Important steps to sell your car online

Lynn Prins

When deciding to sell your car online, you may be plagued with a myriad of questions. What price is fair, what is the best way to advertise and most importantly, how do I avoid scammers?

While it may be difficult to end your love affair with your car, selling may lead you to find the “next best thing” at a reasonable price.

Check out these handy tips to sell your car online

Research will help decide on a reasonable price

Think about it for a minute… Asking for a realistic amount is key to a quick sale, so in order to get what you want, do your research.

A number of websites offer tools that can help by telling you what similar cars to yours are going for.

Online selling sites are also a good guide to what similar cars are currently selling for – but make sure that you consider your car’s mileage, age, condition and features to arrive at an accurate price.

And remember that you’ll also need to factor in the room for the buyer to bargain.

Do the advertorial

When describing your car, be accurate and honest to attract potential buyers. It is important to remember that there are plenty cars similar to yours for sale.

In order to make the sale, you will need to make your ad shows up all your car’s qualities such as low distance on the speedometer, good general maintenance, paintwork intact with little or no dents, etc.

Try to keep the advert as concise as possible but don’t ignore the important information such as model, year and mileage.

Prepare your car

In a crowded market, buyers will gravitate to a clean and well-presented car over something that looks unloved and unkept.

It is therefore important to spend time thoroughly washing and valeting the interior, as well as fixing any dents or superficial damage that may deter customers.

If you are able to afford a set of new tyres, this may be worth getting to secure the sale. Brand news tyres are enough to seal most deals.

Show off your car with some pictures

Once your car is all clean and shiny, take the pictures for the advert.

Ensure that the car is lit correctly and in focus, and there are no distractions near it. And remember to take pictures of the car’s interior and any details that show it in a good light.

Be polite when selling your car

Once your advert goes live, buyers could start contacting you with questions and requests for viewings and test drives.

Ensure you always remain polite even if the questions seem silly or the requests are unreasonable. Remember to also ensure anyone test driving your car is insured, so ask for proof (and to see their licence).

Never leave the buyer alone with the car keys and turn off the ignition if you swap seats on a test drive.

Don’t try to rush them into a decision, but be honest about any other interest that has been shown: let them look the car over and help them arrange any inspections (which is only reasonable).

When you do the deal

Most buyers will try to negotiate, so be prepared and know your minimum price or ‘reserve’ in order to not go below your price.

Remember not to feel pressured into selling at a price you’re not happy with, either.

Beware of scammers

People will always try to defraud you, so be wary. Once you’ve agreed on a price, ensure you’re happy with the method of payment.

For a cash buy, take the same precautions as you would with any large amount of money, paying it into your bank straight away: even better, conduct the transaction at a bank, enabling you to check for any counterfeit notes.


Arrange for all the paperwork to be available for examination when a potential buyer(s) comes to view the car.

After the transaction is complete, give the buyer a receipt (keeping a copy for yourself), complete the relevant parts of the logbook and send them to the Vehicle Inspection Office Driver and Vehicle Licensing Administration (VIO-DVLA).

Last but not least, remember to let your insurance company know that you have sold the car.

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