Best Way to Sell a Car Privately

Best Way to Sell a Car Privately

How to move that car you no longer need…

People are buying new cars at a record rate and that means there’s a lot of pre-owned cars out there that need a good home.

Should I trade-in my car?

Using your car as a trade-in on your new vehicle is the easy option, and yes, your car can be used as a deposit on your new set of wheels.

But you and I both know that the car dealership is going to give you a valuation of your car that is well below the retail value.

And this is fair enough too, when the car dealership takes on your vehicle they need to absorb the cost of any repairs it may need, cleaning and detailing, marketing and then simply having it sitting on their lot.

It all costs money and car dealerships are businesses, they need to make a profit on every car that they sell.

How do I do it myself?

If you want to try and get more money for your car than what your car dealer offered, then the best idea is just selling it yourself.

The best way to sell a car privately is to advertise the car online.

This way you’re getting your vehicle in front of people who are actively searching for their next vehicle.

There are some options here and we, naturally, would love to see you list your vehicle at our own very classifieds website – motorclassifieds.com.au.

Yes, we won’t charge you anything to list your car and it’s all very simple and easy.

Be careful with some of the other car classifieds websites though, they may say they are ‘free’, but you will probably find yourself getting your credit card out to pay for things like ‘Featured Listings’ etc.

Wherever you list your car for sale be sure to include good, clear photos of the vehicle, including interior, boot/cargo area, under bonnet and from all angles on the outside.

Naturally, ensure the vehicle is clean and clutter free when you take the snaps!

In your car classified listing, ensure you include all the information that you can.

So, list all the features, mileage, service history and give an honest explanation as to why you are selling the vehicle.

And, of course, the traditional sign in the car window can also be effective.

How much is my car worth?

There are used car valuation services available online, do a Google search of your vehicles make and model and you will find car sales listings that should also give you an idea.

Be sure to set your value slightly above what you’re happy to get for the car, this way you have some negotiating space.

How do I protect myself from dishonest people?

Yes, there is certainly a risk when trying to sell a car privately that you could be contacted by criminals or scammers.

We have all heard those stories of people test-driving cars and never coming back, some of the best ways to protect yourself include:

  • If it doesn’t feel right, don’t hand over the keys
  • Be sure to get identification from prospective buyer
  • Go along for the test-drive
  • Meet in a public place where there are lots of people around

And then, if an offer is made, don’t accept a personal cheque or money order as these could be fake.

Also, it is recommended that you don’t sign over the title of the car until you have the money securely in your possession (either cash, bank transfer or bank cheque).

And if someone contacts you from overseas about buying your car, ignore them – chances are it’s a scam.

Final pointers?

Yes, just be patient. You don’t have to take the first offer.

About Joel Helmes 3404 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director.Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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