If you do decide to sell your car, perhaps the single worst mistake you can make is driving straight to a dealership and asking “how much?”. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that you need to be prepared to shop around. You are only going to get the best deal if you get prices from lots of different people. To this end,is a great option, as this way you increase the pool of possible buyers significantly.
The second problem with simply asking “how much” is that it shows you haven’t done your research. It is really important that you have an idea of the going rate of the car you’re selling as it puts you in a much stronger negotiating position. If you come across as knowledgeable and informed, buyers are much less likely to make sub-par offers. By doing your research, you give yourself a huge advantage.
Of course, if the offers you are getting don’t match up with what your research tells you your car is worth, don’t be afraid to just walk away. You’d be surprised how often a final offer is anything but final…
Although the British are famously terrible at haggling, this rule doesn’t seem to apply to car sales. As such, make sure you are prepared for a negotiation with your buyer. If the idea of negotiating makes you squirm, being someone along with you who can offer moral support and maybe even haggle for you!
This is where having done your research is important – because you’ll have a good feel for whether or not you’re getting a fair deal. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground if you know you aren’t getting a good offer; be firm but friendly, at the end of the day the buyer is expecting a bit of to and fro, so don’t feel embarrassed.
4 – Don’t forget to clean your car!
This one might seem a little bit silly, after all surely a buyer can look past a dirty windscreen right? The short answer is: no! It’s a no-brainer really, if you’re selling anything you want it to look its best. But with cars, this actually goes beyond cosmetic appeal. A shiny, clean car will look like a better investment, it will look newer and the bodywork will look in much better shape. Also, leaving your car dirty can affect the paintwork and maybe even lead to rusting. So, if you sell your car dirty, a buyer might think you aren’t taking good care of it – something that is bound to affect the price they offer you.
For all these reasons, it is well worth a trip to the car wash before you sell!
Finally, before you start the procedure of selling your car, make sure you have all your paperwork in order. You’ll need to have the car’s handbook, service logbook and MOT certificate (if the car is more than three years old). You also need to fill in change of ownership documents upon completing a sale, or you can tell the DVLA online.
It’s important that you sort all this out in advance, because you don’t want to waste a buyer’s time. Again, if you’re looking for the best deal, you don’t want to be messing your buy around, you want to keep them happy and you want to seem professional and organised.