How to Sell Your Old Car

How to Sell Your Old Car

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Selling your old car rather than taking the dealer’s trade-in will usually mean that you’ll get a better price - but the extra money comes at the price of the effort of selling privately.

Selling your car privately:

This is a lot easier now with multiple websites you can use to advertise your car to potential buyers, and you’ll more than likely be able to get more for your car than any other option.

The flip side is that you’ll have to correspond and meet with potential buyers, allowing them to visit your home to view and to test drive the vehicle.

Depending on how quickly you want to to sell your car, you might choose to advertise your car on online car sales sites of these, or a number of platforms to advertise your car.

1. How to advertise your car online:

There are dozens of places to advertise online - the days of placing a small ad in the Trading Post or local paper are gone. Some websites to consider are Gumtree, eBay, CarSales, Facebook Marketplace,, CarsGuide - the list of possibilities is almost endless.

To filter out time-wasters and ensure that the enquiries you get are genuine, provide as much detail about your car as possible. This means taking detailed photographs, including the full-service history and any minor damage to the car.

Making yourself available a couple of times a day to respond to online enquiries will ensure a quicker, smoother sale, and you’ll earn a reputation as a good seller for the future.

2. Photographing your car for online advertisements

Make sure the photographs are clear and put together a detailed and accurate description of your car. More photos are always better, and including details such as the dashboard showing the odometer, any extra’s you’ve added to the car, will pay off. See how many photos the advertiser allows, and include the full number.

A smartphone camera is good enough, it lets you take as many photos as you like and just keep the best ones.

3. Setting your price

To set a fair price for your car, check the RedBook value, get a quote on what your trade-in value might be, or get a valuation from a car-buying service, such as Sell My Car. You can get a free valuation online, with no commitment to sell Then take into account the wear and tear on your car, and set the price somewhere in the middle.

4. Meeting potential buyers of your old car

Be sure to clean the car properly before you take the photographs or make the car available for potential buyers to test drive. Making the car appear well-kept will increase the perceived value to your potential buyers.

Make sure that you don’t leave anything loose in the boot of the car either, as objects rattling around during the test drive will leave a bad impression. A recent car service receipt also shows that you’ve got nothing to hide. Inflating the tyres to the correct pressure will also ensure an optimum test drive experience.

It’s also a good idea to check with your insurer that your car is covered during any test drives.

5. Using an auction service:

This takes the hassle out of selling the car you don’t need any more but ensures that you still get a good price for the car.

For example, Pickles Auctions can sell your car through Fixed Price, Public or Online Auctions, using a combination of these options to advertise and sell your car for the best price.

The sale is ‘by consignment’ which means that if the car sells for a higher price, you’ll get more for it. This is the key difference between trading your car in where you’ll only get the lowest amount the dealer can get away with.

If your car is less than 8 years old, the process can be started online, but if it’s older than 8 years, your car will need to be assessed at the location near you.

You’ll be given a low and high estimate on the final sale price, and a reserve price will be set for auction too. If the car is under finance, then Pickles is also willing to pay out the finance company on your behalf before the sale is completed.

Selling a car under finance

If you still owe money on your car, and you’re looking to sell privately, it could pay to sort out the finance owing first.

A standard car loan is usually a ‘secured car loan’, where the car loan is applied to the car, and not to the buyer. This could mean refinancing the loan on the existing car to buy your next car, or just to remove the security so the loan then becomes a personal loan. Then when you sell the car, you can use the money to pay out this loan right away.

Donate your car

If you're altruistic you might consider donating your car for a purpose. This saves the hassles of negotiating a sale or trade-in, the car doesn't gather rust in your drive, and you know that you're supporting a great cause all at the same time.

One organisation that accepts donations of vehicles is "Kids Under Cover".

Kids Under Cover will collect your car from a capital city, and resell it at auction. When the vehicle sells, you'll receive a tax-deductible receipt for the sale amount.

All of the proceeds from the public auctions go towards building homes and providing scholarships for at-risk young people, as part of Kids Under Cover mission to reduce youth homelessness.

Whichever option you choose to get something back on your old car, whether its cash in hand or a tax-deductible donation, the exciting part is that you can now pay off any loan you had and get ready to buy your next car!

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