Dealer vs Private: How To Make The Most Money Selling Your Car

Our cars are pretty important to us. They’re not just a means of getting from A to B. In many cases they’re a prized asset and are often – aside from a property – the most expensive thing we own.

They’re rising in value too. The price of the average used car in the UK has risen steadily and now stands above £7,500.

The fact that there’s such a lucrative and competitive market for used vehicles makes it even more important than ever to make sure you are getting a good price when you come to sell. As an asset you need to maximise the amount you can get for your car, which can help free up funds to upgrade to a newer model.

In essence, you have two options open to you: selling your car yourself privately or using it to fund a part exchange when you buy a vehicle from a dealer.

Selling through a dealer: What you need to know
If your attention has been drawn to a car on the forecourt of a dealership then you can look to part-exchange your existing model as part payment towards the price adorning its window.

Before you go, you need to do a little research. Enlist the services of a site such as Everything Motoring and search for a vehicle like your own with similar condition and mileage so that you can get a ‘ballpark figure’ for the market value of your motor.

This gives you something to negotiate with. Some dealerships might not want to budge over the price tag, but could be persuaded to up their offer for your old vehicle to reduce the overall cost to you, for example, giving you something to bargain with.

January, March, August and December are said to be lean months for dealers, and might provide the perfect opportunity for your negotiation.

Once you’ve agreed a price and signed a couple of forms, the sale is over – saving you time and money in advertising the car.

Going alone: Selling the car yourself
There’s little doubt that you can make more money by selling your car privately… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will if you don’t put the effort in.

You need to do the same research highlighted above and then put the work in yourself to advertise and sell the car.

You also need to make yourself available for test drives and viewings, ensure the car is in tip-top condition and develop a negotiating strategy to deal with those who want to haggle over the price you’ve put on it.

You could also attempt to take your car to an auction. Check out this guide for more information on auctions and what they entail.

Given the right ground work, this approach will bear fruit, typically with – as the above link also shows – returns ten per cent or higher than those offered by a dealer.

If, then, your intention is to obtain the most cash from your car then you should look into selling it for yourself. However, beware that your car can be a great bargaining chip and give you useful ammunition to engineer a lower price when buying your next vehicle from a dealer.

If your car needs some repairs prior to selling it, you check our Car Parts NI where you can request any spare and car breakers and vehicle parts suppliers will get back to you with a price.