The best way to sell a car

There are two traditional ways to sell your car: selling it to a dealer is the more straightforward, while private sales should make you more money. These aren’t your only options, however, as the digital age has seen the arrival of eBay and online companies ready to take your car off your hands with minimum hassle. We guide you through the best ways to sell  your car.


This is the quickest and simplest way to sell your car. If a dealer is keen to sell you another car he may offer a good price for your old one. Conversely, if you negotiate a good discount on your new car, he may be reluctant to give you the best price for your old one, so make sure you know exactly what your car is worth before you offer it.

Private sale

As a rule, you will get more for your car by selling it privately. However, the process can be time-consuming. You need to be available to take phone calls and to meet private buyers for inspections and test drives. Also, advertising can be costly, particularly if your car takes a long time to sell.

Online car auctions

An alternative method is to sell your car via an online auction site such as eBay. If you’re lucky, you may get a good price for your car if it becomes the subject of a bidding war between potential buyers. However, you may find that buyers will want to test drive your vehicle before placing a bid, so you’ll need to be available for their queries and visits.

Online car buying companies

Selling your car to a professional online buyer is a quick and easy alternative to selling privately or at a dealer, but you probably won’t get the best price – only you will know if it’s worth it to avoid the usual car-selling hassle.

However, there are reasons why selling online may suit. If your car has a high mileage, is in less-than-perfect condition or is simply getting on a bit, you may struggle to find private buyers or dealers that are interested. Online buyers make no judgments and just value the car as they see fit.

In all cases, though, use our free car valuation tool to make sure you know the real market value of your car and shop around to get the best price you can. Don’t let an online buyer fob you off with a drastically lower valuation, and walk away if they start adding on extra charges at the last minute.

Last updated: about 16 hours ago