So you want to sell your old car because it looks lame parked next to your new trendy car. And you could do with some extra money in your pocket. And your neighbours would appreciate the extra parking space on the street. And – so many ands.

OK, exactly how does one sell their old car? Well, there’s a series of best practices you should go through to optimise your selling experience.

The first step is getting ready.

How to prepare your car for sale

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca the Younger

Preparation is key to selling your car at a good price and quickly. After all, you don’t want to short-change yourself, and you have other pressing things to do (like drive the new car).

According to AA, the best way to get your vehicle ready for a sale is to,

  • Clean it, inside and out – it’s good manners
  • Repair minor damage and faults – minor effort can make a major difference in a sale
  • Get a new MOT, especially if the current one will expire soon – the buyer will appreciate it
  • Consider a professional valet service – yes, professionally get that baby fresh
  • Set up some advertising – get creative from posters to ad sites and social media

Safely selling your car privately

It’s your responsibility to describe your car correctly when you advertise it as well as prove that you’re the legal owner of it.

What you also need to do is make sure the person you’re selling your car to is as legit as you.

“Trust but verify.” – Ronald Reagan

  • Have someone with you when you offer test drives if you feel uncertain.
  • Never leave a potential buyer in your car alone with the keys.
  • Check that your potential buyer is insured before letting them test drive, or confirm that your insurance covers them also.
  • Take a picture of the buyer’s ID.

Securing your money when selling your car

Believe it or not, there are those in this world that seek opportunities to profit at your expense. It’s true. But their evil schemes will not succeed. Why? Because you will be bold enough to advertise our car for sale, but cautious enough to stay safe.

 “Be cautious and bold.” – Victor Rothschild

According to Money Advice Service, there are specific things to do to ensure safe payment:

  • If paid in cash, count it, and (ideally) meet at your bank to verify the notes are real. Making sure you get the right amount and the right kind of money is important!    
  • If paid by bank transfer, hold on to the car until the funds are in your account. The funds aren’t in your possession until they’re in your account.
  • If paid by check or bankers draft, hold on to the car until the funds have cleared. Again, the money isn’t yours until it’s in in your account.

Car sale checklist

For optimum sale results, it is best to work through a checklist of best practices, ensuring nothing is over looked.

Don’t worry, there are ready made checklists available for you to use by websites such as AA, and Money Advice Service.

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