Selling your Car

Selling your Car

10 November 2011
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Prepare the Vehicle for Selling

Below is a simplified list of certain things worth considering when selling your car-

The Exterior – Your car should be washed with proper car shampoo, chamois leathered and then waxed and polished. Don’t forget the door rims at the same time. A clean, well-polished car could possibly sell for up to 10% more!

Make sure to get the appropriate touch-up paint for the stone chips that occur around the front bumper and bonnet areas. Don’t forget the minor nicks or scratches.

Nothing looks better than shiny wheels. Use the appropriate cleaner for those alloys and touch up the wheel trims. Blacken the tyres for good measure.

Bring the car trimmings back to a nice black sheen, with the correct cleaner.

The Interior – Thoroughly vacuum the inside including all carpets and upholstery. Wash the mats and dust finishing off with dashboard cleaner.

Don’t forget to wash the ashtray and put in an air-freshener for good measure.

If applicable upholstery cleaner can be used for little marks and scuffs.

An old toothbrush is always handy to clean the ventilations grids.

Make sure to clean all windows inside and as well as out.

The Little Extra’s – There will always be a potential buyer wanting to look under the bonnet. Steam cleaning maybe over the top but, a commercial degreaser will rid you of any radiator or oil spills.

Remember to empty and vacuum the boot.

Have an oil change if you feel its necessary and top up the coolant and wiper bottles.

Replace any broken bulbs or fuses.

The Advert-

Provide a precise, accurate and detailed description including all special features ie Aircon, Alloy wheels etc. Together with the make and model, the year it was manufactured. Engine type and details of the transmission, service history. Don’t make the advert to long, in the region of up to 40 words should be sufficient.

Keep the advert straight to the point by avoiding abbreviations and terminology.

Pick a nice to take a good set of pictures at different angles to provide a potential with a good all round view of your vehicle.

It’s always a good idea to keep all your vehicles details by the phone. Any potential buyer will always have questions to ask.

Words of Caution and Wisdom

When you have a possible buyer, take the necessary precautions. Full name and contact details including their driving licence number and a landline number if possible. A mobile number is not always the person it belongs to!

ake sure you have insurance cover if they want a test drive. Make sure they have right insurance and never let a buyer take the car without you.

Use common sense- For example. If someone turns up to view, is accompanied and but haven’t come in a vehicle of their own, it might be a scam?

After a deal has been struck- If being paid by cheque, take the buyers licence details and put on the back. Not forgetting the cheque has to clear before they can take the car. If paying by cash make sure its counted by yourself and the buyer there and then.

If the buyer is genuine they will not have any objection to you asking for another form of identification such as a utility or phone bill.

Pricing Your Car

Selling a car on your own is the best way to make the most money, but setting the car price can be tricky. Price it too high and you won’t be able to sell your car; price it too low and you cheat yourself out of money. If you plan to sell your used car on your own, there are a few key points that you need to remember when it comes to determining the price.

1. Comparison. First, use web sites that list cars for sale, such as, to find similar cars to your own. Sites like these can help you set the car price fairly because it shows how much cars like yours are selling for. You can also use CAP Guide or Parkers Guide. These help you with how much a dealer might sell your car for. What it might be worth in part exchange? Plus a general picture of any fluctuation in the car market.

2. Condition. Examine the condition of your used car before determining its price. The better the condition, the higher you can price it. The same goes for mileage -- the lower the mileage on your car, the higher the price.

3. Fair market value. Keep in mind that the fair market value for a car is somewhere between trade-in value and retail.

4. Similar pricing. Remember, as you compare your car with others online, potential buyers are doing the same thing. You may think your car is worth more than other people are selling theirs for, but if you price yours more than the others, it can make your car harder to sell.

5. Cushion. Give yourself a £300 cushion when setting the car price. People like to haggle when buying a car. It is unlikely you will get a full price offer, so don’t list the car for the lowest amount of money you’ll accept.

6. Patience. When you set the car price, be realistic with it, but also be prepared to wait. Have the patience to wait for the right buyer to find your car. Keep in mind, though, that if you have to wait too long, it may mean that the car is priced too high.

7. Best offer. Listing the car price along with “Or Best Offer” (OBO) may not be a good idea. On the one hand, it tells potential buyers that you are willing to negotiate. But, it also tells them that you are not serious about your car price. If you include OBO, just know that you are certain to get less than the indicated car price.

With a little legwork, you can find a fair car price for your vehicle that will help you get the most money and sell it in a timely fashion.

Don’t Forget What Else You Have to Do

After selling your car either privately or through a motor trader/dealer the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) have to be notified. Forgetting to sort out the paperwork can work out costly especially if you were to receive a speeding offence or nonpayment advice for road tax, when you no longer have the vehicle.

When you sell your vehicle the V5C registration document has to be transferred over to the new buyer. What you need to do:

With the V5C Registration Document, firstly complete section 6, filling in the new keeper details and address. The sections to be completed can vary depending on the age of the V5C as they do vary (see below V5). You as the seller and the buyer have to sign section 8. The signed V5C must then be sent immediately to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA. The green section V5C/2 must also be completed and given to the buyer.

If you have sold the vehicle to a motor trader, the yellow section or V5C/3 (definitions are explained on the back) should be completed with the details and signature and sent to the DVLA. The blue and green sections (V5C and V5C/2) should also be passed to the trader but uncompleted.

If you have sold the vehicle without the road tax, and there are a number of ‘months’ remaining on it, you can apply for a refund, but this is only for the complete months. The DVLA will only refund you after they have obtained the correct notice that your vehicle has been transferred or sold.

The Two Part V5 Document

When the registration document is in two parts, the ‘notification of sale or transfer’ or lower part should be completed, detached and sent to the DVLA (address above). You should give the buyer the top piece and remind them to inform the DVLA as soon as possible. 

The Three Part V5

Where the document has three parts, the V5 blue section should be completed with both yours and the buyer’s signatures and sent to the DVLA. The V5/2 green section also has to be completed and given to the buyer. Where the buyer is a motor trader, you are required to complete the red section V5/3 with name and address and signature of the trader and send them to the DVLA (address above). As with the V5C above, the uncompleted blue and green parts (V5 and V5/2) should be passed over to the trader.

After informing the DVLA, they should respond within a period of 4 weeks with a letter of acknowledgement, which will verify the release of your ownership of the vehicle, if you have not received anything by the end of the 4 week period contact the DVLA.

Note the DVLA when in receipt of the old style V5 document, automatically replaces them with the new style V5C.


Buying and Selling  |  Buying a Used Car  |  Buying the Car  |  Selling Your Car  |  Types of Car  | 

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