Selling your car can be surprisingly tricky, particularly if you want to receive the best possible price. Buyers have a huge choice so it’s vital to make sure that your car stands out from the crowd. Some simple tactics, such as making sure you set a fair price, ensuring that your car looks great and using clever negotiation tactics, can be the difference between making a quick sale or being left with an unwanted car on your hands for months.
Setting the Price
Ensuring that you’ve valued your car correctly is the most important aspect when selling a car. Set too high a price and you could end up with a car stuck on your hands for months, whilst setting too low a price will result in a quick sale but knowing that you could have done better. Parkers.co.uk has an excellent used car guide section, where you can quickly receive a reliable price estimate.
Also, take a look through the local classifieds to get a feel for prices. Take into account the number of miles that you car has traveled and whether any extra features have been installed over the years, such as air conditioning or a stereo system.
Preparing the Car
On average clean and polished cars sell for 10% more than the same cars when they are filthy because buyers like to know that the car they are buying has been cared for. Dealers will also pay more for clean cars because it saves them time and money cleaning the car themselves.
For the outside of the car use a good quality car shampoo before polishing the car to create that ‘new car’ shine. Then power spray the tyres and clean alloy wheels. This clean and shiny car exterior will create an excellent first impression.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust and dirt from inside the car. Dashboards should be cleaned with a ‘low-gloss’ dashboard cleaner. When cleaning the windows remember to be careful around the heater elements in the rear window. Finally, ensure that the car smells nice. In particular remove any cigarette smell.
Where to Advertise
As a generalization when selling a car there are two options available – sell it yourself or sell direct to a dealer. Selling direct to a dealer is a quick and easy way of getting the car off your hands as you don’t have to advertise, deal with buyers, or take the risk of being unable to sell your car for months, during which time your car continues to devalue. Companies such as wewillbuyyourcar.com will provide an instant quote online for the majority of used cars.
The downside with selling to a dealer is that you’re unlikely to receive the best possible price. Advertising and selling the car yourself is more time consuming but can also be more profitable. eBay Motors has become one of the most popular ways of buying and selling a used car, so much so that a car is now sold every 2 minutes through the site. When selling through eBay make sure that you include a lot of information about the car along with a couple of photos.
Negotiating the Price
When potential buyers take a look at your car and decide that they are seriously interested in purchasing it the chances are that they will attempt to negotiate the price. This is to be expected because buyers like to think that they are getting a good deal as well. Therefore have a target price and lowest acceptable price in mind before you enter negotiations. If the two offers are some way apart then a moment of silence is often the best tactic. People find silence uncomfortable and awkward, often resulting in them making a compromise offer half way between the two valuations. It’s at this point that you can propose meeting half way between your offer and the new offer, gaining yourself a better deal.
Completing the Deal
Once a price has been agreed the deal still needs to be completed. Ask the buyer for their ID, address, and landline number because sometimes things go wrong in which case it’s good to have a way to contact them. If paid by cheque only let the buyer drive the car away once it has cleared. Finally, write a receipt stating that you are selling the car, and include the details of the car, yourself and the buyer. Write on the receipt ‘accepted as tested and seen’ to cover yourself against any future claims for damages. Then have the receipt signed by both yourself and the buyer, after which a successful sale will have been achieved.