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What Is The Best Way To Sell A Car?

Are you looking for guidance on how to sell your car? Perhaps you’ve decided that you and your loved one can cope with one vehicle between you, or maybe it’s time to shift the motor that’s been sat in the garage for months on end. It could be that you want to freshen things up and go for a newer model.

Whatever your situation, you’re certainly not short of options when it comes to selling your car. In fact, sometimes, the choices can feel a bit overwhelming. You might be happy for a quick sale, as long as there’s someone willing to take it off your hands. Or perhaps, like a lot of people, you want the very best deal for a car that holds plenty of memories.

If you’re worried about how to sell your car, there’s no need for you to fret. We’ll run through all the different options and explain the pros and cons of each, to help you work out which is the best route for you to take. We’ve also spoken to Alan Gookin, Group Auction Manager at Jardine Motors Group, to provide some expert advice on the subject. Happy selling!

What do I need to sell my car?

Before you get started, there a few things you might want to do to prepare your car for sale. Assuming that you want to maximise its value, you should carry out checks to fundamental components such as the tyres, brakes, oil and headlights to ensure that everything is working correctly. Giving it a thorough clean and seeing to any minor repairs may also be worth your time, while a new MOT certificate (if the current one is soon to expire) is something buyers are likely to find appealing. Reassuring the buyer and meeting their requirements is crucial to getting the price that you want.

Where can I sell my car?

As we’ve already mentioned, there are a number of different ways to sell your car. The main ones are:

  • To a dealer (either outright or in a part exchange)
  • Privately
  • At an auction
  • Online

It’s not always easy to know how to sell a car and which method will work best for you, but below we’ve provided a general overview of how each option works.

Can I sell my car back to the dealer?

Yes, you can sell your car back to the dealer you bought it from, or to another dealer, and they can add it to their used car range to be sold on to another driver. This method may mean that you receive a fair price, based on current market trends and your car’s condition. Each vehicle gets inspected by real experts to offer an objective, true-to-value estimate.

It is probably the easiest and most stress-free process – all you need to do is fill in a short no-obligation valuation form with your car details and receive a call to arrange an appointment. Some franchise dealerships even provide nationwide pick-up or home visit services.

As Alan explains: “Customers need to know that when they’re selling their car to a dealership, it helps if they have the V5 document, MOT and service history – the last of these is very, very important. We also prefer if you have a spare key for the car.”

If you worry about your safety or swift payments, selling to a dealer could be the safest and most convenient option for you. All Jardine Motors Group dealerships have Covid-19 safety measures in place. If you do choose to sell to a dealer, you can either do so outright or via part exchange, where the money is used as a deposit to put towards a new car.

What to do when part exchanging a car

If you choose to go down this route, it’s important that you know how to part exchange a car. The process is fairly straightforward, and it’s in your interests to have all your vehicle’s documentation present and correct, as that will be high on the list of priorities for your local dealership.

A dealership will assess your vehicle’s value and offer you a sum in line with that – money that can go towards your new set of wheels! This method is extremely convenient if you are buying your car online. After you have found and decided to buy or reserve your car online, you will be asked to pop in your current vehicle details to receive an offer that you may use against your purchase.

What are the benefits of selling a car to a dealer?

Get a professional service: When you make contact with a dealer, you should expect to speak with someone who is professional, highly experienced and who will discuss your vehicle honestly with you. Many offer nationwide support, so you don’t have to choose a dealer close to you, and instead you can simply select the very best.

Get the best valuation: Many of the ways to sell your car online involve using an automated valuation tool, which can be both quick and easy. However, some of the dealer groups that represent more prestigious and luxury brands take a more personalised and bespoke approach. They understand the finer points of your car and the value of each specification, which is ideal if the model you’re selling has had upgrades or has been personalised in anyway.

Get your money the same day: By selling your car online to a dealer group, funds can be transferred directly into your bank account on the same day, with no transaction fees, admin charges or hidden costs. It’s safe and secure, providing you with the money to do whatever you want next.

Have the car taken away: Once the money is safely deposited in your bank account, dealerships like Jardine Motors will take the car away at no hassle or inconvenience to you. They will even settle your finance with the provider and take care of any paperwork and change of ownership details.

Should I sell my car privately?

What are the benefits of selling a car privately?

Selling your car privately means you’ll have to do more of the work and potentially deal with people who may be wasting your time. There’s also no guarantee of a sale or how long it will take to complete the process. However, there are plenty of benefits.

Full control of the process: Unlike other methods, such as auctions, the decision to sell – and the price you sell at – is entirely up to you. If you think your vehicle is worth more than what a prospective buyer is offering, you can hold out until your valuation is matched to ensure you’re getting what you deem to be a fair deal.

Might get the best price: Selling privately might mean that you receive a higher purchase fee than you might earn through other methods. By getting a better deal for your pride and joy, you’ll feel the extra effort has been worthwhile and you’ll have more money to play with – whether that’s for buying a new set of wheels or simply to put in the bank for a rainy day.

The personal element: You can meet potential buyers and decide whether they are someone you’d be willing to sell to. When selling online or at auction, you can never be quite sure where your vehicle will end up or who it will belong to. By selling privately, you’ll get a feel for the buyer and whether they’re going to look after the car.

How to sell a car privately

First, you need to advertise your vehicle. That could be a sign in the window, in newspapers or magazines, on noticeboards in public areas, on social media or via a combination of all of the above. Be sure that your advert is completely accurate and not misleading in any way, while it’s also vital that you reply quickly to any enquiries and are present for viewings in order to ensure a smooth sales process. Finally, it’s important to know how to protect yourself when selling a car privately so when it comes to receiving payment, be sure to count the cash out in full or check that you’ve received the buyer’s bank transfer before handing over the keys.

Should I sell my car at auction?

One of the benefits of selling your car at auction is that it can prove a simple, straightforward process. However, you could end up receiving less than if you were to sell privately, and even though it’s your pride and joy, it may not reach its reserve price. If that happens, you’ll have to try again.

How to sell a car at auction

When selling in an online auction, you need to advertise your car on the website and set the auction live. As with a private sale, the advert needs to be accurate and it’s important for you to be aware that some online auction sites charge for entry as well as selling fees. At live auctions, there is also usually a small entry fee and then it’s all about waiting for a bidder to come in at the right price and for the auctioneer to bang the hammer. Once that happens, the bidder pays the auction company, who will take a sale commission of up to 10%, so you need to factor that in when setting your reserve price.

Should I sell my car online?

Selling your car online can seem like a hassle-free option – simply enter a few details about your vehicle and you’ll receive a valuation in a matter of moments. However, there is often more to the process than that, as you will likely have to take it for an assessment, and research from Which? has found you’re “almost certain” to get a better price via other means.

That last point is something which Alan provides further clarity on:

“The price they will give you is indicative, based on the information you put in such as your car’s registration and mileage. However, they will try to reduce that figure upon valuation, and the price you are offered will be much lower than what is initially quoted. If you come to our dealership, we offer an accurate quote based on your car’s condition, mileage and age.”

Where to sell cars online

There are many companies that offer you the chance to sell your car online, so it’s important you do your research, read the reviews and work out which of them has the strongest reputation. However, a lot of these sites subsequently sell on the models they buy to dealers, so you may decide you’re better off cutting out the middle man and, as Alan suggests, heading straight to your local dealership in search of an improved deal:

“We can offer better value, based on our extensive database, and lately used car prices are rocketing.”

Great news for anyone looking to sell!

What do I need to do after I’ve sold my car?

No matter how you’ve decided to do it, once you’ve sold your car you need to notify the DVLA. This can be done online and is an essential part of the process as otherwise they will assume you are still legally responsible for the vehicle.

How to sell a car stress-free with Jardine Motors

Hopefully, you now have a much clearer idea of how to sell your car and which option might be most suited to your needs. And with Jardine, selling your car at one of our dozens of nationwide dealerships could not be easier. If you want to sell outright, we can give you a valuation and add your vehicle to our extensive used car selection, or we can part exchange and help you find the new car that you’ve long been dreaming of.


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