First impressions count and a potential buyer can easily be put off from the get go if your car isn't clean and valeted. A full valet will set you back about £30, but will easily add much more to your sale value. The same goes for a servicing; if your car has not recently been serviced, you should be able to get one done for less than a hundred pounds. This will also look good in the vehicle records. If the car's MoT has less than 3 months lifetime left you should also get it re-tested. You can also replace your hub caps if they are looking a bit worn or grubby; they can be picked up quite cheaply, and will add a nice finishing touch to your efforts.
We recommend a full valet from a professional company who will also clean your interior too. Such services will usually clean your tyres too, which is bound to please any potential buyers. Any expenditure you make preparing your vehicle can easily be added onto your asking price, though you have no obligation to tell the customer this. Minor dents and scuffs can be repaired cheaply too - check online or in the yellow pages and you will no doubt find plenty of local businesses that will come to your home or place of work to perform the necessary work. Some buyers can easily be put off by minor blemishes or faults, so it's best to remedy them before putting the car up for sale.
Set your asking price at around 10% to 20% higher than the price you are expecting; this gives you some breathing space to negotiate if need be. If you have time to spare and are not desperate to sell your motor quickly, you can always wait for another buyer if the one who is currently looking at your vehicle is offering you too little. Get a range of different values for your car from different sources in order to put a good value on it. There are many sources online, with industry standards CAP and Glass's both having internet-based wings, and of course our valuation service will give you an excellent target price for free.
So, now you've prepared your vehicle to be sold, and in the process hopefully increased it's value, and you know at what price you should be selling it at. You now have a number of different options to choose from for how to sell your car.
Selling your car privately incurs little cost, just a tenner or so for a decent listing on AutoTrader or a couple of quid for some classified ads, or even just a handwritten sign in the back window for free. However, not everyone is made to be a used car seller, and if haggling and dealing with tyre-kickers isn't your forte, or you're not interested in having strangers visit your house to look at the car then perhaps this avenue of sale isn't for you.
There are also payment details to think of. Can you trust a banker's draft from a stranger, or indeed a large sum of cash which may well be dodgy in itself. Making sure that you actually get payment for your car can be a stressful area if you are not used to such transactions.
Selling your car via an auction is clear-cut process compared to a private sale. The auctioneers running the auctions will guide you to the proper sale for your type, age and condition of vehicle. Then, if your vehicle sells, a cheque will be written for you, which will take into account the auctioneers' commission and any other fees that may be involved in listing the sale.
However, if you fail to set a proper reserve price you could easily see your motor go for very little, especially if there is not much interest. Conversely, if the reserve you place on the car is too high you are likely not to see it sell at all. This all ends in a waste of time and money. If you do manage to sell your car via auction, it is doubtful that you will achieve anything above the 'trade' price. In fact, there are few occasions where private sellers make a decent return from auction sales.
Used car traders are notoriously shrewd and careful, and tend to stick to what they know. Taking a risk on a motor from an unknown private seller is not something they often do. If indeed your car fails to sell, it may come out of the auction in a worse state than it went in, as the herd of traders looking over it quite often cause some minor damage; in some cases things may even go 'missing' from the vehicle. If this description of car auctions hasn't put you off yet let us be clear - an auction is probably your very last resort to sell your car.
Going down the partex route is not for the faint hearted. Whilst you want to get the most money you can out of your motor, the dealer conversely wants to give you as little as possible to make the deal worthwhile. You can most often get a better deal through a private sale. Also, there may be specialist buyers out there who are after vehicles just like yours, and who will give you a much better deal than part exchanging.
Indeed, if your vehicle is less than 5 years old, or has less than 50k miles under it's belt, then a specialist car buyer is who you should check with first. There is currently a shortage of quality used cars, and dealers are clammering for young motors to introduce into the used vehicle sales pool.