• Posted on Oct 26, 2020

Is it time to sell your car?

There are many possible reasons why you may want to sell your car. Perhaps your family is growing and you need something a little bigger, or maybe you want to celebrate starting a new job with something a little spicier. Regardless of the reason, your selling experience should be great - not a headache!

We want to ensure that your entire experience is pleasant - not time-consuming and frustrating. While trading in your car may seem like the easiest route to follow, you may end up getting a lot less money for it. Car dealerships often pay a low price for your car and then sell it for what it’s really worth. This means you lose out.

There is a better solution. You can sell your car to Buy My Cars and get a better price and faster turnaround time. This way, you won’t have to waste time finding a buyer. We simply offer the best price for good quality, clean, pre-owned cars.

There is the option of selling your car privately. If you’ve opted to go this route, you can experience a smooth, easy process. We’ve created a guide especially for selling your car privately in South Africa. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Sort out car admin and asking price

What is the market value of your car?

How much would potential buyers be willing to pay for your car? It’s important to know the retail value of your car to avoid being taken for a ride. Because your car depreciates every year, you should get a current valuation to determine the best selling price. A valuation will help you manage your own expectations as well as ensure you do not get too little for your car. The value of your car depends on a few factors, including:

  • Demand - You will get a higher price for your car if it’s in demand. Factors that may contribute to the demand are sought after add-on features and the colour of your car. For example, white and silver cars are more sought after than black cars as black cars are more likely to show scratch marks.
  • Condition of your car - If you’re selling a reliable, accident-free car with minimal wear and tear, you’re likely to get a better selling price as opposed to a car with torn seats, scratches or dents, electronic equipment that doesn’t work, and other issues.
  • Service history - Having a full-service history may increase the value of a car. It assures potential buyers that you have looked after the car and had it regularly checked by professionals.
  • Mileage - Mileage can affect your selling price as usually increased mileage and increased wear and tear go hand in hand.
  • Spare keys - Not being able to provide spare keys may decrease the value of your car.

You can ask a dealership for the book value of your car over the phone. Usually, asking for a price a bit higher than the trade-in value will ensure that you sell your car relatively fast. If you ask for too much, competition, such as dealerships, may lure in potential buyers before you do.

Is your license disc still valid?

Check your license disc to ensure that it hasn’t expired. If it has, make sure you sort it out before advertising your car.

Do you need to do a roadworthiness test?

Not necessarily. While you don’t really need a valid certificate, it can help potential buyers feel more confident when it comes to making a purchase.

Another thing to keep in mind is that buyers that require finance for a car may need to send a roadworthy certificate to the bank. Therefore, it may help you close a deal on a potential sale.

Are all your car documents sorted out?

Service book

As mentioned above, if you can provide potential buyers with the car’s service history, you may sell your car quicker. Make sure all car services are up to date in the service book. If the car’s service records are recorded digitally, you can access the details using your VIN number.

Car registration certificate

If the car is not financed by a bank, you will need to have your car registration certificate on hand. If the car is financed by a bank, you will need to provide a settlement letter from the bank to prove you are the owner of the car.

Step 2: Prepare and advertise your car

Make your car look immaculate

Presentation is extremely important when it comes to selling your car. Remove all personal items from your car and book a full-house car wash. If potential buyers see a dirty car, they may be put off buying it or want to pay less for it.

Snap great photos

Taking the right photos for your adverts can help you make a quick sale. Here are a few tips:

  1. Take photos of your car at the right time of the day. Bright sunlight can result in shadows and glare, therefore, it’s best not to take photos at midday. The best times to take photos are about half an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, according to liveaboutdotcom. The mellow light will result in crisper images.
  2. Take multiple photos and review them. Look at the overall quality of the images. Your photos should be high-quality and any shadows should not be very distinct.
  3. Shoot every angle possible. Take photos of the car from the side, straight on, from every corner and inside.
  4. Only take photos of the engine if it’s extremely clean. Usually, it’s not easy to make the engine look great in a photo.
  5. Turn the steering wheel so that the car’s wheels can be seen in photos.
  6. Take a few close up photos. Most potential buyers like to see detail, especially when it comes to the interior of the car.
  7. Showcase any cool features in photos. Take close up photos of any additional features, such as a sound system, a sunroof, or custom leather seats to make your car more attractive to potential buyers.

Start advertising

Once your photos are ready, you can advertise your car. The first thing you need to do is write your ad. Include important information, such as:

  • Mileage
  • Year, make and model of the car
  • Whether service records are available
  • Whether your car is on a maintenance plan or has any warranty
  • Manual or automatic
  • Any extra features
  • Asking price
  • How to contact you

Once you have your ad write up and photos, you can create adverts.

Usually, the quickest way to reach a big audience is through online advertising. There are numerous ways to advertise your car online, such as:

  • Post a used car advert on car sales websites.
  • Create posts on social platforms, such as Facebook. Encourage your friends and family to share your post to increase the number of people who see the post.
  • Post on social media groups and peer-to-peer websites.
  • Post on online forums, especially ones for specific car brands.

Step 3: Engage with potential buyers

Once you have potential buyers contacting you, you can sift through the time wasters and arrange to meet serious buyers. Meeting absolute strangers is a safety risk, so take precautions. Rather don’t meet potential buyers at your house. Opt to meet at a public place, such as a shopping mall. You can even bring along a friend or family member for extra safety.

Once you are face-to-face with the buyer, provide them with all the information they need.

Some things to look out for when evaluating a potential buyer:

  • They must have a valid driver’s license.
  • They must be able to afford the car. If they need bank finance, ask them to show you their approved car finance offer.

Step 4: Accept payment

If this is the first time you’re selling a used car, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to handle the payment.

When it comes to receiving payment for a used car, you need to ensure a safe payment method. The last thing you want is to be conned out of money.

Keep in mind that during the one-way exchange, you are under no obligation to agree on an instalment plan, offer any vehicle financing, pay any transaction fees or provide any leeway to help the buyer with the car payment.

What is the safest form of payment?

  • Avoid taking cash
  • Avoid personal cheques
  • Opt for internet payment
  • Do not release your car until you see money in your account

Signing a basic sales contract is also advised when selling your car privately in South Africa. Here’s a template.

Once you’ve sold your car, you can hand over the keys, a copy of the receipt of payment, the service book, and any other documents or extras.

Very important:

Remember to cancel your car insurance and submit a copy of the change of ownership form to the traffic department to protect you from any future traffic fines that may occur while the buyer transfers the car into their name.

Consider choosing an easier way to sell your car

Looking for a buyer can be extremely stressful and time-consuming, even if you do follow all the best advice. If you’d like to avoid dealerships, but still sell your car quickly and for a great price, consider selling your car to Buy My Cars. We offer services that ensure you:

  • Sell your car fast
  • Get the best deal
  • Don't spend money on fees
  • Get a same-day assessment

Why not fill in our application form to get an obligation-free, quick and accurate car valuation.