Top 10 tips for selling your car

Up until the last few years, selling your vehicle was a daunting process. These days though, it’s now possible to sell your car online – from the comfort of your own home, in fact. That’s awesome!

Despite this amazing (and secure) convenience, this still doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you need to do from your side to ensure you get top dollar. If you follow our top 10 tips for selling your car, you’ll be better-equipped to sell your beloved vehicle – and get the best-possible deal in the process!


Good, clear images are important! We’re not saying you need to be a professional photographer; but selling your car is all about presentation. Get your car thoroughly cleaned before taking pictures – interior and exterior; in fact, we suggest steam-cleaning the engine bay as well.

Find a location such as the rooftop parking at your local mall; and avoid taking pictures in the middle of the day. Cover all angles – front, rear, side; and don’t forget interior and engine bay shots.


Unless you’re specifically stating you’re selling in an “as is” condition – invest in getting your car as close to “perfect” as possible. Unsightly scratches and stone chips? Have it repaired and resprayed. Cracked/chipped windscreen? Replace it. Tyres worn? You get the idea!

Don’t forget about the interior and engine of the car. Ensure the interior is spotless; if the next service is due, be proactive – get it done; get that book stamped!


This is a point that cannot be stressed enough! Put yourself in a prospective buyer’s shoes: would you like to be ripped off because the previous owner intentionally withheld vital information? Of course not.

If your car has experienced any previous issues – mechanical, accident damage or otherwise – be upfront and forthcoming about it. A prospective buyer will appreciate it; even if you feel it might ‘endanger’ your chances of a successful sale.


Adding a bit of creative flair and comprehensive details to your ad will certainly help attract the attention you’re looking for!

Even if it means listing “normal” features (EG climate control / electric windows / aircon / leather interior / additional extras fitted / etc); be detailed and descriptive about the spec and trim of the vehicle. Doing so could have buyers scrambling to call you.


Do some online research to see the market-related value of your car; that’s a good way to establish what a realistic selling price will be.

Similarly: A dealership’s purchase price versus showroom price is two totally different things. At a dealership you’re guaranteed a quick sale – but only if you’re prepared to settle for slightly less.


Ensure that all paperwork is ready for a hassle-free sale, and that the licence and roadworthy certificate is up to date. Make sure all fines are paid up as well!


As a seller, you’re spoilt for choice these days. You can use your car as a trade-in deposit at a dealership; or, you could advertise privately. In this case, you have options – using an online buying service (such as CarZar or WeBuyCars); or you could advertise on a selling platform such as Gumtree.


In the event of advertising privately and you have an interested party wanting to meet up; use common sense. Unless your house is a fortress and you have a well-stocked gun rack, never arrange to meet at your private residence or work place. Similarly, don’t meet up at a quiet, remote location. Meet up at your local police station if you must – just be safe.


So, your potential buyer seems set on purchasing your car; in fact, they want to leave with it, right now! Great, but do not let those keys leave your possession until your payment has been received – in full. Don’t accept promises of next-day payment; and insist on an immediate-clearance EFT payment.

Only once the payment reflects, should you allow the vehicle to leave your possession. Keep your wits about you during your transaction; there are way too many scam artists these days.


Congratulations; breathe a sigh of relief – you’ve successfully navigated your way through selling your car! You’re now in a position to use the proceeds of your sale to either purchase another vehicle; or, you can use it as a decent deposit on a financed vehicle.

Last point to remember: If you’ve advertised and sold a car that you’re still making repayments on, it’s imperative that you contact your financing house to enquire the settlement amount on the vehicle. You might even be able to negotiate a settlement discount; but, whatever you do, pay what is still owed!

Selling a car privately or to a dealer
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