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Where to Sell Your Car

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Traditionally the only ways to sell your car were privately by advertising in classifieds, through physical car auctions or by selling it to a local dealer either for cash or as a part exchange. The internet created many new ways to sell your car, including online auctions, online dealerships and new advertising venues for private sales. In almost every category of sale there are multiple competing companies worth considering. This guide gives you a brief overview of the pros and cons of each method of sale.

Private sale

The classic way of selling your car is still the best way of getting the best return. Although internet marketing venues enables you to reach a national audience for a fraction of the cost you could years ago, private sales are still typically the slowest method of selling and will require the most time put into it to achieve a sale.

With private sales it's important to take excellent photos of your car that both show it in the best light but don't hide any problems you talk about in the description. Potential buyers will be attracted to listings with better photos and are more likely to take the time out of their schedules to view your car. An honest but positive description of your car is also important. Include all the details you'd want to know if you were looking to buy the car.

The best venue for reaching a national audience is undoubtedly AutoTrader and Motors.co.uk but listing here can also be expensive. If you're not in a rush you could consider some of the free or cheaper alternatives first. Other venues include Piston Heads, Exchange and Mart and Car Pages

Key to a quick sale is being available for buyers to contact. Reply to enquiries quickly, be flexible about when they can view the car, answer the phone when it rings and be prepared to haggle. Most buyers will try to reduce the price they pay, even if just by £50.

'Real Life' Dealerships

Selling to a dealership is still one of the quickest ways of selling your car. Whether you're going for a part exchange or if you're just looking to sell, there's likely to be many dealers in your local area that will make you an offer on your car. The key to getting a good deal is to get multiple quotes and to haggle, making uses of quotes given by other dealers.

Given the high overheads of running dealerships, you're unlikely to get the best value from your car using this method although part exchange values are typically higher and can be worthwhile if you need cash to purchase your next car.

Online Auctions

eBay is the undisputed leader in online car auctions and is the obvious choice. You can sell your car quickly and to a national audience using this venue, but you'll need to remember that online auctions are notorious for non-paying buyers and they're also risky in other ways. Ensure you know how to minimise the risks before going down the eBay route.

Remember that online car auctions are more like a mix between private sale and traditional auction, so expect to show interested buyers your car before the auction finishes. You'll also need to write an honest description and include as many photos of your vehicle as you can take.

There's another form of online auction where only dealers can bid. You'll likely get less using this form of auction, but you'll know the buyer is serious and not a fraudster. Often these auctions are non-obligation too so if you don't get an acceptable bid you don't need to complete the sale.

Online car buying dealers such as wewantanycar.com

Selling to a dealer online can be a great way of quickly selling your car. You'll usually get a better price that at a dealership, but with the same speed. The sale will often complete the same day if the online buyer has any meeting time slots available in your local area.

Remember that the quote they give you online is subject to change, especially if you've forgotten to disclose damage to your car or misreported the extent of problems. It's therefore really important that you're entirely honest during the quotation process.

'Real Life' Auctions

Selling your car through an auction is a little like selling anything - from antiques to a home - through an auction house. You'll allow buyers to inspect the vehicle on the day and then bidding will take place. If it reaches your reserve you'll hand over the keys and documents to the buyer, and the auction house will send you a bank transfer or cheque within a few business days.

Auctions take place across the country almost every day. However, not all auctions are open to individuals to list cars in, as many dealerships have their own auction events exclusively for their cars. Still you're likely to find an auction you can list your car in almost weekly within reasonable distance of where you live. Many auction houses will even drive your car to the auction and sell it for you for an added fee if you don't have time to attend the auction personally.

Before even starting to think about where to sell your car, there are a number of things to remember, such as what documents do you need and what factors will affect selling my car. Always ensure that you’ve done all the necessary research before starting the selling process, in order to reduce any unnecessary delays.

Where to sell your car
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