Used Cars For Sale

used cars for sale in the uk

Preparation is essential when selling a used car We provide you with fundamental free car selling advice to help with the car selling process and help sell your car fast for the best possible price..

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Used Car Selling Advice

As well as getting a high polish on your car before advertising  there are a number of other preparations worth considering when selling a used car privately. A bit of time & effort will help you sell your car quickly, avoid problems & achieve the best possible  price.

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If you need technical assistance or mechanical help when selling a used car, have a look at our mechanical help pages for fault diagnosis or our past mechanical Questions & Answer pages

We also have mechanics available to help with any car mechanical problem.

Selling Privately
The idea of selling your car privately can be quite intimidating but with careful planning it can be rewarding both financially and personally. Follow our car selling guide and you will soon have your car driven off by a happy buyer with the money in your pocket for your next car.

A bit of routine maintenance is always a good place to start.

  • Make sure the water level is correct in your radiator with the correct mixture of antifreeze/summer coolant.

  • Check the oil is at the right level and you might even consider an oil change. If you do make sure you replace the oil filter too. They're not expensive and easy to change.

  • Make sure all the pressures are correct in the tyres. Incorrect tyre pressures make steering heavy and can cause veering.

  • Check all the lights are working including the indicators and brake lights. If you have a light off it will most likely be a blown bulb which aren't expensive. Remember you have a legal obligation to ensure the vehicle will pass an MOT unless you declare it wont to any potential buyer. Its well worth when selling a car to get an MOT done even if its not due. !2 months test is a good selling point.

  • If you have squeaky windscreen wipers clean them with vinegar. If this doesn't solve the problem, replace them.

  • Make sure the washer bottle is full and the washers are squirting in the right direction. They can easily be adjusted by placing a straightened paper clip in the opening and realigning the ball.

  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel in the car for the test drive.

Get your car looking like new.

  • Having a car for sale which is shiny and clean inside and out will always impress potential buyers and create a good impression. Not only will it look good but will also reflect the level of care been given to the car during your ownership.

  • Give the car a thorough clean with a car shampoo and sponge making sure you pay attention to area's which are not obviously visible. Painted area's such as under the bonnet, in the boot space and under the sills and wheel arches will all need a bit of elbow grease. Pay particular attention to the wheels a shiny set of alloys or brand new wheel trims could make the sale.

  • All car's paintwork suffer from road use with the odd scratch here and stone chip there. Its not considered bodging to cover up these areas with a touch up pen you can buy from most automotive suppliers. Rather a painted chip mark than rust spot.

  • External trim can suffer from exposure to the sunlight and fade to a dull grey. This can easily be remedied with the use of one of many back to black products which are very effective.

  • If you don't want to pay for a professional valet you will need to get the vacuum cleaner out. Make sure you get in all the corners and crevices including under the seats.

  • Polish the dash and internal trim paying attention to heater vents and any other areas which have collected dust. If you just rub these area over the trapped dust will be unsightly and give the impression of a rush job.

  • Make sure the inside smells fresh. If need be put in a car freshener but don't go over board or you may give the impression you are trying to hide something.

  • Don't spend too much time cleaning the engine and don't use a steam cleaner or it may look like you're trying to hide an oil leak. You can give a basic clean by using engine degreaser. Transfer the degreaser to an old kitchen spray bottle and cover the engine with a generous amount and then rinse off with water. Make sure any caps and the dip stick is clean. Nobody likes getting dirty hands.

  • Finally use a glass cleaning product to clean and polish the windows inside and out. You'll be amazed how good your car will look with sparkling glass.

Placing your advert.

  • Placing an advert using our selling system gives buyers the vast majority of information they need to know however you can give your add a bit of punch in the additional information section. Consider providing the following information.

    1) Number of previous owners.
    2) What receipts and documents you have.
    3) What type of use the vehicle has had e.g. Motorway miles only.
    4) If the car has been garaged when not in use.
    5) Any after market modifications.
    6) Type of sound system.
    7) Any recent maintenance e.g. New exhaust or tyres.
    8) How long since the last service.
    9) Reason for selling.

  • Photographs are a great way for buyers to view cars and can make yours stand out from others. If you would like some advice on taking pictures take a look at our photography guide

Dealing with the buyer.

  • Always be accommodating and answer questions honestly. If you try and hide anything the chances are they will find out from Data checks or their own checks and will almost certainly jeopardise the sale.

  • Give them time to look over the car without a running commentary. They will be concentrating on their check list and being distracted will be frustrating.

  • Show them all your documents from the start, the V5, past MOT's, receipts and your service book.

Taking Payment.

  • Always ask for ID from the buyer. Their driving license is an obvious form and make a note of their address. This could be useful if any problems arise.

  • The safest way to take payment is cash that you can pay into your own bank whilst the buyer is still with you but people don't like to carry large amounts for obvious reasons.

  • If the buyer wants to pay by cheque, where possible take them to their bank and get them to make the cheque out to cash so you have the funds instantly. If there is no bank within your area then the buyer will have to wait until the money is available for withdrawal which could be 5 days. Don't hand over your keys without being absolutely sure you have the money. Simply taking a cheque off someone is no guarantee you will be paid.

  • You could use electronic methods such as PayPal. Its unlikely a buyer would use your PC to make the payment but they could have someone make the payment for them from their home and you will be able to see the funds immediately. Remember though you will be charged a percentage commission off the total which you need to consider in the final agreed price.

  • The last thing you want is to be left with a forged bankers draft, forged check or pile of counterfeit notes and no car or means of finding it. Exercise vigilance and use your common sense. If you are in doubt or have any worries don't sell the car. You may feel uncomfortable expressing a lack of trust but better that than being a victim of a scam.
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