Sell car to trade
How to sell your car to a dealership (motor trader)
If you’re selling a car, you have options.
Car-selling websites are now the UK’s favourite.
Dealer versus selling privately
Selling a car privately involves writing an ad, dealing with punters and haggling.
For modern motorists, a private sale is the least attractive, despite the potential to sell your car for more cash.
In recent years, car-buying websites have grown in popularity because they offer a simple solution to selling your car quickly. As a result, you get less than a private sale but more convenience.
Selling at auction is the least popular, with good reasons. There’s no guarantee you’ll sell your car. You need to leave it at the auction house, where it could be damaged, and the commission charges are enormous. You’ll also be without your car for the duration.
Selling a car to trade is a decent way to make a quick sale.
You’re sure to get less than selling privately, but a dealer could buy your car and put cash in your bank the same day. Dealers can also help out by part exchange. That’s where you trade your car in exchange for one on the forecourt.
Note that if you opt to sell your car to trade, you must have the V5C logbook with your name and address. This guide helps if you are a registered keeper who has lost logbook and want to sell a car to trade.
Visit our comprehensive guide on best way to sell a car.
Why do traders buy cars from private sellers?
Profit – expect a mid to low trade valuation for your car. The dealer is keen to make a profit. A typical car dealer wants at least £1,000 of profit from buying and selling your car from the forecourt.
The dealer is absorbing VAT on profits, a minimum 3-month guarantee, and servicing and advertising costs. So £1,000 is quickly reduced by 50% when you factor in the costs of running a small or medium size private car dealership.
Consumer Rights also govern dealers once buying and selling your old car. So, if your car has mechanical issues, it’s ethical to let them know.
Why should I sell to the trade and not use a private sale?
You might need the money in your bank on the same day. For example, most motorists who sell their cars to trade need cash in a flash.
Selling privately to a new keeper comes with pitfalls, requires more effort, and you’ve no guarantee of selling your car.
Selling a car privately can work well if you don’t need the quick cash and are willing to put in the legwork. Autotrader, Gumtree and eBay are all popular platforms.
Autotrader is an excellent classified sell my car privately website. It’s best for cars valued at more than a couple of thousand pounds. But it’s expensive to advertise, with premium classified ads now topping £90!
Gumtree is affordable and gets your car in front of some local buyers. You might even find a dealer calling you for your best price.
eBay is the low end of private selling. It’s suitable for cheap cars, those with mechanical issues and non-runners.
What’s the difference between a car buying site and selling to a trader?
Car buying services are deemed part of the motor trade. Therefore, they buy as cheaply as possible and sell for profit. That’s what traditional car dealerships do.
But, Motorway is slightly different from the standard car-buying services like We Buy Any Car.
On Motorway, you enter your car reg number and current mileage and are presented with an online car valuation. Typically, the offer is less than a private seller’s price, but more than what you’d get offered in part exchange, or We Buy Any Car.
Your listing is pushed out to over 5,000 trusted car dealers. Some are franchised main dealers on the lookout for specific makes and models. Others are privately owned dealerships wanting fresh stock to put on the forecourt.
You’ll get a range of online offers for your car. Enter more information about service history, vehicle features, outstanding finance and if you have a V5C log book.
Then, you accept the offer you are happy with, and the dealer will collect your car from home and pay the money into your bank the same day.
If you want a quick sale for a mid-range price, Motorway is worth a look.
I want to sell my car to a local garage. What do I need to do?
- Drive the car to the local dealers and allow them to look over your car
- Take your V5C logbook registered in your name
- Don’t forget to take all the service history, invoices of previous maintenance, spare keys, handbook kit and the locking wheel nut if you have one
- Print out your CarVeto car history check. It shows the dealer your car isn’t stolen, written off or subject to car finance. Most dealers will run their own CarVeto HPI check before agreeing on a price
- Bring identification, preferably your driving licence
The trader will make a low-end offer if they want to buy your car. Don’t be afraid to counteroffer and haggle for the best price. Dealers expect that type of thing.
If you agree to sell to trade, insist on a bank transfer and get a dealer purchase invoice.
Make a note that you are no longer responsible for the car or any mechanical issues that occur.
Complete Section 10 – transferring or selling a car to the motor trade. Include the dealer’s business name, address, VAT number and date of sale. Send the slip to DVLA Swansea SA99 1BA.
It allows the dealer to retain the logbook to sell the car without waiting for a registration document.
DVLA notification is essential. It keeps you safe and legal. Don’t rely on the dealers to notify DVLA. Here is the link to inform DVLA you have sold your car.
Selling a car with outstanding finance to trade
A CarVeto report shows up any outstanding car finance. In addition, it includes the lender’s name, the type of agreement and reference number, and contact details.
It’s your responsibility to ensure the finance is paid off. Most dealers will settle the outstanding amount with the lender and pay you the difference (the difference between the settlement figure and the price of your car).
It is essential to contact your lender directly and ask for a settlement figure. Once the loan is paid off, you need a settlement letter from the finance company. It will keep you safe and legal.