It is not difficult to sell your used car. If your secondhand person is supposed to rinse your money well, there is a lot to consider! Learn here how to determine the optimal price and find fast-paying buyers. We also give you tips on how to protect yourself from the scams of fraudsters.
Where can I sell my used car?
To sell a used car, there are many ways that all have their advantages and disadvantages. The most important options are:
- Online purchase portals: Behind Internet platforms or companies that specialize in buying and selling cars. These vendors will do most of the work for you, as they will serve ads and establish contact between you and the buyer. This is a very convenient and safe way to sell a used car.
- Private car sales: Alternatively, you can even advertise in newspapers or on the Internet. So you bypass middlemen. Selling cars yourself, however, is relatively time-consuming and you should take precautions to avoid being cheated.
- Used car dealer: If selling the car is too private for you, you can also give your car to a used car dealer. This will save you work, but you have to make a bigger compromise on the selling price.
Sell cars online via purchase portals: How does it work?
Purchase portals are professional contact persons for car buying and selling. They make contact between you and the buyer and take you from many formalities, such as setting up the purchase contract or the deregistration of the car. Another advantage for you is that these portals operate nationwide and have a large partner network. As a result, your sales ad reaches a large audience and the car sale is usually done quickly. The selling price is also higher on average than the one you can achieve privately or with a used car dealer.
A brokerage commission will only charge the purchase portals after they have been able to sell your car. The commission depends on the selling price. It is usually lower than the price discounts that you have to put up with a used car dealer.
How does the car sell via purchase portals in detail:
Step 1: Rate car online for free
On the website of the online sales portals, you will find a price calculator, with which you can determine the approximate value of your car. You only need to enter the make, model and registration year. The online calculator then determines the average price at which similar cars can currently be sold. You will receive the result immediately by e-mail.
Note, however, that this is only a very rough estimate. Individual factors such as the mileage or care state play a major role and determine significantly at what price you can sell your used car.
Step 2: Make an Appointment
Only a professional can determine a realistic selling price. You can have test reports or automobile clubs commissioned for a fee against a fee. Online sales portals usually offer you this service for free. Depending on the provider, the independent appraisers either come to your home or make an appointment in one of the nationwide branches.
The examination of your car takes about half an hour. The appraiser documents all vehicle details such as tires and special equipment, usually he also produces photos. In addition, he systematically checks the condition of the car and performs a short test drive. In the end, you will receive a detailed valuation report with a very realistic price estimate.
For the viewing appointment, you should prepare all the important vehicle documents that you later need to sell to the car. Make sure you have the following with you:
Registration Certificate Part 1 (also known as “Vehicle Registration Certificate”)
Registration Certificate Part 2 (also known as “Registration Letter”)
Evidence of all repairs carried out
Accessories, such as a second set of tires
Your identity card
Step 3: Choose a put option
Immediately after the viewing appointment, you can order the car sales through the sales platform. Depending on the provider you usually have different ways to sell your used car:
- Direct sales: If you want to sell your used car the same day, the provider will give you a fixed purchase price. If you agree, the service staff will take care of all the further steps. You set up a professional sales contract and cancel your car properly.
- Private Sale: Alternatively, the purchase portal can help you find a private buyer for your car. You yourself have little to do because the provider takes over the professional marketing and the switching of ads. He also accepts the contact requests and analyzes dubious prospects from the outset.
- Dealer Auction: In this variant, your car will be brokered to a pan-European network of dealers who can offer price bids. These offers can, but you do not have to accept. So you always decide for yourself whom you want to sell your car to. If there is a good offer, then you simply transfer your car to the sales platform. This will do the rest and transfer your money.
Step 4: Arrange an appointment with the buyer (at the private sale)
If you prefer to sell your car with the private option, then the sales portal provides contact between you and potential buyers. Sightseeing appointments with prospective customers and possible test drive you then arrange yourself. Test drives are for you and the buyer incidentally completely risk-free, because the sales portal takes care of the legal protection.
When viewing appointments with prospective buyers, have the full vehicle documents and accessories you want to sell in your car. So that your car makes a good impression, you should thoroughly clean it before, inside and out!
Step 5: Sell your Car and get Guaranteed Money
If a buyer is found, then the agency portal supports you in the sales transaction. By the way, you can save annoying price negotiations with the car because the price question has already clarified the sales portal with the buyer. The provider also takes care of a legally valid purchase contract and clarifies the terms of payment so that you are guaranteed to get your money.
Also, the deregistration of your car and the termination of insurance take over with a professional car purchase and sale of the service coworkers. After you have handed over your car to the buyer, you can sit back and relax, because your job is done with it.
Private Car Sales: How does it work?
If you prefer to sell your car on your own, you should be prepared to invest a little time. Because a car sale will not be over in a few days! Think about a suitable sales strategy even before you place the first ad.
Selling cars yourself has the advantage of giving you the chance of a maximum sale price. Because you bypass middlemen who cut the cake. On the other hand, you have to find the buyer who pays you the best price! This is often easier said than done when selling a car. Because the range of private ads is limited. Many car owners who want to sell their cars themselves, present their vehicles also not optimal.
And last but not least, you should be careful that you do not get scammed. Although most buyers have honest intentions, even criminals scent their business in private car sales.
So you go step by step, if you want to sell a used car:
Step 1: Have the car checked
To sell your used car and get a good price, you should first bring it to fruition. It is advantageous to have the prescribed main examination carried out before the car sales. Alternatively, you can order technical expertise from a testing institute. Although this costs money but creates confidence in potential buyers.
Step 2: Determine the current market value
To set a realistic retail price, you need to know how much your used car is really worth. If you set too high a price, you will not be able to sell your car. If you have too low a price, you will be giving away valuable money. So how can you find out at which price you can sell your car?
- Online Price Calculator: Before selling your car, you can find an approximate guideline online using the free price calculator. Because these price calculators use the only brand, model and year, the result is only a very rough guide.
- Research in online exchanges: Search in relevant online exchanges for cars that are as similar as possible to yours. Pay attention also to the mileage, the equipment, color, and possible defects. Make a note of the prices and calculate an average. So you can estimate something more accurate, how much money you can sell your used car.
- Professional appraisal: Only a human being can make a completely accurate appraisal, no database. If you want to know exactly how much money your car is selling, you can commission a professional appraisal with a testing association. That costs you around 125 euros. A professional appraisal pays off only if you expect that you can still take a lot of money when selling a car.
Step 2: Switch ads
Finding the right platforms
A realistic price has been set. Now you have to get your car out for sale. The more listings you make, the more likely you are to find a buyer who pays you a good price. But not only the quantity counts, but you also have to advertise in the right place. The following options are available:
Stock exchanges on the Internet: Depending on the reputation of the sales portal, you can reach a very large audience here. Not everywhere the ads are free for you, some providers charge fees. As a rule, you give a fixed price for advertisements, which of course can be negotiable.
Auction platforms on the Internet: If you want to sell your car through auction platforms, you usually reach a large audience. Auctions are not for everyone. It may be that you sell your car at a pretty good price. But it can also be that the result is far below your expectations.
Classifieds in newspapers: The classic classified ads in daily newspapers are another way to sell your used car. But you reach a rather small audience. When selling cars, the online variant is the most prevalent today, especially in the younger generation.
Specialist magazines and automotive forums: You can also advertise specifically where car fans are. With advertisements in car magazines or special Internet forums, you can reach a small but special audience. This way is recommended especially for the sale of car brands or models, which are located in the upper price segment or even collectors value.
In addition, you can also attach a note with the words “car for sale” directly to your car. The chance that an interested and solvent buyer by chance walks past your car, but is low.
Take Good Pictures
For advertisements – especially those on the Internet – the basic rule is The first impression counts! And that is conveyed through pictures. How often your ad is clicked, thus depends heavily on the quality of the photos. You should therefore necessarily make good shots, dark cell phone snapshots are not very advantageous when selling a car.
It is best to bring the car to a high gloss before selling, so you can present it from its best side. Finished photos from multiple perspectives, including detail and interior shots. This works optimally in daylight against a neutral background.
Create Good ad Text
In addition, your ad needs a text that is informative, easy to read and as error-free as possible. The following information must necessarily in the display:
- Brand and model
- engine power
- Gasoline or diesel vehicle
- Date of first registration
- number of previous owners
- interior decoration
- Special and additional equipment, accessories
- Date of last main inspection
- The validity period of the sticker
- possible defects or accidents
- Price (fixed price or negotiation basis)
After your listings for the car sale went online, it’s time to wait for the first requests. It is completely normal that many interested parties only want to obtain information. Therefore, allow sometime each day to respond to inquiries so as not to let potential buyers wait too long.
Also, think about how you deal with car sales negotiations. With a fixed, non-negotiable price, you may scare off buyers. On the other hand, you should set an absolute pain threshold that you undercut under any circumstances.
Step 4: Arrange viewing Appointments and test Drives
If interested parties have found, then it is necessary to arrange viewing appointments. Schedule for an appointment including a test drive at least 1 to 2 hours! Before the meeting, you should prepare all documents such as vehicle documents and service booklet. For your own safety, it is favorable if you are not alone at the viewing appointment, but have a second person with you.
When driving a car test drives are common, after all, the prospective customer also wants to test the driving characteristics. Make sure you have a driver’s license and identity card! If you want to be on the safe side, then set up a so-called test drive agreement.
In it, you determine who is liable in a possible accident, how the repair and insurance costs (deductible, demotion damages) are divided and who pays for fines. If you are not in the test drive yourself, then let you hand over a pledge (eg identity card).
Step 5: Prepare purchase contract
When selling a car from private to private you should absolutely insist on a written purchase contract! So both buyers and sellers are on the safe side. The purchase contract should be in duplicate: one copy remains with you, the other takes the buyer. The following information should be included in the purchase contract:
- Personal data: Full name of buyer and seller, contact details, ID card number, ev. Copy of identity cards.
- Vehicle data: make, model, date of first registration, engine power, chassis number, engine number, vehicle registration number, registration number, date of next main inspection.
- Known defects and accident damage: If you want to sell a used car that already has some quirks, you should definitely list these in the purchase agreement meticulously. Otherwise, it can come to problems after the deal!
- Exclusion of Liability ( Warranty): If commercial dealers sell a used car, they must give the buyer a warranty for material defects. In a private car sales, however, you can expressly exclude the material defect liability in the purchase contract. This avoids that you have to pay for repair costs if damage occurs after the sale at the car.
- Purchase price and payment method: The exact price, the payment method and payment methods (eg partial payments) are also included in the purchase contract.
- Transfer confirmation and signature: This seals the purchase contract.
Important: The exclusion of liability for defects is invalid if you deliberately sell defects in the car! In the legal sense, you then blame yourself for the “malicious deception”. The buyer could challenge the purchase contract. Exactly, for this reason, you should sell the car necessarily any defects or damage in writing in the purchase contract document.
Step 6: Make sure you have a secure payment method
Sell one of the most important rules in the car: Never hand over the car or the vehicle documents before you have received the full purchase price! So do not get involved in partial payments. The safest way to sell a car is always cash. Because a check could be uncovered, a transfer can withdraw the buyer retrospectively.
The best way to meet the buyer in a bank branch and let him withdraw the amount in front of your eyes. So you avoid that you sell the car possibly counterfeit money is under-cheered. Only after you have received the money and checked, you hand over the car, the keys and the vehicle documents.
Step 7: Log off the car and cancel the insurance
You should not forget to sell the car after the car, to deregister the car in a good time at the registration office and to cancel the car insurance. Basically, you can do that even before the car sales. Then the buyer needs for testing or for the drive home but a yellow short-term license plate. This can be a deterrent for some interested parties.
One possibility is to drive together with the buyer to the registration office and to re-register the car. Or you contractually obligate the buyer to re-register the car within a certain period of time (eg one week) after the sale. But then keep the exact date and time of delivery in the purchase contract! Otherwise, fines, bills or criminal charges will also end up in your mailbox after the car has been sold.
Car sales at the dealer: How does it work?
Who wants to sell a used car quickly, often lands at the used car dealer around the corner. The advantage is that you do not have to deal with numerous private prospects and test drives here. Even a car with a few quirks you are going on the used car dealer easier than private. Because minor repairs can easily be done by a dealer who specializes in buying and selling cars. At least you will have to compromise on the price. Because the dealer has to calculate a profit margin if he wants to do business in used cars to do business.
To sell your car at the used car dealer and get the best possible price, you should proceed as follows:
Step 1: Obtain an independent appraisal
This step is especially worthwhile if you have a higher quality car for sale. A resourceful trader can try to push the price down by referring to alleged defects. You should therefore objectively prove how much your car is worth. However, you have to take a little money in the hand for a valuation report.
Step 2: Get more offers
If you do not want to leave your money behind when selling a car, you should definitely ask for several price bids. For sometimes the prices vary greatly, the used car dealers are willing to pay for one and the same car.
Step 3: Define put option
For used car dealers, you often have several sales options:
- Direct selling: This is the simplest variant. You hand over the car and get the money on hand or on your account.
- Vehicles sell on commission: We would rather advise against that. To sell a used car on the commission has a great disadvantage that you only see money after the dealer could sell the car. In the meantime, however, space rent often falls!
- Trade-in: If you buy a new car from the dealer at the same time, the used car serves as a down payment.
Step 4: Set up a written sales contract
Just as in the case of car sales from private to private, the basic rule is: Never sell a vehicle to a dealer without setting up a written sales contract! Be sure to check the contract line by line and do not let yourself be pushed into signing.