Tips When Selling Your Car to a Dealership

Selling to a Dealer- Used Cars


I’m Thinking About Selling My Car to a Dealer


Of all the routes to selling your used car, a dealer buy is relatively straightforward. But as you already know, dealers will offer you a fraction of your car’s retail value.

The only reason a dealer will want your car is so they can make money selling it; stands to reason.  But ask yourself if you actually need to sell your car to a dealer.

“This page is all about selling your used car to a local dealer, and finding out if you really need to.

1. Do you need the money in a hurry?
2. Do you want to avoid the process of selling a car privately?
3. Do you need the cash to buy a new car? (what about part exchanging into the dealer you’re buying from?)

Really, if you aren’t desperate for the cash and are happy to deal with people via a private sale it makes good financial sense NOT selling to a dealer. Other options include selling at auction or a car buying service.

So you have a variety of options available to you regardless of your personal circumstances. It all comes down to the price you’re willing to accept.


“Here are some things to remember if you decide to sell your car to a dealer.


Before heading over to a dealer and offering your car for sale I advise that you get a rough estimate of what your car is worth with a car buying service such as we-buy-any-car. As I spoke of in the previous article, they offer online quotes from the comfort of your own home, and there’s no obligation to sell to them. You can use the quote as a measuring stick of what you’re likely to get offered from a car dealer. And, if the dealer can’t match or better your quote you can just say no thanks.


It’s a Buyer’s Market and it’s a Seller’s Market

I’ve spoken about this on a number of occasions but the price you’re likely to get for your car is completely dependent on what the car is. Moreover, it depends on how “desirable” your car is. Knowing if your car is a sought after model, or “just another set of wheels, is important information for you to find out. Will the dealers be proactive and really, really want your car? Will they be withdrawn and happy to “take it or leave it?”

You can find more info on your cars desirability in my previous article.

It’s also worthwhile to head over to Autotrader and see how much your car type is selling for as retail value. You’ll need to check the prices exact to age, mileage, make and model for a genuine valuation. On average you can expect to sell yours to a dealer for at least £1200 less than what they’re selling for on Autotrader (unless the car you are selling is aged.). You can see how much dealers are selling your type of car for too. Choose the “dealer only” option in the Autotrader control panel. This will show you how much your car will be selling for after the dealers have bought it from you.


getting a car valuation before selling to a dealer


Some tips to selling your car to a dealer


Know your stuff. Is your car something that a dealer really wants to sell off of their forecourt?


  • Start off with a dealer that sells and/or specialises in the very car you own. If you own a Skoda head over to your Skoda dealers first and see what they’ll offer you (the age and mileage of your car will determine if this is a viable option for you.
  • When you visit dealers to try and sell, don’t appear desperate in any way. If a dealer can sense you’re in need of the money you’re likely to get a worse offer than you might have.
  • Ensure your car is clean but not dripping with cleaning chemical from the local valet centre. It’s most beneficial that the car is washed, vacuumed and the windows are cleaned inside and out.
  • Take all of your cars documentation along with you and be ready to sell on the day. If you get an offer from a dealer on Monday, don’t expect the offer to be the same on Friday. Dealers can be a fickle and a rather forgetful lot when they need to be.
  • Don’t accept full cash payment or business cheque. I’d refuse anything more than £500 in cash and the rest as a direct bank transfer only.
  • Make sure you complete the V5 section 9 yellow slip. This section pertains to selling your car to a dealer. It must state the dealers full business name, address, VAT number, correct date and be signed by both parties. YOU send the yellow slip off to the DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA while the dealer keeps the V5C logbook.
  • Remember to get a full purchase invoice from the dealers that contains all their details, the whole car details and your details. Make sure it’s signed by both parties and contains the exact amount you sold the car for and payment method. If there is outstanding finance on the vehicle this must also be included on the invoice. You should also get confirmation from the finance company before proceeding.

 Selling my car to dealer


Here’s more related articles to selling a used car:


Sell a car privately via Autotrader
Sell at an auction
Leveraging Buy My Car services
Understanding the part exchange process
Getting a genuine valuation for your old car
Car sales guide


The Used Car Guy

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