Advice and tips for selling a car

When selling your car you want to ensure that you do all that you possibly can to ensure a quick sale and bring the highest possible price for your vehicle.

Selling your car

 Not sure what your car is worth? There are a few ways to gauge a realistic asking price, taking into account the age, mileage and condition of your car.  Glass guide has a comprehensive database of used car values.
Check newspaper classifieds or car sales websites for the average asking price of the same model car in similar condition to yours.
Always leave room for negotiation, as many buyers will want to try to bring the price down as much as possible.

Spread the word​

How will you advertise the vehicle? There are a number of ways to reach large numbers of people - for example, placing a classified advert in your major daily paper, placing a classified advert in the Trading Post or advertising on a used car sales web site. Advertising on the internet is useful as you can also include photographs of the car.​

Prepare your car for sale​

You'll need to ensure that your car is in its best possible condition so that you can obtain the highest price. To do this, make sure to clean your vehicle thoroughly. Depending on the likely sale price of the car, you may want to consider having it professionally detailed. Remember, a good looking car is perceived to be well cared for.
If you are cleaning the car yourself, a few things to consider are:
  • Clean and polish the car
  • Vacuum the inside of the car
  • Make sure the glove box and ashtrays are cleared out
  • Use a damp rag or car wipes to remove dust from the dashboard - using a protectant can also assist in making it look like new
  • Remove any marks on carpet and upholstery
  • If you have had smokers or pets in your car it's a good idea to deodorise the inside
  • Replace any lights or fuses that don't work
  • Clean the windows
  • Blacken the tyres
While cleaning the inside and outside of the car is a must, it's also advisable to make sure the engine bay is clean too. Clean up oil and radiator spills with a damp cloth and use an engine degreaser (available at any auto shop) to rid the engine itself of excess grease and dirt. Take care with sprays and excess water while doing this.​

RACT vehicle inspections

Consider having the car inspected by the RACT to give both yourself and your buyer peace of mind. This can also speed up the sale process.
Decide which broken items, if any, are worth fixing. Replacing a damaged tail light might be worthwhile to give the car a better overall appearance for a small cost. However, reupholstering the seats on a $3,000 car will most likely not be financially worthwhile.

Dealing with potential buyers ​​

Once you start receiving calls about your car, make sure you are prepared to answer any questions potential buyers may have. Some queries might be:
  • How many kilometres on the odometer?
  • How many owners has the car had?
  • Is the price negotiable?
  • Has it been in any crashes?
  • Are there any additional extras? e.g. cruise control, power windows, CD player
  • Are there any dents or scratches?
  • How long is left on the registration?
  • What is your reason for selling?
When showing potential buyers your car, stand back and let them look at the vehicle. Be prepared to negotiate, but keep a firm idea of what you want to accept. Make sure that your insurance covers a buyer taking it for a test drive and always accompany them.

Closing the sale

Once you have found someone willing to buy the car, put the agreed deal in writing. This should include how much the deposit is and what the final method of payment will be. The safest method of payment is a bank cheque. The written agreement should also contain when the car is to be collected. Both parties should sign and date the document. Provide the buyer with a receipt for the deposit, including the date and time of pick up.​

Registration requirements​

Your registration will need to be transferred to the buyer. To do this you will need to ensure you have your latest registration form. Both parties are required to sign the registration papers. Lodge your copy of the registration papers as soon as practicable. This will prevent any unwanted fines once the vehicle has changed ownership.​