5 Step Checklist to selling your car

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By Hannah Renard

Turn your used vehicle into handsome money by following these 5 simple steps.

1. Where to sell your vehicle

The First Step is to research the different methods of selling. The main four are private ads (online or offline,) auctions, cash-for-cars type companies or part exchange with a dealer. The latter two will be a lot quicker but may mean accepting lower offers, the first two take more effort but will give you more control over the price and negotiations.
There are 100s of outlets online for advertising cars, which means you can reach more people, but also makes a choice a little overwhelming and creates a lot of competition. Try multiple sites and don’t rule out traditional methods such as an ad in the local paper or a sign in the car, varying the advertising can only help reach more people.

2.  How much to ask for?

shutterstock_596427782Again, research is critical, use the resources you found in step 1 to check what sort of prices cars similar to yours are being offered at, or more importantly selling at. The bible of car valuations was always The Parker’s Guide, but there are now hundreds of website ready to give you an instant estimate.
3. How To Prepare?
shutterstock_490066576.jpgAppearances are essential in advertising, and it’s worth taking time to make sure that the car is spick and span, even spending a little bit of money on getting it professionally cleaned or valeted. Make sure your photos are useful as they can be, there are some very poorly taken photos out there, either too far away, also close up, no interior shots, poorly lit etc.
shutterstock_646510660Think about what you’d like to see when buying a car yourself, Also, in the same way, you paint a house neutral colours when selling it, keep the car as clear and uncluttered as possible, so buyers can more easily imagine it being theirs. This means making sure that it is clean on the inside and the outside. If there are bumps in the bodywork, you should get them tidied up before you try to sell. Having a car wrap on your car can make it more valuable as the paint underneath has been protected and if there is any damage, the wrap has probably taken the damage instead of the paint.
Have the vehicle registration documents, MOT History and service history to hand to make potential buyers as confident as possible that they’re getting good, and more importantly, safe deal.

4. How to negotiate.

Once you’ve done your research into the value of your car, try and fix a price in your mind of how low you are willing to go in negotiations. If you also went down the route of getting a valuation from a professional used car dealer, you’ll know how much flexibility there is between what price you want and the minimum you can expect. Set the price you’re willing to go to at about 80% of the asking price.
shutterstock_596427644.jpgAlso bear in mind that when negotiating, especially with professional traders, they will use every defect to try and lower the asking price; scratches, dents and stains, etc. No matter how minor, it’s worth fixing these small imperfections, because ultimately they can add up.
On the flip side, make a list of positive features your car has. If it has a full-service history or relatively few owners, this could make a big difference to your negotiations.
Unless you need a quick sale, don’t be afraid to turn down offers, but remember used cars are buyer’s market, there is a lot of competition and a lot of competition and a lot of choices.

5. How to complete the sale.

Once the price has been agreed you’re ready to seal the deal. It should go without saying not to hand over the keys or any documents until the funds have been transferred, but it is the essential part!
Fill out the change of details in the logbook, notify RMS or other local vehicles licensing agency, hand over the service history record, inspection certificates, spare keys, documentation and any other accessories! This Step is crucial, because even after the money and contract have changed hands, you may still be responsible for the vehicle if the documentation is not in order.
Also remember to keep hold of any correspondence with the buyer, as well as the pictures and descriptions of the car. Even with a private sale, the buyer is protected by consumer rights, and you should be able to demonstrate the terms of the agreement.

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