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Top 10 Tips To Sell Your Car

Looking to sell your car fast, fuss free? Compare offers at Motorway now or read on for essential online car selling hints, tips and tricks.

Here’s our top 10 tips to help you get the fastest car sale and the best possible price for your vehicle.

Top 10 tips for selling your car:

  1. Understand your car’s value 
  2. Know where the best place to value your car is 
  3. Decide whether a fast sale or the maximum amount of money is a priority for you
  4. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of each route to sale
  5. Compare car selling deals online 
  6. Prepare your car for the day of sale 
  7. Get your negotiation tactics planned out 
  8. Understand payment methods and what to look out for 
  9. Get the necessary paperwork in order 
  10. Cancel insurance and tax and make any claims you can 

1. Understanding your car’s value

We all love our cars, and many of us think ours is ‘special’. The reality is that car values are set by the market – they’re a commodity much like anything else, and finding out what a particular model is worth is now made easy by car valuation websites and Motorway’s online car valuation tool.

The value of your particular car is affected by things like age, mileage (the most accurate indicator of the engines wear and tear), condition and service history – but market prices are the biggest driver

Green car with a price tag
What is your car actually worth? It’s worth trying several routes to find out for sure

2. Where to value your car

Getting an idea of your car’s value is easier and quicker than ever. For a full picture, we recommend Auto Trader for private sale prices, plus comparing prices at for a view of what many online car buying services will offer.

For a full picture, you can even visit a few local car dealerships to see what they will give you. Just remember: your valuation will be hugely variable depending on who is buying it and why. You can value your car free here.

car valuation websites
Give many car valuation websites a go to get the best value

3. Decide what is important to you

Ask yourself how much you care about speed, convenience and the final selling price. Are you looking to sell your car now or are you selling to make the most money?

If you have all the time in the world to fetch the highest possible price, then selling privately on sites like Auto Trader or eBay is the best bet; but you have to be ready for long selling times and showing the car to several prospective buyers.

If you just want to get your car sold fast and are willing to sacrifice a bit on the end price to remove the hassle, then choose a car buying site who will pay cash or part exchange it for your new car at a dealership.

4. Pick your selling route wisely

If you want to sell privately you may fetch the upper end of what you’re looking for, but there are no guarantees of a sale happening. You’ll also have to deal with buyers coming to your house and the ongoing bartering and admin this can entail.

With an online car buying website, if your car is accurately described, sales are usually guaranteed and money can be in your bank account within 24 hours if you book the sale for the next day.

Weigh up value vs speed and choose the right option based on what’s important to you. And be realistic, if your car is worth less than £200, you may get more selling for scrap.

5. Compare car selling deals online

If you decide to sell your car online, make sure you’re informed and consider your options before making a decision.

Whilst there are now several large online buyers, there are considerable differences between these services.

Motorway can help you compare several online car buyers in one place, with a single search.  We allow you to instantly get prices from WeWantAnyCar, The Car Buying Group, Best Car Buyer and more. You can compare offers from all these and more by visiting our homepage.

6. Prepare your motor

Make sure your car is looking as good as possible to avoid potential buyers chipping away at the price at the last minute. It’s a good idea that your car is washed and cleaned inside and out on the day you’re selling and fix any minor issues (e.g. correcting small dents and scratches).

7. Be ready to negotiate

Make sure you meet your prospective buyer armed with the research about what your car is worth. It may not always work, but don’t be afraid to argue back if the buyer tries to reduce the price when they inspect the car.

Remember, nothing is finished until money for your car is in your bank account and your car is sold!

8. Never accept cheques, bankers drafts or IOUs

Do not hand over your keys until you have been paid for your car. That goes for private buyers (who may try to pay by cheque, or promise to transfer the money later), and car dealers or car buyers.

Any reputable buyer will understand you need to be paid in advance before they own the car – either by BACS/ bank transfer, or cash on collection if selling privately.

It’s worth doing the admin of selling your car correctly

9. Checklist to sell your car

It’s essential to have some key items to complete a car sale and avoid losing any value from missing keys and paperwork.

Make sure you locate all your car keys (including any spares), your V5 document (you’ll need to hand over the “new owner” part), plus your service and MOT history. If you’re missing any of these, a buyer will have a good case to drop the final price offered.

10. Get money back after the sale

As well as sending the remaining part of the V5 form back to the DVLA, make sure you cancel your car insurance and reclaim your road tax.

Many people don’t realise you can reclaim any road tax for the rest of the year once you’ve sold your motor. The DVLA make this very easy – once you’ve sold the car, just visit here and follow the steps.

Ready to sell your car? Sell now at Motorway.

Need more info on selling, or not sure how what the best route is?

Thankfully we’ve got a ton of guides covering every topic you could think of, from trading your car in to cleaning it before you say goodbye.