How to sell your car online

How to sell your car online

Selling your car doesn’t have to be a gruelling process and thanks to the online world, it’s become a quick and easy endeavour. No need to haggle with car dealers or be limited to buying a new vehicle from the dealership you trade-in at. It’s your car being sold on your terms and that’s the way it ought to be. Here are some helpful tips on how to sell your car online.

Prepare your car

Before you get to the online part, you have to do a few things to your car first in order to prepare it for a sale. Now, you could just sell it as is if you really just want to get rid of it, but if you want to get the best price for it and guarantee its sale, you’re going to need to prepare it properly.

Start by giving your car a good clean, inside and out, so that its polished look can attract all the online buyers. Then you need to be honest with the problems of your car and see which of those you can afford to repair or replace before you place it for sale online. This includes windscreen cracks, small dents and scratches, interior damage and any “under the hood” issues.

You can take the time to care for your car one last time, think of it as some quality time for the last time… a way of saying your goodbyes. Also, by doing this and spending a bit of extra money on your car, you’ll be able to ask for a bit more when you settle for a sale price.


Now that your car is looking fresh and “just like new” (which is what many buyers will be looking for), you can take some photographs for your online advertisement. Now, if you’ve had a browse online for what other sellers do when they advertise cars for sale, you’ll notice that many of them take blurry cellphone pictures that don’t do the car justice or make you want to buy it.

Don’t make the same mistake. Find a friend with a camera (or use your cellphone if you know the camera is amazing), and take some proper, high-quality photographs that will show off your vehicle. You don’t need to be a professional, but make sure the photographs you take are clear, lighted properly, display the correct colour and are an honest depiction of your vehicle. Don’t be one of those people who find the online stock image of the type of vehicle they have and just upload that image.

Then you need to go the extra mile and have photographs from different angles (especially if there are any permanent dings that buyers should be made aware of). You could also take a photograph of the inside and what one could find under the bonnet.

Put the advert together

So, you have your photos, you have your car in crisp condition and now it’s time to put your advertisement together. Please do every buyer a favour and find the balance between too much and too little detail. Your advert doesn’t need to be an essay, but it does need to be descriptive enough to accurately describe your car, the condition it’s in, if there is anything the new owner needs to know, mileage and whether or not your price is negotiable. Keep the language appropriate and understandable. If your content is confusing, people will turn away.

Then you put all the advert elements together, pick your platform and you’re ready to start the private sales process.

The friends network

When it comes to selling things online (especially for the first time), many sellers tend to start with their friends network to see if there’s anyone they already know who’s interesting in buying their car. In this case, you’ll be creating Facebook posts, Instagram posts and stories and maybe even a twitter post with a link to one of those other posts. Social media is your main platform, but it can be quite difficult selling a car through your friend networks.

You’ll likely have more interested buyers when you advertise on the online classifieds and reach a wider audience who specifically visits those platforms with the intention of buying something.

The online classifieds

Which leads us to the online classifieds some which can be found on Facebook through the Marketplace or buy, swap and sell groups, but you’re more likely to find a buyer through OLX, Just Sell IT and Gumtree. The main hesitation with these sites is that you don’t know who you’re going to be dealing with and the truth is that there are so many different characters on the internet.

If you do decide to go ahead with an online classifieds advert, make sure to not have any unnecessary personal information on the advert (if they have questions, they can just call you) and don’t arrange to meet them for a viewing alone or at your personal address if possible.

The third party deals

Then you have the option of doing private car sales through a third party company, such as a bank. There will be certain requirements from your side, but the application and buying occurs online and once the vehicle is in their hands, you don’t have to worry about going through various, questionable, buyers. They will sort it all out and you will receive payment when the deed has been done. This takes the stress of the entire online advertisement process off your shoulders and lets you focus on finding a new car in the meantime.


Authored by: Pete Anderson

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