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5 Top Tips For Selling Your Old Car

Updated on February 26, 2013


Following on from the article that I wrote regarding tips for buying a used car I decided that it was only right that I create an article on my tips for selling your old car. Again, as with the last article, I accept that there may be more factors that you will need to take into account before selling the car, however, I believe that if you were to follow each of these five tips then you will greatly increase your chances of selling the car.

1. Make Sure You Have All The Relevant Paperwork

Although this seems fairly self explanatory I would have to say that this is perhaps one of the most important things that you can do when selling a car. If you do not have all the relevant paperwork (i.e. Service histories and repairs) then the chances are that the buyer will start to question why you do not have these and may even try and offer you a lower price (if indeed they make you an offer at all) because of the fact that you do not have all the relevant documentation. Thus, for me I would say that this is the most important thing that you need when selling the car. If you do not have these however, my advice would be to be honest with the seller and show them what you do have and explain the reasons why you do not have the other paperwork. I know some people will tell you that honesty is not always the best idea but, in my experience I would have to say that the person is more likely to want to buy off of you if they feel that you are an honest person.

2. List Your Car For Sale In The Right Place

As there are so many places that you can list your car for sale it would seem important to me that you list your car for sale in the right places. If, for example, you have a vintage car you will not want to list this in the same place that you would list an everyday saloon car. The chances are that you will not make as much money as if you listed on a specialist vintage car website. So therefore, it is important to make sure you list your car in the right place. If you are in the UK as I am, I would recommend that you use AutoTrader for everyday cars as this is easily one of the most popular car selling websites in the UK at the minute. If you car is not your everyday run of the mill mass produced car then I would recommend that you do more research before listing your car for sale with a website.

3. Make Sure Oil & Windscreen Washer Are Full

This is a point that is all too often forgotten by car sellers yet is so easy to do. A perspective buyer will want to know that the oil has been changed and that the windscreen washer has been filled up. It only takes two minutes to do but will show the buyer that you have nothing to hide and that everything is working fine in the car. For me, all these small things add up when selling the car and although this point may not make or break a sale, I still feel it to be an important part of the whole process of selling the car.

4. Clean & Polish The Car

This is something that you should do anyways but I thought i’d add it to the list as it is important to do when selling the car. The inside and outside of the car should look at their best if you want to sell your car quicker. This means polishing the inside and waxing the outside. Also, if you can find anything to cover up small scratches on the car then this will likely aid you in selling the car as no one really wants to buy a car that has scratches all over it. If you don’t clean up the small scratches it is not the end of the world however, please be aware that a smart buyer will seek to use this against you when trying to haggle the price down with you. Thus, if you don’t want this to happen then I would advise spending the small amount of money that it will cost you to go and buy something to sort these out.

5. Expect To Be Haggled

For me, this is one of the major parts of selling your car. You should expect that the person who comes to view your car will try and knock some money off of the asking price in order to save themselves some money. Thus, in expectation of this, I would recommend that you list the car at ever so slightly more than you would wish to sell it for. This will mean that if someone does come to you trying to knock some money off of the price then you have already accounted for this in your asking price. However, be careful when doing this as you will not want to list the car at such a high price that it wont sell.

Perhaps the best advice that I can give on this one is to make sure that you do your research as to the price that the same model of car is being sold at elsewhere. Only then will you be able to gauge the price that you wish to sell the car at.


As a conclusion to this, it may be seen that the five points made above are some of the important things that I would do before you sell your old car. Although many of them seem self explanatory you would be surprised the number of people that do not follow these seemingly simple principles when selling their car. There are of course other factors that you should take into account such as the time of day that you arrange a viewing with the perspective buyer. However, for me, these are the main things that I look out for when selling a car. If you feel I have left some things out then please feel free to comment and I will add them into the article J


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    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for your advice!

    • skinnaz profile image

      skinnaz 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      In all honesty I think you would get a better deal if you sold it privately. You would have to be honest with the potential buyer though and drop the price due to the leak. Your best bet would be to look on the internet and see the price of the same model and year on the internet to give you a rough guide as to how much you would be able to get. It may take longer to sell but you will be able to make more through selling it privately. Any price a dealer offers you has to be a fair bit lower than what they expect they can resell it at.

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Texas

      I am getting ready to sell a 10-year old car and your hub confirmed I am almost ready. However, the car has a rear seal slow leak that I have had diagnosed and am keeping a watch on. She has no major exterior problems, still runs like a horse (V-8 Chevy Tahoe) and I feel like she can still be good for someone who may be able to fix her. Do you think I can sell her outside a dealership if I am honest? I hate to see her reduced to junk. I am a widow and I hate the stigma of thinking we do not know what we are doing about cars - have worked hard on this the past 3 years. Thanks, voted up and useful.