Meeting private buyers: safety tips

If you decide to sell your car privately, you will have to meet potential buyers to allow them to inspect and test drive the car.

 However, it is vital that you protect your own security and that of your car, so make sure you consider the following safety tips.

Have a friend over

If you feel vulnerable or at all uneasy about meeting strangers by yourself, make sure you have a friend or relative around when the buyer visits.

Do it by day

Aim to meet buyers at your home in daylight hours to give them plenty of opportunity to examine the car thoroughly.

 You will also feel safer if you meet a stranger in daylight. In the winter, this may mean arranging for the buyer to visit in the morning, particularly if there is any chance that any delay would see them arrive after dark.

Check insurance

Ensure the buyer has at least third-party insurance cover. (If they have comprehensive cover on their own car, then they'll have third-party cover on your car.)

 Alternatively, you could change your policy to cover any driver during the selling process.

Check their licence

Ask to see the buyer’s driving licence, and make a note of the licence number. Make it clear to the person driving that any speeding fines incurred on the drive will be their responsibility.

Stay with your car

Never allow a potential buyer to examine or drive your car without you. When it is time for the test drive, get into the passenger seat and then hand over the keys.

Be fair

Allow the buyer to drive on a variety of roads and for a decent amount of time – at least half an hour. If you try to cut it short, they might think you have something to hide.


Last updated: about 3 years ago