Buying a new or used car inevitably leads to the age-old dilemma of 'how do I sell my car'. You have a number of options in the modern marketplace and it's about deciding which is best for you.
You can sell your car privately, to a dealer or as a part exchange. All ways have their pros and cons and our guide below will lead you through the various ways in which you might sell your car.
Selling privately will secure you more money but, wit a lot of modern services offering to sell your car for you, you can often be spared the hassle.
Before you take the plunge you should find out how much your car is actually worth. Head to our own FREE used car valuation service to get an idea of what your car is worth based on its age and mileage.
If going through a dealer you will inevitably make less on your old car. According to What Car? Magazine, selling a 2008 Audi A3 cabriolet 2.0 TFSI with 30,000 miles on the clock will net you £13,235 as a part exchange but £15,510 if you're selling privately.
With an informed price in mind, turn your attention to the car itself. Even a cynical, brow-beaten dealer can be swayed by a car that appears to have been well looked after. It means less effort for them and potentially less hassle in the future when they sell it on.
Collect all the paperwork together including an MOT certificate where applicable, the V5C document and the service history book. Thoroughly clean the outside and inside of your car (see our feature on the best car cleaning products for advice on this)..
You should also check for stone-chipping and use touch-up paint if needed. You could also hire a professional to carry out this work if you believe it is worth the extra expenditure.
When it comes to advertising or telling a dealer about your car, honesty is always the best policy. This way you can ensure there will be no legal comebacks. Remember that an experienced dealer is able to spot a deception from a mile away.
If you are selling privately, your advert and the information it contains is crucial. The first rule of thumb is to be concise. State the model, the year it was first registered and the car's mileage; you should also state how many owners it has had from new, the car's condition (without resorting to cliches) and any MOT time remaining (if applicable).
Also list the colour, equipment, and any optional extras that were ordered for the car when new.
You should be wary of overusing acronyms. In a private ad these can simply confuse a potential customer. Stick to abbreviations that the majority of us have heard of such as A/C (Air-Conditioning) and FSH (Full Service History). And always remember to know what each abbreviation stands for so if a potential buyer does call wondering what 'RCL' means, you have the answer (it means Remote Central Locking, incidentally).
For private sellers, the actual test drive and selling of the car can be a minefield. To sum up, don't let the potential buyer drive your car unless they are insured under their own policy or yours. Try to have someone else in the car with you and never let the potential buyer go for a test drive by themselves.
As for the sale itself there are various legal loops you must jump through. Always make sure you have the buyer's cash before handing over the keys.
For more advice, head to the AA's selling advice page for more information and to download a copy of their seller's contract.