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How to sell your car

In the market for a new car? Chances are, like most of us, you’ll be looking to sell your current car in order to help buy your new one. Here are carwow’s top tips for selling your car…


Just as carwow takes the hassle out of buying a car, it’s no surprise we also take the hassle out of selling your car too. We’ve teamed up with The Car Buying Group to make selling your car simple, hassle-free and built to suit you.

Simply sign-in to carwow and hit the Part Exchange option, but to get started here’s how it works…

1. We give you a free valuation

Enter your details for an instant valuation. Tell us more about your car to see if we can improve your quote. Also, you’ll get a £100 bonus if you sell your car through carwow.

2. We arrange collection

We collect seven days a week, including evenings. Select a time and we’ll collect from your home, office or the dealer when you pick up your new car.

3. You get paid straight away

Payment is made directly into your bank account before we drive away – with no transaction fees or hidden costs.

You can then use all or part of that cash to buy your next new car.


Perhaps the most direct way to get rid of your old car is to trade it in when you buy a new one.

The dealership will tell you how much it thinks your old car is worth and subtract that from the cost of your new car. Usually, if the dealer can’t sell it themselves, they’ll then send it off to a car auction.

This process is called Part Exchanging – you simply exchange your old car with a dealer in return for part of the price of a new model. You can find out more in our ‘What is Part-Exchange’ guide.

Private sale

If you don’t mind doing a little legwork yourself, you can typically get the most money for your old car by selling it privately through classified website, rather than trading it in at a dealership.

The downside is that selling privately can be a logistical nightmare of buyer no-shows, wasted weekends and evenings, and stressful haggling with no guarantee that a buyer will ever materialise.

How to photograph your car

If you’re selling privately, you’ll also want to take some good photos of your car. Make sure you stand far back enough that the car fits in the photo and take shots that cover every angle so buyers can look all the way around the car before seeing it in the metal. We’d also suggest you take your photos in the daytime – but avoid direct sunlight that can create random patches of glare on the bodywork.

Another handy hint is to drive your car somewhere secluded such as a rural car park to take your photos. No one wants to see your dirty laundry or your neighbour’s dodgy topiary in the background so a pleasant, neutral setting for your shots can help them look much better.

How to describe your car

Be honest about the condition of your car in your advert. As much as you might want to claim it was owned by John Lennon and personally serviced by Prince Andrew, it’s much better to stick to the truth.

Be clear from the outset about the condition of the car – if there are any dents, scrapes or blemishes on the exterior, include their location and size. The same goes for cars in good condition – if you polished it every weekend and made the effort not to smoke in the cabin, include that too.

You should also note down any extra option packs fitted to the car. You’re unlikely to make back the price you paid for them, but they might be enough to convince potential buyers to choose your car over all the others. Let buyers know about the car’s service history and what records and receipts you have. Also include any recent big repairs such as a new clutch or replacement timing belt.

Scrapping your car

If you’ve tried all other routes and can’t convince anyone to buy your old banger, don’t despair – you can always scrap it. This is really your only option if your car is so old or decrepit that no one wants to buy it. Some services will even come and collect your car for you. It’s not all plain sailing – there are loads of rules governing how you get rid of your car.

If anyone offers you cash in hand to scrap your old car, walk away immediately because it’s against the law – it’s your responsibility to make sure your car is disposed of at an Authorised Treatment Facility and you could be fined by the DVLA if you don’t. What’s more, any payment you get for your old car must come as a cheque or by bank transfer.

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