Selling your car online is the best way to get rid of your car once its run its course, or you’re overdue an upgrade. However, it can be difficult to know whether to sell your car privately, through a dealer or through one of the car buying services that are around online.

Selling your car to a dealer will undoubtedly lose you money than if you were to sell it privately, but you also get the benefit of a quick sale to a trusted third party. So what’s the best plan of action?

Do some research first
Before you put your car up for sale, research into what it’s actually worth. CAP has an online used car valuing tool which gives you an estimate of how much you can sell your car privately. Also, take a look at a range of websites to see what other people are selling similar cars for. This will give you a good idea of what price you can haggle with.

Decide whether to sell privately or to a dealer
If you want to get rid of your car quickly, then selling it via a dealer is the best way. It’s less hassle, and generally you will be dealing with someone more trustworthy. However, if you’ve got a particularly popular car or don’t mind having to put some legwork into selling your car, then opting to advertise it online is cheaper and will ultimately get you a bigger final sale price.

Online car buyers
You’re probably familiar with companies such as,, and These online services let you put in your car’s details and will give you a quote for how much they will buy the car off of you for. Quick, easy and instant, the websites usually require you to drop off the car at one of their centres where you then exchange it for the cash.

It’s a simple service, but it’s not always the most cost effective. In an article by The Telegraph, they reported that one of the websites quoted £7,275 for a car that was worth £9,000, while another quoted closer to the mark at £8,337, which goes to show that shopping around is vital. Don’t simply opt for the first website that pops up when you search online – go to at least three websites and get a good quote.

Be honest
Whether you’re selling the car privately or to a dealer, be upfront and honest about the condition of your car. If you neglect to mention that you’ve got some dents or scrapes in the car, then it could mean that your buyer won’t want to pay the agreed price.

You should also make sure your car is clean. Get a professional to do it properly if you don’t have the equipment to do it yourself. A clean car is far more likely to sell well than one that has years of car crumbs and litter in it!

And once you’ve sold the car, don’t forget to let the DVLA know. It’s in your best interests, as you don’t want to be responsible for any convictions or offences the new driver might make.