Thursday, 7 February 2013

How I Sold My Old Car

Last month I weighed up the pros and cons of keeping my car and decided that saving an extra £1000 a year is worth the hassle of public transport and ordering the groceries online.

Jools is a T reg (1999) Peugeot 306 (1.9L diesel) with 157,000 miles on the clock, so not exactly a stunner of a car. He had 7 months of MOT left but the tax was about to run out at the end of this month.

I did some research on the price of similar cars in Bristol and put him up for sale on Gumtree and he was sold the next day for £100 more than I was hoping for! Brilliant!

Of course, there are a lot of differences between selling a decent second hand car and selling a low value car like Jools. A lot of advice is geared towards cars selling for a few thousand pounds, but I've got a few tips for you if you want to sell your old car.

First, get your car looking its best. We don't have any way of washing the car outside our flat so we took Jools to a £5 car wash and he came out sparkling. I tried to clean the inside of the car by hand, but I ended up splurging another £1 to use a car vacuum to get all the mud and leaves out of the carpets! Don't forget to clean the interior windows and the dashboard surfaces too!

The couple that bought my car remarked about how clean and tidy it was inside, so don't underestimate the power of a nice first impression! DON'T spend £100 on a valet service if you're looking for less than £1000 for your car! DIY can be just as good!

Once your car is looking spick and span, take lots of photos! People want to see the features of the car, so take a photo of the front, back and side of the car, as well as the interior, alloy wheels, snazzy CD player, etc.

Making an advertisement
Think about where you want to sell your car. If you're buying a new car you could part exchange your old car to save yourself the hassle of a private sale, but you'll usually get a better deal selling your car yourself. 

For a more valuable car it might be worth buying ad space on Auto Trader or in your local paper, but for a cheaper old car I would start by placing a free ad on Gumtree. (You can sell cars on eBay, but I've known a few people to have bad experiences with buyers not paying, which can leave you stuck with extra fees to pay).

You might also want to put a sign in your car's window stating its features, a price and your mobile number. Facebook is a good way of spreading the word to friends of friends who might be looking for a new car too! The less you spend on advertising, the better!

How much should you sell your car for? 
A good starting point is to look at the WiseBuyer's Guide, which will tell you a reasonable price for your car based on the make and model, the mileage and what condition it's in. You should also look for similar cars for sale in your area to see what the current market looks like. (Check out the above listed selling platforms!).

When you make the advert, be sure to set the price a little higher than you are hoping to get. People like to haggle and if you can lower the price, they'll feel that they are getting a better deal.

Dealing with buyers  
Be prepared to field a lot of phonecalls from people asking detailed questions, booking viewings and trying to get you to lower your price! Be honest about any problems with the car if asked. Be friendly and polite too - don't forget you are the salesperson!

Make sure you are free in the evenings for most of the week when you put the advert up because people will lose interest quickly if they can't see the car for a fortnight! Try and swing it so both you and your partner / a friend can be there at the viewing. Most people are nice but don't take chances.

Decide whether you will allow people to take the car for a test drive. If you are happy to let them, make sure that they show you a full driving licence and insurance that covers them to drive other cars. You and your partner/friend should go with them to make sure they come back again!

If you're selling an old car, chances are you won't be asking a very high price for it. Make sure that the buyer pays you in CASH. If they want the car, ask them to leave you a deposit until they can withdraw the full amount. This is pretty standard, so don't feel embarrassed!

Draw up a receipt for the buyer, stating the car make, model, registration number, mileage and price of the car. Make sure it says that the car is being bought "as seen", which means that you are not liable if it breaks down in the future.

Lastly, don't forget to fill in the V5C (log book) form with the new owner's details. You will both need to sign it, then you (the seller) post it to the DVLA. Don't forget or you could be the lucky owner of speeding tickets or road tax demands.

Don't forget to cancel your insurance policy! You should be able to claim money back for the days between the sale date and the end of the policy, less a cancellation fee. I'm getting £150 back! :) It feels like free money!

Bye Jools! You drove me crazy at times, but you're alright really!

Savings: £1000 a year!


amandaa5449 said...

Aww bless, I bet you were a bit sad to see Jools go, he certainly does look very handsome when he is nice and clean.
You will feel the benefit of that £1000 a year, its alot of money! Good decision x

Meanqueen said...

Job well done there, Bry. Very usefull tips. I used to sell my cars privately, but now part ex with dealers. I know, throwing money away, but the older I get the easier the life I want.

Donna S said...

We don't regret getting rid of the car. Long trips need more planning now, but we really enjoy travelling by train. It can take longer, but it's less stressful (no navigator-responsibility or tired driver issues!)

Sebastian Gaydos said...

*Claps* A thousand pounds was a lot of savings, Bryallen! I’m sure some people have thought you’re being a little obsessed with being frugal, but, hey, all the efforts obviously paid off! :D I should add though that an owner should know when is the right time to sell his car. Take a 4X4 as an example: the old motto says you can sell it for the best price during autumn. :] -->Sebastian

JimmY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.