top 30 websites in the UK, and has over 14 million visitors each month – with cars making up nearly half of that traffic. eBay Motors eats Gumtree’s dust!

It now also has a motors section for cars, vans and motorbikes and has become one of the most popular places for sellers to advertise all sorts of vehicles online.

One thing is clear, Gumtree has become an incredibly popular place in the UK’s online used car market.

Should you sell a car on Gumtree Motors?

With so many people placing all sorts of ads on Gumtree, it can be easy to just be a sheep and follow the herd. Yet remember, just because something’s popular, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

It’s worth researching different selling options when you’re selling your vehicle, in order to find the best deal for you.

Firstly, before you stick an advert on Gumtree, make sure you actually want to sell your car privately.

This may be the best option for you if you are looking to achieve the highest price. However, there are BIG downsides, selling this way can be extremely time consuming, and faster options are available.

Online car buyers provide a more hassle free option to selling your car. They allow you to sell your car almost immediately. You may not get as much as if you went through the process of selling your car privately, but you won’t have to advertise your car, or worry about getting the paperwork in order. The car buyer will help you take car of most of that.

Or you can sell your car to a dealer. This may be a decent middle ground between selling your car privately or going through an online car buyer. However, dealers do have a reputation for untrustworthiness, and can be tricky to negotiate with. Make sure you find the right dealer for you, and don’t get ripped off!

Auto Trader vs Gumtree Motors

If you decide that selling privately is the best option for you, you also have to decide where to advertise your car.

Now, the first point of call for many people looking to sell their car privately, would be AutoTrader. AutoTrader is a specialised classified ads site, on AutoTrader you’ll only find cars advertised and it can be tricky to navigate. We recently wrote a guide to explain how Auto Trader works.

Unlike Gumtree, it is not free to sell immediately on Auto Trader. The cost of ads on AutoTrader varies on the value of the car, and the package you select. There are three to choose from, the basic, the standard and the premium. Though unless the car is valued less than £1,000, there is no option to advertise it for free.

This specialism can make it easier to find a serious buyer. Everyone who browsers the adverts on AutoTrader, knows they’ll be looking at cars. A quick browse on Gumtree, and you can see anything from adverts for lodgers in walrus costumes, to pet kittens.

However, with the car-focused Gumtree Motors area of the site, it has become easier for potential buyers to connect with sellers on the platform.

How Much Does It Cost To Sell A Car on Gumtree?

It’s also worth considering the cost of advertising your car on Gumtree.

It’s free to list, but you can upgrade. The following prices were checked in September 2018, they may have changed since then…

Gumtree’s basic listing is 100% free, though you can make it a “featured” ad for 7 days at the cost of £14.99.

There are other options available. If you want buyers to know that you’re looking to sell quickly, you can mark it “urgent” for £11.99 for a week. If you want your ad to appear on the Gumtree homepage, you can pay for the spotlight feature, which will set you back £24.95 for a week.

How to value a car on Gumtree

Unlike Auto Trader or online car buying websites, Gumtree doesn’t have an online valuation tool that gives you an estimated price.

Instead, Gumtree has a price guidance tool, that works a bit differently from an online valuation tool. Instead of giving you a guide price, it matches your car to similar vehicles advertised on their site.

This then gives you the opportunity to compare what similar cars have been advertised and sold for, and can help you understand your car’s worth.

This is very helpful when it comes to pricing your car competitively, and gauging what you might get for the car. However, it’s always worth using a few other online valuation tools. This will help you set your target price, and help you when you are negotiating the sale of your car.

ation tools. This will help you set your target price, and help you when you are negotiating the sale of your car.

Remember, buyers will try to chip down the price, so set the price a bit higher than your target. This will leave you with more room for negotiating when you find a buyer.

What is the HPI Checker on Gumtree?

All cars on Gumtree have been subjected to an HPI Check. This is means that cars being advertised on the site will go through a background check before the advert is up on the site.

This is to make sure that the car doesn’t have a hidden history, and to help people buying to avoid buying potentially stolen cars.

The free Vehicle History Check will examine the Police National Computer, along with the DVLA and insurance history to make sure it hasn’t been written off, registered as scrapped, stolen.

Unless your car is actually stolen, there is no need to worry about it. It’s all done online, and won’t make the process of advertising your car drag on.

Finding a buyer on Gumtree

Being an online marketplace for literally anything, it might be harder to find a serious buyer than on AutoTrader. There is just so much stuff on Gumtree, that it can be hard for potential buyers to connect with sellers.

However, buyers can browse items by category. This does make it slightly easier to find a serious buyer. Once they get in touch with you, you’ll need to be ready to schedule in viewings and test drives.

Always make sure to take certain precautions before meeting anyone in person. This means meeting somewhere familiar to you. Make sure never to leave the buyer alone with the car or any important paperwork before agreeing a deal.

You will also have to make sure you have agreed a secure payment method. There are several options available, from a bank transfer to an ESCROW. You can read more about how to ensure you get paid securely in here. Most importantly, no matter which payment method you choose, always provide a receipt for the buyer, and keep one for yourself.

Completing the deal and what to do next

Once you have found a buyer and agreed a price, you’ll have to sort out all the paperwork. Make sure to hand over the relevant bits to your buyer and notify the DVLA and your insurance company.

Make sure you remove your advert from Gumtree. You can do this by signing into your account and going to ‘manage my ads’ and click ‘delete.’

Now you’re a Gumtree car selling expert…

Does the process of selling your car on Gumtree sounds like it might be too stressful and time-consuming? Use Motorway to compare offers and sell your car for a quick, hassle-free sale!

Want to read more about your options? 

Try these other car selling guides to see if one of the other many options suits you better: