Selling Your Car

Selling a car can be hard work – unless the car you’re selling is rare or unusual, you may find it difficult to make your car stand out from all the other used vehicles on the market.  If you want to increase your chances of a quick sale, and make sure that you get a decent selling price for your car, then you’ll need to make sure that the car looks good, has a good service history, and has all of its paperwork ready to go before you put it on the market.

car for sale

Selling to a Dealer

Taking your car to a dealer, either for cash, or for part exchange, is the easiest way to make a sale.  If your car is fairly new, in good condition, and has good service records, then you should get a good price for it, especially if you’re looking to part exchange it for a new vehicle.

Dealers usually aren’t fans of older cars, or ones that have a lot of mileage on them, car for salehowever.  If your car has travelled up and down the country with you, then you may find that you’ll get a better deal by selling privately.

Actions and Local Papers

Most private sellers rely on auction sites, car magazines, and local papers to sell their vehicles.  Selling privately requires more work than taking your car to a dealer, but you have more freedom to barter and may be able to get a better price.

Before you advertise your car privately, consider getting a number plate valuation to see if you might be able to sell the plate separately (number plates that spell something, or have letters that might mean something to someone – such as the initials of a popular football team, can often be worth more than the car they’re attached to).

Make sure that your car is clean and tidy, and repair any minor cosmetic issues or simple faults.  If the car’s MOT is due to expire soon, get a new one done – a car with a recent MOT is more likely to sell.

Take care to describe the car accurately in your advertisements, and mention anything that may be of interest to buyers – e.g. low mileage, recent TAX and MOT, only one owner, etc.

When a buyer comes to test-drive the car, make sure you accompany them.  If they decide to buy the car, don’t hand over the keys until you have the money for the car either in your hand, or fully cleared in the bank.


If your car is very old or in bad shape, then you may find that selling it for spares, or scrapping it under the scrappage scheme is a better money for caroption than selling it as a working vehicle.  The government run scrappage scheme is closed, but some car manufacturers still run their own similar schemes, offering up to £2,000 discounts on new vehicles if you trade in your old car for scrap.

If you’re looking to swap a very old vehicle for a  brand new one, then taking advantage of a scrappage deal is probably the best option (although it’s still worth getting a number plate valuation to see if you can get some more money for your car that way).  Selling your car for scrap, or for spare parts, is best left as a last resort for a car that needs extensive repair or does not run at all.

Images by Hugo90, Robert Couse-Baker and 401(K) 2012.

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