Gumtree alternatives for selling your car. How do Motorway and Gumtree compare?

    Gumtree alternatives

    Two major UK brands in the field of online car sales are Motorway and Gumtree

    Both platforms offer opportunities for sellers to connect with buyers, but there are distinct differences in their business models and how they help customers sell their vehicles.  

    In this article, we’ll explore the selling methods, target audiences, and factors that can help sellers find a great deal ­– and, crucially, get the best price for their cars and vans.

    How do you sell with Motorway? 

    Motorway specialises in providing a stress-free selling experience, principally by connecting sellers with more than 5,000 verified car dealers throughout the UK. It is also entirely free for sellers. 

    The process begins with a simple online valuation. Sellers enter their reg on the website or in the app and are then provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. They are then prompted to answer a few easy questions about their car or van, and guided through the photos they will need to take to complete their vehicle profile. It can usually be done on the seller’s phone – in a matter of minutes. Once they have created an online profile, they can add their car to Motorway’s next available online daily sale. 

    Motorway’s network of verified dealers then browse the vehicle profiles of all the cars and vans in the sale. They submit their best price for the vehicles they want to buy.  At the end of the sale, the seller is emailed their vehicle’s best price – and if they are happy to approve the offer, they can. 

    Once the sale is agreed, the seller can arrange a convenient time and place for their car or van to be collected – for free – by the dealer. Then the money is quickly and securely transferred to their bank account.

    This method ensures quick and convenient sales with cars typically selling for more than they would at ‘instant car-buying’ companies, which usually purchase vehicles for the lowest price possible so they can resell – for a profit – at auction. 

    How do you sell with Gumtree? 

    Gumtree has become one of the most popular selling websites over the last decade or so – it can be used to sell practically anything. It is a classified ads platform, offering a broad range of products and services – though the company’s ‘Cars & Vehicles’ sections is one of the site’s larger areas. 

    However, when it comes to selling cars, Gumtree is not the ideal platform for those seeking a quick and hassle-free experience. As with selling through any sort of classifieds website, there’s often a lot of uncertainty and the seller usually has to wait for interest. Whilst the ‘basic’ ad package on Gumtree is free for private sellers, if you want greater exposure for your advert, you will have to pay a premium (see later for details). 

    Creating an ad for Gumtree can also be a laborious process. Sellers are required to enter detailed vehicle information in their ads – including info about age, spec, and condition. But, also, make the ad compelling enough to stand out from the crowd. Several photos are required to fill out the vehicle profile. However, unlike with the Motorway platform – which uses smart tech to help sellers get high-quality photos, ensuring quality and consistency – on Gumtree, photo selection is left to the seller. This can often involve trial and error and be a problematic and time-consuming task, especially for individuals with busy schedules or limited technical skills. 

    Motorway’s smart tech helps you get professional quality photos of your vehicle
    Motorway’s smart tech helps you get professional quality photos of your vehicle uploaded, which make dealers more likely to offer.

    As a private seller, your first ad on Gumtree is free – which is actually unusual for most car classified ad or buying sites. Naturally, this makes Gumtree extremely popular with sellers. Consequently, there is always a high number of car ads on the website. Whilst this means that there should also be a high volume of buyers, it makes it harder for individual car adverts to stand out. Those marketing skills of taking great photos and writing a compelling ad really come into their own in a crowded marketplace. If a seller’s free ad is lost in the crowd, they can pay to increase its visibility, using one – or all – of the following options:

    • Urgent – marking your car ad as ‘urgent’ costs £11.99 for seven days
    • Featured – you can pay to have your car ad pinned at the top of the Cars & Vehicles category listing, which starts at £11.99 for three days and rises to £17.99 for 14 days
    • Spotlight – you can even pay to get your car ad featured on Gumtree’s homepage, which costs £24.95 for seven days

    Considering that sellers may have to pay for ‘premium listings’, promoting their ads, and other visibility upgrades, the costs can quickly accumulate – all without any guarantee that their car will actually sell for the price you’re looking for.

    In terms of time, selling your car via Gumtree can also be a very lengthy endeavour. Sellers often find themselves waiting for extended periods before receiving any kind of contact with a potential buyer – sometimes the lack of response goes on indefinitely. 

    Even if the seller does connect with a potential buyer – that isn’t a time-waster – they will then need to spend a lot of time engaging with interested parties, negotiating prices, and arranging meetings.

    Who do you sell with if you use Motorway? 

    Motorway is used by sellers who prioritise speed and convenience – but also want a fair return for their car or van. 

    Unlike instant-car-selling websites, which typically buy cheap to resell at motor auctions, Motorway sells exclusively to a network of verified car dealers, who compete on the platform to give their best price on vehicles of interest. It also aims to give sellers a seamless experience without the hassle of private negotiations and time-consuming admin.  

    Motorway is completely free for sellers ­– and for added convenience, following sale on the platform, the seller’s car or van is collected ­– also for free – from their stipulated location, such as their home or workplace. There are also no admin or service charges. The seller gets 100% of the price that the winning dealer pays for their car or van. 

    Who do you sell with if you use Gumtree? 

    Gumtree attracts a broader range of potential buyers – basically, it can be anyone that uses the website. Whilst this wider audience increases the exposure of the seller’s listing, it also means that the competition is higher, and car and van adverts must work hard for visibility. 

    This can be mitigated if sellers are prepared to spend time researching the ‘best practices’ of writing online car ads to maximise engagement in a crowd of similar listings – or prepared to pay to get their ads more exposure. 

    classified listing sites for cars waisting time and effort
    Using a free classified listing site like Gumtree can boost your chances of selling privately, but will often still require a lot of time and effort.

    Also, as the buyers are not vetted on the website, they can be anyone. This means that sellers need to be wary of potential scammers. Some techniques that can be employed to ensure the buyer isn’t just a bot or a scammer include:

    Setting up a video call

    These leave the buyer little room to hide, but if a seller wants to ensure total safety, they should set up the call on a platform that doesn’t require them to share their number.

    Considering using an entirely new email

    Emails are quick, easy, and free to create, so sellers should consider making a new email address to place on their ad and to receive buyer messages. 

    Asking for a buyer’s number and address

    A legitimate buyer won’t have any trouble in sharing these details, as they will eventually need to ask the seller for their details to collect and pay for the car. 

    Talking about payment options

    There are a few ways to get paid when selling a car, but a bank transfer remains the most secure. If this suggestion leaves a buyer coming up with excuses, or if they are desperately trying to get a seller to accept a cheque or cash instead, it should be considered a red flag.

    When sellers do find a buyer on Gumtree, they will then need to handle all the ensuing admin themselves – including organising inspections and test drives. 

    As with selling anything via a classified ad, once the sale has taken place on the platform (assuming it does) that is the platform’s part of the process concluded. Taking care of the post-sale admin can be stressful and time-consuming – and it can involve further haggling and negotiation with the buyer when they turn up to inspect the vehicle in person.    

    How do I get the best deal on Motorway?

    Motorway takes care of this part of the process for sellers – by connecting them with a network of verified car-buying companies that actively compete against one another to offer their ‘best price’ for vehicles. 

    Due to Motorway’s ‘blind bidding’ system, the competitive nature of the platform ensures that sellers can secure a fair market value for their cars and vans.

    How do I get the best deal on Gumtree?

    Gumtree relies on negotiations between private sellers and potential buyers. While this offers flexibility, it can be time-consuming and uncertain. Sellers may also need to haggle with buyers to reach a mutually agreeable price. 

    Though an advert is free on the platform, you will probably need to research how to get the best results when creating this to ensure it gets noticed amid a sea of similar adverts. 

    non-legit car buyers
    When you’re selling your car privately, you open yourself to multiple would-be buyers, not all of them legit.

    How do I get more money on Motorway?

    By adding a competitive edge to car buying with their blind bidding system, Motorway can maximise earnings for sellers. 

    By connecting sellers with verified car dealers, Motorway ensures that sellers can sell their vehicles for higher prices. These companies are often willing to pay a premium for well-maintained cars and vans – and this gives sellers a better chance of securing a higher sale price.

    How do I get more money on Gumtree? 

    There are plenty of potential cash buyers visiting Gumtree trying to find a great deal. It’s also free to use (as long as you’re not a dealer), so you don’t have to worry about the cost of advertising.

    However, Gumtree’s size and lack of specialism may be a hindrance rather than a help. With the sheer number of options available ­– including a large number of cars priced unrealistically – it can be hard for sellers using the platform to connect with serious buyers.

    As Gumtree, unlike Motorway, does not have a built-in mechanism for ensuring sellers receive the best possible price, the negotiation process depends on the seller’s skills and ability to engage in price discussions. While some sellers may successfully negotiate higher prices, others may find it challenging to close a deal at their desired price. 

    Motorway's TV advert
    Sell with Motorway’s network of 5,000+ dealers who compete to give you their best price.

    What’s the best way to sell my car?

    If you’re thinking about selling your car quickly and easily, at Motorway we offer a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling, whatever the model.

    Just enter your reg and you will be provided with an instant, free valuation based on up-to-the-minute market data. To profile your car on our app or website, all you need to do is answer a few questions by clicking on the correct answer. There’s no need to write out an ad for your car when you sell with Motorway. We’ll also guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can all be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

    If you choose to enter your car into a daily sale, it will be shown to our nationwide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used cars. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your car, offering you their best price.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your car will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

    Time to sell your car?

    Want to learn more about owning, maintaining, and selling your car? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from finding buyers, to negotiating a good price, and completing payment safely.