5 Tips for Selling Your Car Privately


So, you’ve decided to handle your car sale on your own. Good for you! When done correctly, selling your car privately can mean thousands of dollars more than if you were to trade your car in to a dealership.

Before you whip out the camera and car polish, there’s a few things that you can do to ensure you are getting the most for your car. Here are a few of our top tips to ensure that the private selling process runs smoothly and you get the maximum possible amount for your vehicle.

  1. Photos Matter

Potential buyers are likely to comb their way through hundreds (or even thousands) of vehicles similar to yours when they’re looking through car classifieds. In order to stand out, you need to take high-quality photos that showcase your car in the best possible condition. If you don’t have a decent camera, borrow one from a friend or family member and take high-quality photos from lots of different angles. Don’t try to hide any blemishes or shortcomings — the buyer is going to find them when they come to view your car. If you’re showing blurry images of a dirty car, it reflects on the amount of effort that may have gone into maintaining your car through your ownership.

  1. Make it Sparkle

It seems simple, right? You’re selling your car so you need to make sure that it is clean on the inside and on the outside. It sounds so simple, but there are thousands of advertisements on the used car market for vehicles that have not been cleaned before being posted for sale. It’s a buyers-market out there, for every poorly presented vehicle, there are a handful of cars that are a similar price and similar condition — so why would buyers choose a car that hasn’t even been washed?

Similarly, if you have someone coming to view your vehicle, you need to make sure the car is clean on the inside and outside and smells fresh. No one is going to buy a dirty car — if you can’t be bothered to present a clean car to prospective buyers on the day that they are looking to buy it, it speaks volumes about the amount of care that has been taken during your ownership. If you don’t already, stock up on some good quality car care products to make sure that you can give your car clean before each prospective buyer comes to view.

  1. Pay to Advertise

It may seem counterintuitive to the end goal of getting more than you would if you were to trade it straight to the dealership but paying to advertise your car for sale is a necessary burden. There are a number of free advertising sites like Gumtree, however, in our experience, it’s not worth the hassle as these sites tend to attract tyre kickers and low ballers. For Australian’s, Carsales Australia is the best option. The cost of advertising is determined by the price of your vehicle. Prices range between $70-$150 and will provide you with more prospective buyers, greater exposure, and the ability to command a slightly higher asking price than if you were advertising through the local classifieds.

  1. Honesty Matters

There’s no point in lying about the condition of your vehicle in your online advertisement — when buyers come to look at your vehicle in the flesh, they’re quickly going to get a sense of its true condition. You’ve got to expect that buyers are going to go over your vehicle with a fine-tooth comb, so there’s no point in lying about what kind of condition the vehicle is in. Similarly, if there is anything that needs to be addressed from a mechanical point of view, it’s always better to disclose this information to the buyer to avoid any potential complications after the sale.

  1. Money Talks

Finally, and most importantly, don’t hand over your car keys until you have the money in your hand or the cheque has cleared at your bank. You may be inclined to trust the person that you have been spending the last few hours talking to, however, the deal isn’t done until the money is in your hands. Buyers who willingly hand over their keys to a fraudulent buyer will usually not be covered by their insurance company.

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