How To Sell Your Car

Expert Car Selling Guidance from Jamjar

If you haven’t done it before, it’s tricky to know how to sell your car. Given that your motor could represent a significant sum of money and all the legal issues that are wrapped up in car ownership, it’s important that you get it right.

Jamjar’s car selling guidance section has been written to cover everything you need to know if you’re thinking about selling your car. This page gives you a broad overview of the process to get you started.

More information

Private vs part-exchange vs online car buying service

When thinking about selling your car, you have a big decision to make off the bat: do you sell your car yourself (privately), sell it to a dealership as a part-exchange as a deal for another, normally more expensive car or sell it to an online car buying service for cash? No one option is clearly better than the other. Selling privately could get you more money, but it’s a much lengthier and riskier process than selling by another means.

If you sell privately, the onus is on you to advertise and prepare the vehicle for sale, legally handing over the vehicle correctly and ultimately making sure you’re getting the right price. If you sell to either a dealer or a used car buying service, you know you’ll be dealing with a business that has done this thousand of times before who can also offer additional help with any paperwork, road tax refunds, outstanding finance etc.

Read more about the pros and cons of selling and trading in.

Valuing my car

Whether you’re selling privately or to a commercial buyer (either online or a dealership), it’s important that you do your research to check the value of your car before you decide to sell it. To see how much you could get, checking used car sites or even local dealerships that are selling the same or similar models can be a good indication but bear in mind that prices do fluctuate and they may not be accurate when you decide the time is right to sell.

It’s even easier to see the kind of price you could get from an online buyer. Simply entering your registration number and a few details about the condition of the car into a trusted comparison site like Jamjar will give you the best current offers available from online car buying services. An advantage of these valuations is that they’re easy to find and always up to date. With multiple buyers in competition for your car, you can rest assured that the valuations will always be as high as possible.

Selling with outstanding finance privately vs. professional car buyers

If you still have money to pay on your hire purchase finance, it’s not quite as simple when selling the car privately. There are a few different considerations to bear in mind:

  • If you have outstanding finance, it must be paid off – this normally means paying the outstanding value in one go before you gain money from the sale of the vehicle.
  • Many private buyers won’t consider a car with outstanding finance – HPi or Experian data checks will show that a car has outstanding finance and most buyers won’t want to take on the murky legal implications of trying to buy it.
  • However, online car buying services can help – the businesses that work with Jamjar to buy your car will be able to help you shift a vehicle with outstanding finance. They do this by paying the company that you owe money to and then paying you whatever is left over, normally for no additional administration fee.

Read more about selling your car with outstanding finance.

What documents do I need?

The most important document to have at the time of sales is a V5C. Anyone who’s buying your car, whether they’re a dealer, an online car buying website or a private buyer, should ask for this certificate to be transferred to their position. Depending on the arrangements made with the buyer, you may also need documentation of the car’s service history, mot and outstanding finance paperwork (if applicable).

Read more about the documents needed to sell a car.

Informing the DVLA

The only section of the V5C you’ll need to keep is a slip from section 6 of the V5C form. This is for you, as the previous owner, to complete and send to the DVLA to inform them that ownership of the vehicle has changed. This will also trigger any due refund from the DVLA for the excess road fund licence previously paid.

Read more about informing the DVLA.

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