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The best way to advertise your car for sale

Updated on April 12, 2012

Advertising your car for sale made easy!

One of the biggest problems when selling a car privately is spreading the word and letting potential buyers know your car is for sale. Historically, publications selling the advertising space knew the problems people faced when selling their cars and capitalised on this by charging a small fortune in which to advertise cars for sale.

Fortunately, times have changed and technology has moved on and there are now many ways in which to advertise your car is for sale. No one particular advertising method is better than the others and in order to hit the largest possible audience you need to use a variety of different methods.

Take a photograph to create impact


"A picture is worth a thousand words". This statement is a cliché but when advertising a car for sale it is so true. It is very difficult to describe what a car looks like, what the general condition is, where the marks are etc. etc. and the best way to overcome this is to uses a photograph. A photograph can be the difference between a viewing or not so when photographing your car there are some things you need to do. First off ensure the car is clean and give it a good wash, wax and polish before taking a photograph. Wash the body work, ensure the windows sparkle and make sure the wheels are immaculate. When photographing your car think about the background. Ideally, you want to get the car out in the open where there are no distractions. An empty car park, a quiet country road, a quiet street and a garage forecourt are all great locations to take photographs. Be inventive, be original and you are likely to be successful.


You should also photograph the interior of your car in order to let potential buyers know what the overall condition is. Before photographing the interior give it a good clean. Remove any rubbish, vacuum the carpets and seats, dust the dash board, clean the mirrors and wipe the windows over. If possible, use a wide angle lens to get the maximum field of view and get some interesting and quirky images.

Use the best camera you have to take the photograph and save the image in a high quality Jpeg file. One photograph is not enough so take many of them each one from a different angle. Get down low and shoot up, get up high and shoot down, move around the car and take photographs of panels, windows and specific features. The more of your car a potential buyer can see the more chance they are likely to want to come and see it.

Your advertisement needs to contain text as well as images. The advertisement should be concise, brief and to the point. In addition, it also needs to give the right amount of information to encourage any potential buyer to make further enquiries. A good advertisement will include the make and model of the car, the mileage, the number of owners, a description of the car, a description of the overall condition of the car, the length of MOT and road tax remaining and contact information. The advertisement needs to short and punchy and catch the eye of all potential buyers.

So, you have drafted a short and succinct advertisement and have a number of different photographs of your car. Now what? You now have to get the advertisement out there.

A good starting point is your local post office, shop or convenience store. Many small and local shops have a notice board and will let local people advertise any goods they have for sale for free, or a very small amount of money. If you don't mind selling your car to a local person the small shop is an ideal place. Alternatively, you may wish to stick an advertisement in the car and drive it around. When the car is parked up passers-by will get the chance to see the car is for sale and may contact you for further information. If you want to ship the car out of the area and as far away as possible, as many people do, advertising the car in a local shop and driving around with an advertisement in the car is not a good idea.

Another good starting point is the internet. There are many car owners clubs and forums on the internet and these can be a great place to advertise your car for free. You will have to sign up to be a member of the website, make a few posts and be active for a little while before you can advertise your car but a little effort is all worth it if you can avoid some advertising fees. If you decide to sell your car on an owner's forum website you have to remember you are dealing with people that are experts about the model of car you are selling. These people will know how much the car is worth, what the common problems are, how common problems are disguised etc. etc. You will not be able to pull the wool over the eyes of the enthusiasts so don't even bother to try.

If there are no owner's clubs of the car you are selling and you do not want to sell your car locally the next best thing to try is a national publication, of which there are many. These publications charge a fee to advertise your car, the level of which will depend on how many issues you want the advert to appear in, the size of the advertisement, the number of photographs you want to publish, the number of words you want to include and the location of the advertisement. Using a national publication, such as Auto Trader, is expensive however you will be hitting the right audience since it is a publication bought by people actively looking to buy a car. As well as having your advertisement in the magazine the advertisement fee will allow you to have an advertisement on the publication's website which reaches an even larger audience.

Ebay, the online auction site, has become a favourite place for people to sell their cars. Ebay receives many visitors, many of which are actively looking to buy a car just like yours, so it reaches the target audience. Ebay fees have increased over the years and the seller fees are now exceptionally high, a fact that needs to be considered. Many people try and get around the high sellers fees by doing the sale outside of Ebay, i.e. off site, which is strictly against the terms and conditions of the site. It is clear that some people have managed to find a buyer on Ebay, cancelled the listing in some fraudulent manner and then complete the sale privately, and got away with it. At first glance this would appear to be the best solution but what happens if you get caught out? Is it a risk worth taking to reduce your selling costs by a few pounds? Only you can make that decision.

If you have a car associated blog you can even advertise your car on the blog. Whether the advertisement reaches the desired audience or not will depend on how many visitors your blog gets, so the results may vary. It is worth noting that if you advertise your car on your blog you will have to include some personal contact information which many people will feel uncomfortable doing.

Bookmarking sites can also be used in letting potential buyers know your car is up for sale. Whilst you cannot post an actual advertisement on these sites you can post a link back to your blog or some other site you have that provides full details about your car for sale. Social networking is huge and with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc. there is the chance to let the world know your car is for sale.

Advertising a car has never been easier and there are many different avenues a seller can take. From placing local advertisements, placing national advertisements, advertising on specialist and enthusiast sites, advertising on private blogs and selling through well known auction sites there are no excuses not to be able to let the world know that your car is up for sale and open to offers.

Car cleaning products

When you are selling a car, or taking photographs of your car in order to sell it, you are going to need to ensure your car is spotlessly clean. A clean car gives the right impression and will encourage potential buyers to come and see your car.

You can use a bucket of water to clean your car, however for the best results you are going to need to use some specialist cleaning products and what better place to get them than Amazon.

For a selection of cleaning products check out the box below, alternatively try the search facility.

Car vacs for sale

Cleaning the outside of the car is only half the story, and when selling a car it is important to clean the interior as well. You need to make sure the seats are hair free and there is no mud or dirt on the mats and the best way to achieve this is to use a car vac.

For a range of car vas check out the boxes below or use the search facility.

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    • RetroMom profile image


      6 years ago

      Great job! Your tips are amazing.


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