How To Sell Your Car: Your Car Selling Options Explained

When it comes time to sell your car you have several options. In the past, most car sellers would opt for a private sale, possibly listing it on a car sales website, or partially trade the car in with the same dealer you are buying your new car from. Today, there are also a variety of companies that offer to buy your car outright.

There is something to be said for all of these options, but car dealers may be wondering which one is best for them. In this guide, we’ll answer all of your questions about selling a car. How to choose the car sales method that’s right for you, and then how to make sure you get the best possible price for your vehicle with the least amount of hassle.

Click on the links below to see the other sections of our car selling guide…

how to sell your car

There are several options open to you when it comes to selling a car in today’s market. A private sale or partial trade-in has been the most familiar to motorists over the years, but increasingly selling the car to an online car buying company is a popular option. You might even consider selling your car at auction.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the different ways to sell your car.

car cleaning

Private sale



  • Extra effort and time
  • There may still be fees to pay
  • Risks associated with handling transactions yourself

If you want to maximize the amount of money you get for your car, then a private sale is probably still the best way to go. The downside is that you take on all the work involved in selling the car yourself, which may be very little, but could be a lot.

Advertising the car and then handling inquiries from potential buyers, visits and test drives all take time. Depending on the particular private sale route you choose, you may also need to handle the transaction itself and the paperwork.

At one end of the private sales scale, you could simply put a sign with a price and your phone number on the car window and hope for the best. Posting about the car on your social media channels is another low-cost option. At the other extreme, you can advertise it through an online car sales platform like Auto Trader which could reach thousands of potential buyers, but it will come at a price.

When deciding which route to take, a lot depends on the type of vehicle you’re selling and its value. For cheap cars, it may not be worth paying the extra fees required by websites that give you access to larger audiences of potential buyers. For more expensive or exotic cars, it may make sense to look for specialized websites, car dealerships or car auctions where similar models are sold.

Selling a valuable car yourself without the help of an online platform will mean managing a large financial transaction between you and the buyer. Many sellers will prefer to avoid that by selling through car buying sites, dealerships, brokers, or car auctions.

online car sales

Online car buying service



  • Initial offers may be higher than the price you get

Many online car buying services have sprung up in recent years, offering to buy any car you might have to sell at a good price with a minimum of hassle and hassle. At first glance, they are a great idea because they completely avoid the long process of a private sale that goes from finding a buyer to managing the transaction. With these services, the car could be gone in a matter of days.

The online car buying service model varies from company to company, but they will generally give you a valuation of your car based on the information you provide and then perform an inspection to check the condition of the car. The price you are actually offered for the car may be less than the initial appraisal.

Some car buying services will simply buy your car and sell it to the trade through an auction or through their partner dealer networks. Others act more like a portal for the dealers themselves to bid on your car. Ultimately, the decision to accept or reject the offered price always rests with the seller, so it’s helpful to establish a good idea of ​​the car’s value from other sources before starting the process.

These services accept cars and vans of almost any type and some even accept non-running or junk cars, so it can be a great solution for those who want a quick and hassle-free sale.

Man checking car in dealership

part exchange


  • Easy
  • Part of your car buying process


  • Prices can be low
  • You may be able to get a better new car deal without a partial trade-in

If you’re buying a car, a partial trade-in can be a helpful means of getting rid of your old car as part of the deal. The dealer will appraise the car you own, take it off your hands, and give you that amount as a discount on the new car you’re buying. There is no need to make other arrangements to sell your old car and you only have one point of contact to discuss the purchase and sale. You can drive to a dealership in your old car and drive home in your new one.

On the downside, dealers often offer lower prices for a partial trade-in than you’ll get for the car in a private sale. The dealer will be looking to move your car at a profit, so any offer will have your markup built into it. be able to negotiate a better deal on the car they are buying.

car auction



  • Potential to get a very good price.


  • Fees can be expensive
  • The car can not sell

If you have a rare or desirable car, an auction might be a good way to get the best price, but auctions are an option for other types of cars as well.

There are several car auctions, both physical and online, where you can enter your car into a sale and sell it to the highest bidder. It’s simply a case of contacting the auction house and making arrangements to bring the car in and have it inspected and entered into the next sale.

You’ll need to set a reserve price for the car above which it will sell to the highest bid, and it’s important to set it at a reasonable level to generate interest. If the reserve price is not reached, you keep the car unless you subsequently reach an agreement with the highest bidder.

The most famous online auction is eBay and here you can auction cars of all kinds to anyone who reaches the reserve price. While eBay gives you access to a large audience of potential buyers, just like with classifieds and other websites, there are people who waste their time, and a successful bid doesn’t always mean a successful sale.

In theory, auctions are a good way to get the best price for your car, but there are auction listing fees to pay and additional fees based on the vehicle’s final sale price.

Auto Express has partnered with Motorway to provide you with a quick and easy way to sell your car. Other car sales options are available, but we think you’ll like the simple and fast service Motorway offers and our research suggests you should get a good price. Have a look…

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