What’s The Best Way To Sell A Car?

How to sell your car for the most in the shortest time

If you are selling a car privately, you’ll likely get more for it, perhaps as much as 45%.

You’ve three ways to sell:

Privately, part-exchange (selling to a dealer) or car buying service.

Car auction (including online auction) is a fourth option, but littered with fees and hassle with no guarantee of selling.

All methods have their pros and cons, dictated by price and convenience.

This guide looks at all the popular routes to selling a car.

Sell My Car



The CarVeto guide to buying and car selling. We include all the steps to selling your car as quickly as possible for the best price.

Here we share some 30-years of motor trade experience.

To learn more about buying or selling a car, use the links below.

Before you sell your car, keep in mind…

With your vehicle reg number, look at the latest hpi car check for your car. Up-to-date certificates really help selling. 

Selling your car privately

Maximising your car’s value

It can take time, and you’ll need to receive calls and demo to potential buyers. But the time spent can be money-saving.

Classified ad listings on Gumtree (free listing), Autotrader (prices range depending on the type of ad and selling price), and Motors.co.uk (free) work best.


Other platforms include Facebook, Preloved and eBay; each with pros and cons.

From our experience, Autotrader is favoured because their website gets so much traffic and attention.


Part exchanging to a trader

It takes the pain out of selling a car privately, but means a lot less for your car.

Dealers need your vehicle at a trade price, whilst you pay a premium. You’ll get offered a ‘price to change’ reducing the value of your car from the screen price of theirs. P/xing also dissolves your ‘cash buyer prowess’ so don’t expect any kind of discounts if you chop in your old motor.


Car buyers services

Expect similar offers to the dealer p/x method. We Buy Any Car offers are rock-bottom as they put your old car at auction and expect to make a profit. A dealer is likely to end up buying it and needs a slice of the pie too.

The end game is that the true market value of your current car is met when it’s for sale on a trader’s forecourt.


But car buying sites do give you the advantage of being a cash buyer, which is something dealers seem to like.

Providers include We Want Any Car, Trust Car Buyers and Phili’s We Buy Any Car.


Watch out for unpalatable admin fees ranging anywhere from £24.99 to £79.99 (Most times, Motorway.co.uk omit these fees, but it depends on the buyer and offer.)


What are the best ways to sell a car in the UK

Sell a car with a car buying website

Over 90% of the highest bids for your car will come via Motorway.co.uk who offer it to a pool of dealers like CarBase and Evans Halshaw. Again, Motorway doesn’t always include those nasty admin fees just mentioned.


Straight talk:
There are some cars that dealers want to own. They are the ones that make a fortune in car auctions and are deemed as desirable.
Think VW Golf TDI, SEAT Leon Cupra or pretty much any low mileage Range Rover (not an exhaustive list).


They always aim to get the best price so dealers are known to make more cash profit from specific part-exchanged vehicles than those they are selling from the forecourt.


How would you feel to part exchange your lovely VW Tiguan only to find it for sale on their forecourt at £2,500 more than your selling price?


So, the trick is research. Find out if your car is on the wanted list and look after your investment. After all, you can only sell it once.

Check our guide – sell my car for cash websites offering a quick online bid without obligation to sell up.

Renault Scenic 1.5 DCI £4,080 £3,100
Mercedes E Class 2.1 CDI £9,810 £8,440
VW Golf 1.6 BlueMotion £7,510 £6,520
Ford Fiesta 1.0 Zetec £5,660 £4,710
Dacia Duster 1.5 DCI £5,500 £4,660

If you find the p/x route most appealing, keep a lookout for an inflated valuation (less common nowadays but it’s a tried and tested way to get punters buying). Yup, some undesirable salespersons will happily inflate the price of their car and add the difference to your p/x quote.


You already know a dealer isn’t giving anything away for free. Double-check their screen price and see if it matches the price on their website or Autotrader.

Here’s our detailed guide on the best way to sell a car