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Sell my car online

Buy my car –> How to sell a car for the same price as your online valuation

It’s been the decade of car buying services. They’ve sprung up out of nowhere and now there are hundreds of car buying websites across the UK, like We Buy Any Car and Trust Car Buyers.

Such companies are making good money in a growing niche of the motor industry. A key reason for their success is a large percentage of their target market tend to be individuals that have a vulnerability…


  • Family crisis
  • Financial problems
  • Health issues
  • Emigration
  • Mechanical problems

…are all typical reasons why people opt for car buying services, not to mention the convenience factor as well.

Whether you fall into these categories or not, it’s important to understand that any buyers service is going to make a decent chunk of money out of your car should you choose to sell it to them.

This article offers some important guidelines to help you save money. I will also highlight some of the tactics that are used to buy your car for less than you initially anticipated.

Car buying websites offer an advanced bidding service that tells you how much they will offer for your car before they see it. But, as you’re about to find out, the price you achieve can often be a lot less than what you are offered online.
More on this in a moment…

If you’re NOT desperate for the money I recommend that you don’t use these kinds of services and instead opt for Autotrader.

If you need to sell your car fast enter your vehicle registration number below for an instant online car valuation. Quotes are with no obligation and you will learn what your lowest valuation is likely to be.


sell car


Some services, including Trusted Car Buyers, will come to your house, look around your car and make you an offer. You can refuse, barter or accept. If I were using a car buying service it would probably be one that came to my address. Not only do I only need to make a phone call or complete a quick online form, but I can get a fixed bid on my car based on an actual appraisal from the company. This can be crucial, as you’ll see in a moment.

Some of the bigger buy my car services ask you to get an online quote first, before driving the car to one of their depots for inspection.


Trusted Car Buyers Review

Selling my car online for the highest price

Gather 3 or 4 online quotations – Here’s a few to choose from:

  • Trusted Car BuyersMy recommended service: Household name, had a good experience and got full money for my car. In fact, since writing this article I have sold 3 cars to this particular buy my car provider, with great results. The 3 cars ranged from 2 years old, up to 8 years old. With each sale, I managed to get the money I was quoted online.
  • We Buy Any Car – My second choice to Trusted Car Buyers: Good customer service but bid £160 less than the initial online quote.
  • We Want Any Car – My third choice: Offered £140 less than the initial quote, and there were no depots within a 20-mile radius of my address.
  • Cash 4 Cars – UNKNOWN: Not dealt with this company before so can’t advise you. Personally, I’d use one of the above car selling services.


There’re lots more but you’ll find the ones I’ve listed in Google if you search “sell my car online.”


How it works – a step by step guide to cash in the bank

Step 1 – Enter your car registration number

buy my car direct image The Used Car Guy


Step 2 – Now enter your car mileage, numbers of owners, service history details, any vehicle optional extras and your personal information

input personal details and vehicle information


Step 3 – Online valuation. Instantly you’ll get an online valuation and a follow-up email. You’ll then be prompted to book an appointment at your nearest branch

internet quote to sell car online


Tip – Carry out this process at least 3 times and see how your offers differ. You’ll most likely want to choose the highest bid, provided their sales depot is nearby, but we are not finished yet as there are still some important steps to a decent cash price

I’ve used Trusted Car Buyers as an example but each car buying website will have its own set of questions you’ll need to answer.

Once you’ve got your valuation make sure you read through their criteria for selling.


Key points include:

  • You must have the V5C registration document and the car needs to be registered in your name
  • The car must be damage free (within reason)
  • The car must have a current MOT certificate
  • The car must NOT be an insurance write off


car buying service terms of service


As I’ve said, the criteria will vary from one online car selling service to another. Just be sure to check out the requirements and that you can meet them thoroughly.

Tip: Trusted Car Buyers clearly state in their terms and conditions that the car must be damage free. Really this is a disclaimer that the vehicle must be free of major damage such as a badly dented bonnet, mirror that’s hanging off, broken front bumper etc.

If your car has a scrape on the corner of the bumper, chip in the windscreen or kerbed alloy wheel you will be just fine. However, expect a considerably lower price for your car.


Key Information: How car buying websites buy your car for significantly less than you thought possible

Get a correct car buying websites valuation


The valuations provided by many car buying services (and I am NOT singling out Trusted Car Buyers) are just that, valuations, and they are not offers or bids, despite slightly misleading claims.

Know that the money you’ve been offered online is “in principle and subject to inspection”.

This is just fine but something you need to remember. Take care as I have known individuals get crucified by up to a £1500 price difference between their online car valuation, and the actual offer they were made after their car was appraised.

This is a very real strategy used by some buy my car services to get huge amounts of money reduced from the initial online value.


When an individual goes through the online process and finally drives their car along to the car buyers, with all their documentation, their driving license, utility bill and even a lift home, they naturally believe their car is already sold.


This creates a sense of anticipation in the car owner that a bank transfer is just half an hour away.  So, when you arrive and are told your car has A, B, C and D faults it can come as a big surprise.

The subsequent offer for your car is usually several hundred pounds less than the initial quote from the online car valuation.


stipulations and terms of use with Trusted Car Buyers


In the majority of circumstances, the car owner will accept the offer because they have legitimate reasons for doing so.

It’s a common route to buying your car on the cheap and selling it for a much larger profit.


How to avoid a reduced offer after your online valuation

From an initial online valuation you’re given the option to provide additional information about your car. This tab gives you the opportunity to list any/all defects that your car may have.


sell car by declaring its condition


This is the step that almost everybody misses, either because they didn’t see the option or they thought it wasn’t important.

In fact, this is the most important step in the process (apart from selling your car for the price you expected.)

Take note of my current valuation of £6,101, for my 62 Plate Renault Scenic 1.5 DCI TomTom.

Here’s the screen you’re taken to once you click the “update assumptions” tab (highlighted above.)


online declaration of your cars condition


This page gives an opportunity to add any/all known damage, defects and faults that the car has.


I’ve included

  • small scratch on the bonnet
  • small dent to rear, external quarter panel
  • an average condition vehicle interior – watch out with this option as it lacks specifics. What you class as good, average or poor interior condition may be a little different what Trusted Car Buyers think. It’s a wide open space to be exploited so try and be prepared.


These items are not major damage, and when I look around my car it appears pretty sound.


Car Buyers Services – Their Secret Sauce

Check out my valuation, since adding in the minor additional damage to my car…


final cash price after all information has been submitted


Before declaring any damage to my car I was offered 6,101. Now, accounting for the small pieces of damage my offer is now £5,542. That’s a significant £576 less than my initial quote. If I hadn’t completed the ‘additional damage’ section I would never have known I was only going to fetch a little over 5.5k!


Trusted Car Buyers (and ANY car buyer services) will reduce money from your initial valuation for:

  • Having more owners than you initially described
  • Having a lesser service history than described
  • Having a personalised registration plate without disclosing it
  • Having an imported car and not disclosing it
  • Having only one set of keys
  • Not have a valid MOT certificate
  • Having run the car as a taxi
  • Having run the car as a driving tuition vehicle


  • For not disclosing any/all damage to the engine, interior or exterior, improper service history or lack of spare keys.


The advantage with Trusted Car Buyers is that they provide the opportunity to declare damage/faults, as some car buy services don’t.


Car Buying Service Fees

Trusted Car Buyers charge around £50 for a bank transfer that lands in your account the same day. Alternatively, you must wait up to four working days for your money.


Trusted Car Buyer Reviews, via the verified review website Feefo

official review via feefo
verified Feefo review
Office Feefo review
official review via Feefo

Review source:

If you choose to sell your car via a car buying service be sure to apply these methods and save yourself some money.

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