Top 10 Tips For Selling Your Car

Need some quick advice on selling your car? Here’s our Top 10 car selling tips to help you get the fastest sale and best possible price for your vehicle.

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 online car valuation websites. The value of your particular car is affected by things like age, mileage (the most accurate indicator of the engine condition), condition and service history – but market prices are the biggest driver


car value tips
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, We Buy Any Car competitors and for a view of what 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 read more about valuations in our free car valuation guide.

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 for a stress free way to sell your car or are you selling for the 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 are looking for, but there are no guarantees of a sale happening. You will also likely have to deal with buyers coming to your house and the ongoing bartering and admin this can entail. With online car buying websites, if your car is accurately described, sales are usually guaranteed and money can be in you bank account within 24 hours if you book the sale for the next day. Weigh up value and 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 are informed. There are always considerable differences between and the other major car buying websites. do not offer free home collection for example and instant, same-day payment is not always free either. You can compare offers from the UK’s leading car buying websites at

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. Make sure your car is washed and cleaned inside and out on the day you are 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.

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

9. Checklist to sell your car

It is 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 will need to hand over the “new owner” part), plus your service and MOT history. If you are missing any of these, any 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.

Want to read more? You can visit Motorway’s Ultimate Guide To Selling Your Car for a fuller, more comprehensive deep dive into parting with your motor.

Ready to sell your car? Value your car and compare car buying offers at Motorway. Or check out some other ways to sell your car below: