Ultimate Car Selling Guide

When the time comes to sell your car you will understandably want to get the best possible price for it. The used car market is extremely competitive, with a great deal of choice available to potential buyers, this means you need to do everything you can to make sure your car stands out from the crowd.

The thought of the preparation involved may seem a little daunting at first, after all there are so many factors to consider. How much can it sell for? How do you want to sell it? What paperwork is needed? How can you avoid scams? That's just the tip of the iceberg. We have put this guide together to help you to get the car, yourself and the cars new owner through the process.

Cardeck.co.uk - Car selling guide

Research The market value

Before setting about advertising your car for sale, or approaching dealerships and car buying companies, you should take a little time to research the market value for your exact make, model and trim level. Prices will vary depending on the age, condition and mileage of the vehicle so all of this needs to be taken into consideration. You need to be honest with yourself about the condition of your car, if there are things that could be done to improve the condition decide whether they would they be financially viable. Small touches can greatly improve the appearance of a car and therefore its overall condition, we cover this in more detail a little later on.

It's fairly easy to get an idea of the valuation for your car. The first place we would suggest looking is CAP. CAP valuations are used across the motor industry, giving you a very accurate idea of what values you should be able to achieve. The CAP website asks for some basic information such as your car's number plate and mileage. You then enter some basic details and tell them whether you are looking to buy or sell the car you are enquiring about. Once you have answered the few short questions you are shown a range of prices for your car including: The price if on sale with a dealership, the private sales prices and three trade in values, clean, average and below. It's a very comprehensive guide which clearly and simply displays all of the achievable values.

Another way to get a rough guide of your car's value would be to do some research. Check out websites such as Cardeck, auction sites such as eBay and local classifieds to get an idea of what similar cars are selling for. It is important to remember that cars sold by dealers will fetch more money than cars sold privately. This is because they come with some form of guarantee and in most cases have had all necessary work carried out on them, making them a safer investment for any potential buyer.If you are selling your car privately you need to look at cars also being sold privately to gauge an accurate ballpark figure.

Preparing the car for sale

As we mentioned earlier on condition is key to achieving the best possible sale price for your car. If you have done some research into the value of your car you will realise the price differences that can be achieved depending upon the condition of the vehicle. There are a number of cheap quick fixes that can bring your car's curb appeal up a few levels, we take a look at them all below.

Cardeck.co.uk - Car selling guide

Cleaning the car

The first and probably most important factor is cleanliness. A simple wash can work wonders for a car whilst a wax and polish can set it apart from the competition. There are a number of car washes offering wash and polish services for around £10-£15 depending upon the size of the car. A small price to pay to show your car in the best possible light. Of course you can always get out the trusted bucket and sponge and do the job yourself, nothing quite like the job satisfaction of making your car gleam. If you chose to do the job yourself remember to do a thorough job ensuring all visible panels are cleaned as well as the wheels and their alloys / trims. Back to black sprays can be purchased very cheaply to spruce up any black plastic trim on the car such as bumpers and door trims etc.

Cardeck.co.uk - Car selling guide

Don't forget the interior

There's nothing worse than stepping foot in a filthy dust and crumb encrusted car with ominous looking stains on the seats. Motoring shops such as Halfords as well as budget shops such as pound stores offer a wide range of car cleaning products.

Clean the dashboard, wipe off all the dust and debris, wipe over the steering wheel, gear stick and all button, knobs and sticks. Clean the binnacle and wipe over the door handles. Also pay attention to areas that are touched a lot such as the visors and areas around the seatbelts and doors. These areas often accumulate dirt from hands over time, attention to detail is key. Once everywhere has been wiped and dusted its time to get the vacuum out, ensure you hoover the seats as well as the floorspace and inside the boot. Take of the attachments to get right down the back of the seats and close to the edges. If the seats have stains you could try using some stain remover intended for upholstery or perhaps a carpet / upholstery cleaner to remove them. Failing that a valet may be in order.

Once the car is clean throughout refresh the seats with a fabric refresher like Febreeze and finish it off with a hanging air freshener. Nobody likes to get in a car that smells, odour can be repulsive putting buyers off straight away. Bad smells are often associated with dirt and germs. Something clean and fresh will always receive a better response.

If that all sounds a little like too much hard work for you, or you are seeking a more professional finish, valeting may be the perfect option. This way you don't lift a finger while your car is cleaned from top to toe, from the inside out. There are different levels of valeting available, some will go as far as to shampoo the seats, carpet and even the headlining to make the car as good as new. It is important to remember the ceiling price your car can achieve and not spend a fortune getting a professional clean that won't improve the value dramatically.

Cardeck.co.uk - Car selling guide

Details

Once the car is clean take a step back and look at it. Is there any areas which need attention? One of the first things I notice on a vehicle is the wheels. Cars with their bare steel wheels showing are not attractive, there's no excuse for it when wheel trims can be picked up for less than £20. That small outlay will instantly give your car a new lease of life, secure them in place with cable ties as wheel trim notoriously fall off. Another key item is matts. They instantly make the cars floor look cleaner and make it easier for owners to get out dirt and crumbs, another small investment that can add £££ to the final value.

As we mentioned above back to black spray is perfect for reviving old and tired black plastics, it also works wonders on black interior plastics such as the dashboard and can be picked up in some pound stores.

Does the car have dents, chips or scratches? Most cars pick up marks throughout their life. From the standard car park dings to the more obvious brushes with nature etc. Touch up pens may be sufficient enough to cover small marks, but always follow the instructions precisely as a bad touch up can often look worse than the initial chip or mark. For more obvious marks a body shop or mobile dent / scratch removal service may be your best bet. Again, this is only a viable option for cars that have enough value in them. Making sure your car is the best it can be will help secure a quick sale and net you the best price, but for cars of a certain age and condition paintwork repairs just won't be a realistic expectation.

When it comes to the interior stained or ripped seats can be a distraction. Seat covers can be picked up online, try to stay away from big baggy unattractive covers and steer towards something tight fitting and neutral or in keeping with the car's colour. Remember to always be honest with the buyer if the seats underneath are ripped, but already having them covered gives an overall better, cleaner impression of the car.

Many buyers will look under the bonnet of a car before deciding to purchase it. Why not give everything a wipe down while you're cleaning the car just to make it stand out from others on sale. Whilst you're there we advise topping up the water, coolant, washer fluid and oil levels. A well maintained car has less problems than one that hasn't been looked after, buyers are aware of this so cars with all their levels topped up are a more attractive option.

Mechanics

Once all of the cosmetic issues have been dealt with its time to look at the mechanical condition of the car. Are there any problems you are aware of? Could they be sorted before the sale of the car? Remember that cars with problems sell for less money than those in good working order.

The next thing to consider is the MOT. Does your car have a short MOT or none at all? This will greatly reduce the achievable price as buyers are taking a risk that it may fail. It is always advisable to put it through the MOT, this can be done early so if there is only a month or two remaining it could definitely help the sale of the car to get it done. The MOT gives buyers an idea of the overall mechanical condition of the car as well as what work is advisable to be carried out before the next MOT etc.

History

Cars with history can achieve a larger sale price. Does your car have service history? If so make sure you have the book to back this up. If you have kept previous MOT certificates and receipts for any work carried out collect them all together to demonstrate the car has been maintained and cared for during its life. Cars with proof of their history are more valuable which goes in your favour when selling. If you have any receipts or evidence now's the time to gather them up and mention it in the advert.

It's always handy to obtain a full HPI report. This shows buyers that the car has not been stolen, previously written off or is still under finance. It gives buyers peace of mind and saves them spending out money on checks. Imagine if you were a buyer and paid for a number of HPI checks in order to find your perfect car. Taking the initiative to have the report available will be another plus point in your car's favour when potential buyers look at it.

Once your car is looking its best and ready for potential buyers to view it you should be able to get an idea of price. Looking at your car in its sparkling clean condition you should be able to place it into a category of good condition, average condition or poor condition. Your car is now ready to present to potential buyers, you just need to decide how much to ask for and where / how you wish to sell it.

Deciding how to sell your car

How do you want to sell your car? Have you put any thought into this already? These days there are a number of options available to sellers. There's the tried and tested classifieds, car auctions both on and offline, car buying services such as we buy any car and online sites dedicated to used car sales such as Cardeck. Whilst these are the more common ways to sell a car the internet is always opening up new and interesting ways to advertise your car, such as owner forums and specialist websites as well as the recent rise in Facebook selling groups allowing you to advertise your car to a local or even national audience for free.

If you decide to go down the option of selling your car privately rather than using it as a trade in or selling to a car buying service, then you should always take advantage of more than one of the options available to increase the number of people that see your advert. Take advantage of ALL the free options, what have you got to lose? When it comes to any paid options you should weigh them up to see which are the best ones for you.

Cardeck.co.uk - Car selling guide

Trading In

You may decide that rather than sell your car you would rather offset the cost of the new one with the old one. When buying a car from a dealership you will be given the option of trading in your old car. This option eliminates the unknown. You will probably get a lower price than you could achieve selling the car privately but there is no need to go through the hassle of photographing, and advertising your car and arranging viewings and test drives. There will be no time wasting involved it is a quick transaction which will go straight towards the cost of the new car.

When trading in your car its still always a good idea to clean the car prior to taking it down to the dealership. This demonstrates the car has been looked after and cared for rather than taking in a filthy car that looks abused. Arm yourself with knowledge before going down to the dealer by obtaining the CAP trade in prices, it shows you the trade in values for good, average and poor condition cars, try to make sure yours falls into the good category by carrying out the steps above. Be honest with the dealer about any faults minor or major its shows your integrity and that you know the car which translates to show it has been cared for during its life with you.

A car that is "Trade in Clean" would meet these criteria

Ready for the dealer to sell requiring little or no refurbishment

Mechanically sound

Current MOT certificate or requiring little or no attention to obtain one

Acceptable colour and trim combination

Interior to be clean and well cared for, in original condition and free from damage

All documentation available and in order.

Spare keys and security codes supplied

Full service history although not necessarily from a franchised dealer

A car that is "Trade in Average" would meet these criteria

In a reasonable condition given its age and mileage

In a reasonable condition given its age and mileage

Requires some work other than routine cleaning and servicing to bring it up to standard for the dealer to sell

Mechanically sound

Current MOT certificate or in need of only routine service item replacements in order to obtain one

Acceptable colour with some 'touch-up' repainting required

Interior largely undamaged and complete but in need of cleaning

All documentation in order.

Spare keys and security codes supplied

Near complete service history although not necessarily enough to warrant the mileage

A car that is 'Trade in Below' would meet these criteria

A vehicle in poor and hard worked condition that would prove to be uneconomical to restore to an acceptable standard for the dealer to sell

Mechanically poor condition

Little or no MOT test remaining

Damaged or corroded body work

Incomplete or damaged interior trim

Documentation may be incomplete

Spare keys and security codes may not be supplied

Some gaps in the service history

When trading in you will need to make sure you take all relevant documents and paperwork along with you to the dealership.

Sign in the Window

This is probably the oldest way of advertising a car, simply put some details on a piece of paper and stick it in the window. Pop a contact number and the price on it and wait for enquiries to come in. Bear in mind that it may be illegal to park your car on certain streets with for sale signs in, as some areas are hot spots where people leave their cars for sale to be seen by passers by, causing a nuisance to people that live there or drive by.

Classifieds

Classifieds are the classic way of selling almost anything. Before the days of the internet people posted adverts in classified sections of newspapers and magazines as well as shop windows and boards etc. In some areas a weekly classified paper is circulated free of charge. Adverts can be placed in any of the above. Moving into the 21st Century a more modern form of the classifieds exists online. Websites such as Gumtree for instance, allow people to list their items for sale, jobs, events etc. in the same was as the traditional media forms did and still do.

Advertising through local classifieds is always a good option as it attracts people close to you who will be more easily available to view and purchase your car. Whilst traditional media formats may only allow for one photo, if any at all online variants usually give you multiple picture uploads. If you have decided to sell your car yourself rather than trade in or sell to a car buying service, then classifieds are a MUST, especially free ones. The more places you advertise your car the greater coverage it gets meaning more potential buyers see it, converting into more viewings helping you to hopefully achieve a quick sale.

Online Dedicated Car Listing Sites

Over recent years a number of websites such as Cardeck.co.uk have set up acting as a portal between used car sellers and potential buyers. These sites are a brilliant tool allowing buyers to search for cars narrowing down the criteria such as location, engine size and age right down to the colour if desired. If a buyer is looking for a specific make and model this is also easily done. The speed and ease of these sites makes them the perfect place for car buyers to start their search with. Some of these sites even offer FREE listings for private sellers making them the perfect place to list your car. Remember, the more exposure your car has, the more chance it has of being sold quickly and for a good price.

Online Auction

Over the past ten years or so online auctions have become a common hunting ground for buyers of all things. An online auction gives you a quick sale as you list your car for a set number of days and buyers place bids on it. Unless you have set an unrealistic reserve price on your car or a high starting price the chances are your car will sell. The disadvantage to this is that it may not be for the price you had been hoping for.

Online auctions are brilliant for shifting a car that has sat there with little interest or not managed to sell for a while, but for anything else you are taking a big risk listing a car with no reserve. A good thing to remember is that eBay also offers a classified service whereby you can list your car on their site for a set price, meaning you get the exposure associated with the website, but don't have to settle for a price that could be far below what you had hoped. I remember my dad once having to sell a car for £11 on an online auction site!

To list the car you will need to write a description, upload images of the car and set a starting price and reserve price if you wish to do so. A reserve price means that if bidding does not reach the amount you set as a reserve the car will not be sold.

When you list a car for sale on an auction you also need to take into consideration the fees associated as the auction site usually takes a percentage of the final sale price of the car as well as an insertion fee. Whilst the insertion fee itself is relatively small the final value fee can be rather expensive on large items such as cars. So remember to check out the fees associated before listing to avoid any surprises once the car has sold.

Offline Auction

This option isn't often used by private sellers as the sale price of the car will generally be a lot lower than other methods of selling a car. Car auctions are usually used by companies such as car hire companies, lease companies and car dealers looking to get rid of volumes of stock quickly.

If you have had difficulty selling your car or need a particularly quick sale, then a car auction may be the best option for you. Unlike online auctions where many people buy unseen, bidders can have a little look around the cars before bidding to buy them. Of course they can arrange viewings online, but many don't have the time or may live too far away. With a physical auction buyers are there and have to take the car. No time wasters.

Remember to check out any fees that apply with the auctioneer before placing your car as a lot. In order to enter your car into an auction you must ring up the auction house and arrange to take the car down, when you arrive the car will be inspected for the guide and an estimate placed on it based on the mileage any damage etc. The car will then be photographed and allocated a lot number. You will also be required to give the auctioneers all relevant documents for the vehicle. As with online auctions a reserve price may be a good idea as with eBay this option costs extra but you wouldn't want to sell your car for a ridiculous amount. If the bidding does not reach your set reserve price the car doesn't sell.

A fee will be charged for entering your car and then a percentage of the amount it makes at auction also so it's important to remember this as the car is likely to sell for less that it would through other methods minus all the fees and it could leave you rather disappointed.

Car Buying Services

Car buying services have really taken off over the last few years, the cheesy song accompanying the 'we buy any car' advert has stuck in my mind to this day and probably helped to cement it in the minds of people across the country. These services offer what they say on the tin really, they claim to buy any car. You simply log onto their website, enter your Reg number, mileage, the previous number of owners and whether it has a service history. You then enter a couple of personal details and get a quote. If you are happy with the quote you take your car to one of their centres and complete the deal.

It is important to remember with services like this that the quote given is not always the amount you will receive for the car. The quote assumes a number of condition factors such as the car having 2 keys and more than 1 months MOT remaining etc. A number of people have been unhappy after having taken their vehicle all the way to one of these centres only to be offered a far lower amount than the online quote.

Offers made by car buying services will be far lower than the CAP valuations as the companies will inevitably be selling them on to make a profit. The benefit of such services is that they offer a quick sale with little hassle.

Dedicated Owner Forums / Sites

The internet really has changed the way the world works. As soon as it became accessible to the masses people set up groups and pages for their hobbies and interests, to connect with others globally who were interested in the same thing. A prime example of this is car owner forums and groups. Members of these sites come together and help each other out with mechanical queries, parts sourcing and even the buying and selling of cars.

For rare, classic or collectable cars, these sites are one of the most important places to list your car for sale as the members of the group will be the ones that best understand its worth. They are the key audience for your advert with potential buyers searching through these sites to find their dream car. You could also search to see if anyone has posted a wanted ad.

Facebook Selling Groups

This is a relatively new way of selling almost anything. Facebook allows people to set up a group for any reason. In recent times people have taken advantage of this and created local selling pages. Some pages may be specialised i.e. For the selling of cars, free items or electrical goods while others may be more generalised for sale pages where anything goes within reason. In the majority of cases, these groups will be geographically specific meaning they are dedicated to certain towns, a brilliant way for people to advertise locally free of charge,. They are a fantastic idea, with successful groups having thousands of members regularly using them.

With the sheer number of people that own a social media account through sites like Facebook they are a perfect way of getting your item seen. You can upload pictures and a description, other users of the group can then view this and contact you or even tag someone else who may be looking for the thing you are selling or share your post getting it out there to an even wider audience.

This will probably become one of the ultimate ways of selling both locally and nationally with groups cropping up everywhere. Anyone can set one up and add members, share the group and watch it grow. As Facebook has introduced recommended groups in recent months it has also seen the rate of growth for these groups increase rapidly. If you have decided to sell your car privately then you really should look for a related Facebook group if you are a member of the social networking site. Simply type in cars into the search bar and maybe your town and see if anything comes up. Other key groups to search would be buy and sell etc.

Which to choose?

After reading all of the available options you may seem a little confused still. We have put together a quick glance table of the pros and cons of each for comparison.

Service

Pros

Cons

Trade Ins

Quick & hassle free.

Money goes straight towards your new car.

Generally get a lower price.

Sign In the Window

Free to advertise.

People can see the car in the flesh there and then so calls may be more genuine.

Make sure you are aware of restrictions locally.

Counting on passers by being interested. Not such targeted advertising.

Classifieds

Free or cheap to advertise.

Directly target people looking for a car.

Usually large numbers of people reading or searching through them.

May get some silly offers.

May get time wasters.

Online Auctions

Large target audience.

Can set a reserve price.

Room for a large description and lots of pictures.

Fees can mount up quickly.

May go for less than you wanted if no reserve set.

Winner may not turn up to purchase.

Offline Auctions

Relatively quick sale

No waiting in for people to call or come and view.

Car is in front of car buyers with cash there and then.

Generally get a lower price than selling other ways.

Fees can mount up quickly.

Dedicated Used Car Websites

Directly advertising to people actively seeking a car.

Some sites offer free listings.

National reach.

May get some silly offers or time wasters.

Car Buying Services

Quick Sale.

No waiting in for people to call or come and view.

Will get less money than selling privately.

May get less than the online quoted price.

Dedicated Owner sites / Forums

Targeting people with an interest in your specific make / model.

Free to advertise in most cases.

Perfect for classic, collectable and rare cars.

Generally targeting lower numbers than other methods and majority of people are on there for advice as they already own.

Facebook

Free to advertise.

Can target both locally and nationally.

Can target people specifically looking for a car.

Social means people can tag and share.

May get a lot of silly offers or useless comments and time wasters.

Unless you are selling to a car buying company or trading in it definitely pays to take advantage of as many of the other methods of advertising as possible. You should definitely take up all of the free options as there really is nothing to lose.

Setting the price

Now your car is ready to sell and you have done the research into valuations, you will be able to look at it and judge its condition. For cars in good cosmetic and mechanical condition you should be able to achieve the top price bracket. For those with some cosmetic damage or minor problems the price at the lower end should be your rough guide. Any cars with more severe cosmetic damage or mechanical problems will obviously be worth less than the CAP valuations. In these instances looking around at cars on the market with problems similar will give a rough guide.

Remember, if you have time to wait for the right buyer then the top end prices are realistic, but for those requiring a quick sale you need to price your car slightly below the average for its condition, this will gain the vehicle more interest and should get a buyer quicker. It is never advisable to price your car too cheaply, this will lead the buyer to believe there is either something wrong with it or that you are desperate to sell leading them to offer an even lower price for it.

Price the car realistically, but remember that everyone loves a bargain and most people will be looking to barter the price of your car down. With this in mind advertise the car slightly higher than the amount you are willing to accept for it. This way the buyer feels like they got a bargain and you don't end up losing too much off of your expected price.

Cardeck.co.uk - Car selling guide

Photographing the car

If you have decided to sell the car yourself, be it through classifieds, online auctions or perhaps Facebook then photos are imperative. Buyers like to see everything visually and get a feel for the car before they decide whether they should take the time to come out and view it. It's always helpful to give buyers the most information possible about your car, both visual and descriptive. Take as many pictures as necessary to cover everything from all angles showing any imperfections.

To make the most out of the photos ensure that the car has been thoroughly cleaned just before taking them. Photos should always be taken in direct light. Try to avoid dimly lit situations such as dusk or rainy days. If possible a nice sunny day is your best option, it will show off your gleaming clean car. Take pictures from all angles, front on, side on and rear on. Don't forget to take pictures of the inside of your car they are just as important for people to get a feel for the car. Take pictures of the front and back seats as well as the dashboard and console. To some people the interior design of a car is as important as the exterior.

If there are any dents, scratches or broken parts photograph them also in order to have a comprehensive listing giving potential buyers all the available information to make a decision upon. Nobody likes to waste their time going out to see a car only to find all the defects were hidden in the advert.

Some places will allow you to upload a video of the car. This is a perfect way for buyers to get a feel for the car. They can hear the engine and have a walk through around the car. You could talk about any key features, but keep it brief no one wants to hear an essay about the car. Just point out the key features such as central locking, electric windows, steering wheel stereo controls etc. With this medium, you can turn the engine on and rev it, you may find it easier for someone else to shoot the video or to get someone else to turn the car on and rev the engine. Pop the bonnet and show the engine bay with the engine running, walk around the outside of the car and show the inside pointing out any imperfections.

Top Tips For Taking Good Pics / Videos

Use a camera phone or digital camera with a decent camera on it. If the pictures of your car are unclear buyers may think you are trying to hide something. For videos a phone with a HD video record or digital camera / camcorder is best for optimum quality.

Make sure the car is clean and well presented. Writing on the description that the car will be cleaned before sale isn't really sufficient. Present your car in the best light.

Take the pictures or video in daylight to ensure they are clear, the flash creates glare, which obscures the view and also shows up every tiny finger print etc.

Take the photo or video in a clear area where you have enough room to walk around the vehicle and get images from all angles. Don't take it somewhere cluttered as this draws attention away from the vehicle itself. Make it the focus point here.

Making the advert

When it comes to writing your advert the key is honesty. Cover everything, be it the good the bad and the ugly. Don't write an essay nobody has time to read it, but make sure everything is covered concisely. Remember the way the advert is written is important, people want to buy from responsible owners that have looked after their car.

Top tips for writing the advert

Start off with the basics about the car. Make, Model, engine size, fuel type, year of registration and a basic description, including the colour and number of owners.

Explain any particularly good points about the car, what features does it have such as power steering, electric windows, remote steering wheel controls, air conditioning and so on.

Next cover any bad points about the car, does it have any dents or mechanical problems?

Finally, does the car have an MOT, service history or any receipts for past work. Include all this here so as not to end on a bad point. Remember, if the car has a short MOT i.e. Less than three months we recommend putting it through for a new one in order to appear more enticing to buyers and get you a quicker more valuable sale. At present cars are allowed to be sold with tax, but after October 2014 this will no longer be the case as car tax will not be transferable.

Finally, add your details such as location and how you can be contacted, if there are specific times you can answer the phone, write that in the listing, there's nothing more irritating than ringing person after person and getting voicemail machines. People may think the car has sold and this is why you're not answering.

Try to avoid cliches such as 'first to see will buy' or 'one genuine lady owner' adverts are best kept to the point and even if the car really has had one lady owner the statement itself can affect the sincerity of the advert.

Viewings and Sale

Once your car is listed the enquiries should start coming in, if for any reason they do not you may need to rethink the price. There are many people in the market for a used car and if you have taken advantage of a few of the advertising options available to you then you should expect some calls or emails.

Arranging Viewings

As we mentioned earlier, make sure if you have placed an advert you are contactable, if you work during the day and are unable to answer calls write this in your advert advising of a good time to call. Follow up any emails or messages that have been left. No matter how keen someone sounds on the phone its inevitable that some people won't show up to look at the car, if you have arranged viewings and receive further calls just let them know someone is coming to look and you will get back to them after the viewing has taken place.

Top Tips for arranging a viewing

Answer any questions directed at you from potential buyers honestly.

Arrange viewings during daylight hours when you have enough free time to go through everything.

Arrange the viewing at your home address as some scammers prefer to take you to a quieter area in order to carjack you.

Take a name and number for them in the event anything unexpected prevents you from making the viewing, we also advise taking their address just to try and deter scammers. Genuine buyers shouldn't mind giving you their information.

Once a viewing has been arranged you should make sure the car is still looking its best and has succumb to any dirt or mud since you cleaned it and took the pictures.

Top Tips for the Viewing

Greet the potential buyer, grab the keys and take them to the car.

Let the buyer look around the car, stand back, they don't need a sales pitch give them some space to have a look at everything and answer any questions that are asked.

Start the engine and let them hear it tick over. Never leave the buyer alone in the car with the keys.

If the buyer wants to test drive the car ask to see their driving license and check that they are insured to drive the car, if not then take them for a drive as a passenger.

If you let them drive the car ensure you are in the passenger seat before handing the keys over to them. If at any point you swap seats, then again take the keys before leaving the vehicle. This may sound extreme, but there have been a number of incidents of cars stolen during viewings and test drives recently.

Once back at your address ask them if they have any questions.

Have any history receipts, etc. available for the buyer to look over.

Once the viewing and test drive are complete you may be made an offer. Remember that all negative points the car has will be used as bargaining chips to get the price down. If you had built in a little room for bartering into your price as we suggested you shouldn't lose too much money. It's very rare that people will pay the asking price for a used car. Be firm have the lowest price in mind that you are willing to accept and don't budge from it, when they make an offer, you counter that offer with something higher until you can agree on a price. Some people will try their luck, they may even walk away, but chances are if they have made the effort to come all the way out and view the car they are keen. The people with the silly low offers generally make them before coming out to view the car.

If you agree on a price, then congratulations, you have just sold your car. Take the buyer inside to complete the deal. Ensure you take the money before handing anything over, count it to ensure it is all there. If a bank transfer is made then ensure that it's in your bank before proceeding.

The paperwork

The first thing you should do is complete, the new keeper details of the V5C and sign it along with the buyer, give the buyer the V5C/2 section as this is their proof of ownership until they receive the updated V5C. As the seller, it is your responsibility to return the V5C to the DVLA if you do not notify the DVLA of the change of ownership you will be liable for any of the new owners offences such as speeding tickets or parking fines.

Once the V5C has been completed, you should provide a 'sold as seen' receipt for the buyer. This doesn't affect the buyer's legal rights in the event they were mis-sold a car. The goods sold must match the description given to them by you either in writing or verbally. Make a note of any problems with the car on the receipt so this cannot come back on you at a later date. Include the cars make, model, colour, mileage and registration number on the receipt, along with both the buyers and sellers details, the date of sale and the price paid.

Another thing we recommend is a buyer / seller contract which can be found online and printed off free of charge, this will help to cover you in the event of any later disputes.

Handover

Once the paperwork is complete it's time to hand everything over to the new owner.

Checklist

The key along with any duplicates.

The V5C/2 slip.

The owners manual if you have it.

The receipt and contract.

Any history for the car receipts, old MOT's service books etc.

Make sure you have removed any personal possessions such as CD's, in car chargers, etc before the new owner drives away.

When selling your car remember it is against the law to sell if the car is unroadworthy or has any outstanding finance agreements remaining on it.

Up