Sell your car Get offers from multiple dealers

The 5 best ways to sell a car

November 02, 2021 by

1. Selling at auction

Best for getting multiple offers at once

Selling your car at auction is a good way to show it off to a lot of people at once. Your car is shown to a room full of people who then bid for it, with the highest bidder getting the car.

When you enter your car into an auction, you can set a ‘reserve price’. This is basically the minimum price you’re willing to accept. If your reserve price isn’t met, you’re given the option to accept the highest bid or take the car back home.

Advantages of selling at auction:

  • You get a lot of offers for your car at once.
  • It’s over and done in a day; there’s no waiting around for people to view the car.
  • You can control how much you get by setting a reserve.

Disadvantages to selling at auction:

  • If you do sell the car, the auction house will charge you fees.
  • Preparing for an auction can be time consuming. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out, you need to research which auction house to use and arrange transport for you and your vehicle.
  • If you don’t end up selling the car, it’s a wasted journey.

2. Selling to a dealership

Best for getting a decent price with low effort

Selling to a dealer is a good option if you want a quick sale with little fuss. You can simply book an appointment to have your car appraised, then the dealer will inspect it and give you a valuation.

Most dealers will also take cars with outstanding finance, provided you owe less on your remaining finance than the amount the car is currently worth. They’ll pay off the remaining finance and give you the leftover balance. For example, if they value your car at £10,000 but you owe £4,000 on the finance, you’ll be paid £6,000.

Advantages of selling to a dealer:

  • No need to advertise your car.
  • A lot of dealers will take cars with outstanding finance.
  • You’re almost guaranteed to sell it that day.

Disadvantages of selling to a dealer:

  • The price you get won’t be as good as it would be if you sold it privately. A dealer will buy your car at trade price, meaning they’re leaving room for them to sell it on for a profit.

3. Part exchanging with a dealership

Best for convenience when buying from a dealer

Part exchanging is basically giving your old car to the dealer in exchange for a discount on your new one.

When you go to the dealer, they will take a look at your old car and give it a valuation. This valuation is the amount you’ll get off your new car.

So let’s say the car you’re looking at is worth £15,000, and the dealer has valued your car at £5,000. This means you’ll pay £10,000 for the car and give your old one to the dealer.

Advantages of part exchanging:

  • It’s convenient because you don’t have to go without a car when you sell the old one. You just drop your current car off at the dealer and drive off in the new one.
  • There’s no need to advertise your car, saving you time.

Disadvantages of part exchanging:

  • As with selling your car to a dealer, you won’t get as much for it as you could by selling it privately.
  • You may be able to negotiate a better deal on your next car as a cash buyer with no part exchange.

4. Selling to a private buyer

Best for getting the most money for your car

Selling your car privately is the most time-consuming method, but it can result in getting a higher price.

You’ll need to write a good advert and post it in as many places as possible. For more information, click the button below to read a how-to guide on writing a car advert,

Then it’s just a case of waiting for the calls to come in. When someone comes to look at your car, you’ll want to make sure you have all the paperwork in order and the car is clean.

Once you’ve agreed on a price, it’s just a case of filling out the relevant sections on your V5C (vehicle logbook) to transfer ownership of the car to the buyer. You can also do this online.

Advantages of selling privately:

  • You’ll get a better price for the car than you would by selling it to a dealer. On average, you’ll get 10-15% more for your car selling privately.

Disadvantages of selling privately:

  • It can be time consuming – you’ll need to write an advert and wait for potential buyers to come and view the car.

5. Selling to a car buying website such as carwow

Best for guaranteeing a sale without leaving your home

Car buying websites are a quick and easy way to sell your car for a fair price with minimal fuss.

All you’ll have to do is answer some questions about your car, upload some pictures and you’ll get a valuation.

If you’re happy with the valuation, there are a few ways to go depending on which website you use.

Some companies have physical branches you can take the car to where they’ll inspect it to make sure it’s as you described. Alternatively, some will come to you and inspect the car at your home before collecting it.

Advantages to using a car buying website:

  • It’s quick and easy, you can get a valuation without leaving the house.
  • You’re guaranteed to sell your car at a time to suit you.
  • You can get multiple quotes from different websites to make sure you get the best price.

Disadvantages to using a car buying website

  • Some websites may pay less than others, so it’s best to get multiple quotes.

Sell your car with carwow

Selling your car with carwow is quick and easy, and you’ll get a great price from one of our trusted dealers.

All you have to do is enter your registration, answer a few simple questions and upload a few photos of your car. Then just sit back, relax and wait for the offers to roll in.

If you choose to accept an offer, the dealer will arrange to come and inspect the car before collecting it and transferring you the money, simple as that. Click the button below to get a free valuation.