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31.03.2017 - 16:28

What you need to know about selling your car privately

There comes a time in every car’s life when it has to be sold. You’ve never sold a car privately but you’ve heard your family and friends talk about it. They make it seem like the most simple thing in the world to do. But it’s really not as easy as they make it out to be.

Of course, there are those who believe you shouldn’t sell your car until it falls apart. One such person is Suze Orman, a personal finance journalist.

"Lending standards have loosened up, so many of you who couldn't buy a car before … are going out there and buying cars that are so expensive it's not even funny," Orman says.

Her rules of the road are:

*Don’t finance a car for more than three years.

*Don’t lease a car.

*Keep your car for at least 15 years.


You need to decide if you agree with Orman about driving a car until it’s last day or if it’s worth selling while it still has some years of service left. If you’ve decided to sell, here are some tips.


You can't just put up an advert, sit back and wait for the phone to ring. There’s so much more work which needs to be done that no one ever talks about. And all of this work needs to be done before you can even consider putting up an advert online. So, here’s what you need to do.


Work before selling


You’re going to need to take your car to be certified as roadworthy. And that’s why this first step is often the worst one. You’ll need to book it in for an inspection. It’s not possible to sell a vehicle without this certificate as all of the car’s faults need to be identified during this process.


Next up, you’ll need to consider all of your car’s dents and scratches. These can often impact the car’s resale value. You’ll also need to decide whether you want to fix any bigger issues. One example to think about is the possibility of replacing your tyres. If these are bald, it can significantly lower the price you’re able to get for the car. On the other hand, you may not be able to afford to make these changes right now.


Clean the car, from tyres to roof


You’ll need to take your car to be cleaned. A professionally cleaned car will look so much more attractive in photos. Another essential part of this step is to clean up all of the rubbish which may have accumulated in your car. This way the people who come round to view it can truly picture it as theirs. You’ll also need to wipe off your wheels. Clean the windows and all other glass surfaces inside and out. All other interior surfaces will also need to be cleaned. Lastly, be sure to spray your car with a pleasant air freshener.


Decide how much money you’d like to receive for the car


In other words, set a price. Now that your car’s in working order and looking clean, it’s time to get down to the actually selling part. First, you’ll need to figure out how much money you expect to receive. Remember, the price needs to be fair to both you and the buyer. Do some research for figures about what similar cars are selling for by searching online. For example, if you drive an A4 Sedan, a quick search for used Audis for sale online will give you a whole list of examples with prices. If you’re wanting to sell your car quite quickly, list your car for a lower price to make sure yours is very obviously the best deal. Once you’ve advertised the car, the buyers who come to you will attempt to negotiate. Of course they will, that’s completely normal. To get around this, add a small margin of a few thousand rand to keep yourself well within the range you’re comfortable.


It’s time to get creative


Now’s your time to bust out your best photography and writing skills. It’s time to create the advert. Once your car is perfectly clean, take it out to a sunny, empty parking lot. Take photographs from a number of different angles and be sure to photograph the interior too. Adverts with good quality photos are more likely to attract more buyers and the car will be sold faster. Writing the advert is the next step and needs care. You’ll need to add as many details as possible. The essentials are the facts about the make, model, year, colour and price. Extra info includes any additional upgrades or additions.


Now’s your time to sit back and relax. Your phone is about to start ringing. You’ve done all that hard work. Now you just have to decide who you’re going to sell your car to.

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