How To Sell Your First Car

Posted in: Driving Tips.

Whether it’s time for an upgrade or even a downgrade, selling your first car is something you won’t have done before and has endless options regarding how and where to sell it. There are numerous steps you can take to make this process as smooth as possible and a range of methods to choose from depending on your end goal.

A Guide To Selling Your Car

Before actively advertising and going to sell a vehicle, there are many steps to take regarding finances, regulations and the car’s condition. These simple steps will help to get yourself and your vehicle ready for the marketplace.

How To Sell Your First Car
How To Sell Your First Car
  • Give the car a good clean
  • Repair or cover any small damages
  • Double-check MOT and service records
  • Decide on a realistic price range
  • Have the right to sell
  • Finance settlement (if you’re currently in one)
  • Have access to all relevant documents
  • Inform DVLA
  • Change any personal details
  • Inform the DVLA once it’s been sold

The Best Way To Sell A Car

Once all the paperwork and legal part is out the way, you’ll then be faced with the big question of, where and how should I sell my car? With a number of traditional and online platforms available, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of all possibilities. Here are some of the best ways to sell a car.

Private Selling

Going solo and selling your car privately works for many people. Avoiding fees and offering plenty of flexibility, there are still many decisions to make when it comes to selling a car privately. If you’re wanting to go down the old school route, consider advertising your car with a sell sign, put some posters up in your local community or publish ads. Alternatively, using the power of the internet is normally the quickest and easiest method for private sales. Using sites such as Gumtree, eBay or Autotrader can offer national exposure and local connections, but be prepared to be the one tackling customer calls and queries.

Online Car Buyer

Considered the quickest way to sell your car, using a car comparison site is quick, efficient and reliable. With websites such as Jamjar offering online valuations, all that’s required is your reg plate. The sites will offer you a price for the car and arrange a drop-off or collection, it’s that simple. You can then go ahead and find your new car with no ties to the old one and no responsibility regarding the next owner.

Trade It In

Ideal if you’re wanting to replace your old vehicle, the trade-in process kills two birds with one stone. The main appeal of a trade is the minimal effort and hassle it brings. Typically, you will discuss the finances and options with a local dealer, offer them your old car and get a new one in return. The main downfall here is the cash loss that can come with it as it’s normally a lower figure compared to a private sale.

Selling Your Car To A Dealership

Although this one can come with slight cash lost too, selling your car to a dealership offers reliability and a super simple process. Contacting a local dealership is convenient and easy to do, but be warned, selling to a dealership means lots of negotiating and potential profit-making on their end. It’s always best to have a solid price in your mind and set yourself boundaries before making any rash decisions.

Scrap Your Car

If your car is still in good condition, selling it at a scrapyard or to a scrap buyer is also an option. On the flip side, if it’s a bit battered and bruised, you can still sell certain parts and make the most out of what’s left. There are two options when it comes to strapping a car including scrapping schemes or using a scrap buying website such as Jamjar.

Tips For A Successful Sale

Even if you’re not a pro salesman, there are many tasks you can complete to have a quick and successful sale. Preparing your vehicle can be crucial and can really affect both the time and money made. Follow these simple steps to get the best results when it comes to selling a car.

Practise your haggling skills


Everyone loves a good deal now and again, and car sales are widely known for a good haggle. Being prepared for these types of conversations will help with private selling and dealerships so you know what and what not to accept.

Create accurate advertisement materials


The last thing you want is claims of false advertisement. Making sure your title, description and features of the car are accurate will avoid any disagreements or misunderstandings.

Invest in a complete valet


Trying to get a car back to its original form is a difficult task. Even though you can go to a standard car wash or even clear it out yourself, selling a car that looks and feels brand new even if it isn’t is highly sought after.

Get a recent MOT


Proving your customers with a recent MOT will provide reliability and proof that the car is in a good, safe condition.

Repairs and damage


If your car has minor scratches or dents, these can easily be repaired at home or through a local garage. Leaving these for the customer to deal with can bring the price down so consider whether it’s worth fixing yourself first. If your car has more severe damage, gather some quotes and decide which outcome is best for you.

Promote special features


There will be hundreds of your car’s models for sale so showcasing its special features is sure to pay off. If you’ve recently invested in exclusive interiors, polished trims, alloys or any other finish, make sure to use these to your advantage.


About the author


Any King, Director, Jamjar.com

Andy started (formally Sell Your Jamjar) many years ago and become the first online car selling site, even before the like of Autotrader. After the flood of companies like his, Andy decided to do things differently and continue to offer fair prices for your car and even give you a free valuation without taking your personal details.



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