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The best ways to sell your old car

If you’ve used carwow to help choose your new car, how should you go about selling your old vehicle? It’s a question we get asked a lot here at carwow, so we’ve put together a quick guide on some of the different methods, along with pros and cons of each.

If you’re yet to buy yourself a new car, pick your ideal model in our car chooser then check out our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.

Selling to a main dealer

Selling your old car to a main dealer, whether you buy a new car from them or not, is an easy way to get rid of an old vehicle. Unfortunately, you may not get the best price for it.

At carwow, most of our dealers welcome part-exchanges so, once you’ve picked a dealer, you’ll be able to discuss with the part exchange, including how much you’ll get for your old car. It’s worth remembering that you’ll get the same discount whether you part-exchange or not.

All main dealers use the same used car pricing guides, so the value is likely to be very similar to what your local dealer would give you.


It’s faster and easier to do a single transaction with one dealer than having to worry about selling it privately.


Dealers may offer lower prices for part-exchange cars than other sources, so make sure you consider all your options.


This is unquestionably the easiest method but, if you have time, it’s worth trying some other methods – you could save yourself a sizeable sum.

Selling to Webuyanycar

It may seem like only yesterday that Webuyanycar (and its competitors) arrived on the scene, but the business has become a credible and easy way to sell your old car. 80 per cent of users report a better value for their old car than at main dealers and, with over 200 branches in the UK, you won’t have to travel far to visit one of the company’s centres.

All you have to do is enter your car’s information online, and you almost instantly get a quote based on the condition and mileage of your vehicle. This price is confirmed when you take it to your local centre, and the transaction is completed there and then.


Not only are prices often better than part-exchange deals, but the process is easier and avoids the hassle of selling your car privately.


It was reported in the press a couple of years ago that some services were offering high guide prices online then dropping them once they’d seen the car – the best policy is to be as honest as possible when describing the condition of your vehicle.


It’s very easy to get a quote from sites like webuyanycar, it takes only a couple of minutes and it could be a quick and painless way to get a good price for an old car. Only selling privately can make you more money.

Selling to a local used car dealer

Selling to a local used car garage can be a fast way to rid your drive of an old vehicle. Most local garages will give you a quote if you just turn up and let them have a quick look at your car. Many large dealerships pass part-exchange vehicles on to local dealers, so cutting out the middle man could save both you, and the dealer, some money.

Haggling is part and parcel of used car dealing so be prepared – try to find out how much your car is worth first. Our handy, how to value your car article, can help you find an accurate figure.


You shouldn’t have to travel far, and deals can be done very quickly.


You’re likely to get less money than if you sold your car privately, and visiting multiple dealers to get a range of quotes could take time.


If you want a deal done very quickly then it’s a good way to go. Equally, if you’re up for a bit of haggling, it could be a very good way to sell your car.

Advertising online or selling privately

Advertising your car online and selling it privately is the best way to get the most money for your old car, but it does have some downsides.

There are free sites you can use to advertise, such as Gumtree and Pistonheads, but they don’t guarantee you’ll get much interest. Some people have experienced dodgy phone calls as a result of putting adverts online, too. eBay offers a paid service with the benefit of keeping your details private, but it doesn’t quite reach the same number of prospective buyers as some alternatives.

Autotrader attracts over three times the number of visitors as its nearest competitor, and your phone number is protected to avoid unwanted calls. It’s a little more expensive than other services, and the site’s three-tier pricing structure will differ depending on the value of your car.

For cars valued at under £1,000 there are Basic, Standard and Premium adverts, which last two, three and six weeks respectively, and range in price from £9.99 to £24.95. For more expensive vehicles, the tier system remains the same but prices increase to between £36.95 and £56.95. Although it might seem pricey, your advert could be viewed by any of Autotrader’s 10 million visitors.


You’re likely to get the highest price for your car.


The service isn’t free and it may take some time to sell your car. You’ll have to deal with any potential buyers personally and arrange times to meet them.


If you’re not in a hurry to sell, then it’s the best way to get the highest price for your car. You will, however, have to put up with the hassle of dealing with potential buyers.

How to get the best price for your car

Typically, the best way to get the most money for your old car is to sell it privately. You’ll get more money than a dealer would give you for it (because they still have to make money when they sell it on), and you’ll certainly make more than if you sell it to an online car buying website.

The downside of this is that it’ll take more time and you have to deal with a variety of buyers. If you have the time and don’t need an urgent sale, we’d recommend selling your car privately.

Save money on your new car

If you’ve managed to sell your old car, why not use our carwow car configurator to get a great deal on a new vehicle. If you’re not sure what to buy, our car chooser and deals pages are here to help.

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