Is Your Car Ready to Sell? Check here

Selling your car privately is usually more lucrative than selling or part-exchanging it with a dealer, but where to start? Here, car insurance comparison site, offer their top tips for getting your motor sale ready.

Organise paperwork to sell your car

To sell your car, you’ll need its V5C (vehicle logbook). If you’ve lost it, you can arrange for a duplicate to be sent to you by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).

If your car is three years old or more, you should also be prepared to show all its MOT certificates to prove it’s roadworthy (unless you’re selling it for parts). It’s also a good idea to provide any service records for your car and receipts if you’ve had any work done to it.

Prepare your car for sale

It’s worth resolving any minor problems as this can help raise the value of your car, for instance, if the wipers or brake pads need replacing. It could also be worth ensuring there’s a decent amount of tread depth left on your tyres as this can make your car more attractive to buyers. If not, then don’t be surprised if buyers try to negotiate heavily on the price.

Needless to say, buyers will also expect to see a clean car inside and out which is where a car detailer can help.

An important part of preparing for a sale is also gauging the right price, which you can do by taking a look at what other cars of the same make and model are going for in the classifieds. Don’t forget to take into account any features you think make your car more desirable – for example, an integrated dog guard, large infotainment screen, cruise control or even a panoramic sunroof.

Stick to the facts when you advertise your car

Your advert should be as comprehensive as possible to give your car the best exposure, but remember to stick to the facts. Providing a detailed description should also mean you avoid fielding too many calls looking for basic information.

Essentials most buyers will expect to see in your ad, include:

  • Car make, model and colour
  • Year of registration or plate number
  • Price
  • Transmission type (manual or automatic)
  • Fuel type
  • Mileage
  • Overall condition
  • Number of months left on its MOT (if applicable)

Protect yourself from fraudsters

The vast majority of people that make enquiries about your car will be genuine buyers but at the same time, it’s crucial to be aware that some might not have good intentions. To keep yourself safe, you should not let anyone take copies of the V5C or give anyone the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), as this information can be used to clone the car.

If a potential buyer asks about taking the car for a test drive, you should check they have a valid driving licence and suitable car insurance. If they already have a comprehensive policy in place, there’s a good chance it will include ‘driving other cars’ which allows them to get behind the wheel of your car with your permission. If not, temporary car insurance is another option which can provide the cover needed for a short period of time – policies range from as little as an hour.

Always try to accompany buyers on a test drive. For added protection and peace of mind, you can also arrange for a friend or family member to come along too.

Tell DVLA when you sell your car

When you make the sale, you’ll need to give the new owner the green ‘new keeper’ supplement of the V5C. You will also have to let the DVLA know you’ve sold the car (you can do this online).

Telling the DVLA will trigger an automatic refund of car tax you’ve paid (vehicle excise duty). Remember – you’ll only get a refund for any full months you have left.

Cancel your car insurance

When you’ve sold your car, don’t forget to cancel your car insurance. If you’re part ways through a policy and you paid for it upfront, your insurer should arrange a refund for the months you haven’t used it.

If you’re paying for your policy monthly, speak to your insurer first and tell them you’re cancelling. If you simply stop the payments without telling them, it will look like you’re defaulting on an agreement and it can leave a negative mark on your credit report.

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