Plan Insurance Blog

Here’s What You Need To Know To Sell Your Own Car

Used cars are currently selling for thousands more than they would have just two years ago. As a result, dealers are making serious money, and cars in ‘like new’ condition are often worth as much as or more than new ones.

In 2022, prices for used cars are still sky high and it doesn’t feel like they are stopping. For owners of used cars (and every car is used once it is driven off the forecourt), it is a great time to sell. We’ve put together the following advice to help ensure the process is painless and you get your preferred price. You never know, you might find you’re rather good at it and want to pursue a car dealer career going forward, if so you’ll know where to come for your motor trade insurance.

If your business buys, sells, repairs or modifies vehicles then Plan Insurance Brokers can source a tailored Motor Trade insurance policy for you. If you have any more questions or would like a quote call our expert team, request a call back or fill in a quote form.

How do you sell your car?

If you are thinking of selling your car, there are plenty of ways to do it. You could use an online or in-person auction, sell it through a car dealer or let thousands of dealers bid on it through online car marketplaces like Motorway. Each method has pros and cons, but today we are focusing on the most traditional.

In the old days, you put an advert on your windscreen and people called a number. You met them somewhere, they test-drove it and they gave you a handful of cash. Today, there are slightly more sophisticated methods like Autotrader or Gumtree. But, on the other hand, it wouldn’t hurt to get a black marker and a piece of paper to make a windscreen ad either.

If you want to make sure your beloved wheels for a top end up price then you’re probably best selling it privately. Here’s everything you need to know.

Advantages of selling your own car

You’ll end up with more money in your pocket

If you are selling your car to capitalise on today’s second-hand car gold rush, then why not make the most of it.

Without a middleman like a website platform or used-car showroom, you can pocket hundreds or even thousands more from the sale of your car. Analysts calculate that you can make around 20% more by selling your car directly to buyers.

In today’s market, If your vehicle is in high demand, you might actually be able to charge more than the original value of the car and still attract potential buyers.

You can use your existing car as a down payment

Instead of trading in your car, you can sell your car privately and get a larger down payment for your next vehicle. When presented as a part-exchange, used car dealers tend to value your car below its actual worth. By selling privately, you have a down payment that is much larger than the trade-in value, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of finding extra money.

It’s easier to negotiate

When selling your car through a 3rd party, you will likely get a take-it-or-leave-it price. When you sell your car yourself, the possibility of negotiation is opened up. For example, If you price the car at the higher-end of market price, you can write that you are open to the buyer’s ‘best offer,’ meaning you’re willing to negotiate. By doing this, you can be flexible to your potential customers without compromising on the opportunity to make a good profit.

Disadvantages of selling your own car

Selling a car takes time and energy

Using a car selling website will put your car in front of many more potential buyers. But to sell a car you’ll probably need to write a classified ad, post to several different car selling sites, answer emails and phone calls, and arrange appointments for buyers to see the vehicle. The truth is, it’s not uncommon for people to book appointments and fail to show up. Like most people sell their houses through an estate agent, sometimes big purchases are best left to the professionals.

Safety and fraud concerns

Having to take payments directly, handle paperwork and vet buyers leaves you vulnerable to becoming the victim of a fraudster. On top of that, there are risks associated with meeting someone alone and letting them test-drive your car. Used car websites and showrooms have systems in place to prevent things like this from happening. Criminals can be sophisticated and know how to victimise people selling their cars without any support.

How to write a car advert

Make sure you have the following information:

  • Make (e.g. Ford, Kia, Vauxhall, etc.)
  • Model (e.g. Focus, Niro, Corsa etc.)
  • Engine size (e.g. 1.2-litre three-cylinder)
  • Power output (e.g. 73 – 128 BHP)
  • Year of registration (2018, 2019 etc.)
  • Service history (You should have a service book with your vehicle, use this information to inform the seller of these details)
  • Mileage (e.g. 48-69 mpg combined)

Here are a few tips for writing the perfect used car advert

Keep it short

Keep it simple, people aren’t looking to read a novel about your car. It’s best to avoid using overly flowery language. Motorway, the Car wholesale website, also recommend that you avoid using capital letters, as it makes you seem shouty and brash.

Where is the ad going?

Different advert placements require different styles of writing. On sites like Autotrader, people are looking through thousands of listings so concise and to-the-point is always better. However, on non-specialist marketplaces like eBay or Gumtree, buyers are more likely to want to hear the story of the car.

The most important thing is to look at the other adverts on the website or listing location and see how adverts are written. It is important to come across as trustworthy so that buyers are comfortable considering parting with their money.

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