Selling Your Car In Australia? Here's Our Stress-Free Guide

If a recent survey is anything to go by, this year promises to be a good one for finding lots of prospective buyers for your used vehicle. What the data published in Statista shows is that 14% of Aussies are actively looking for a used car, and a further 11% have no preference regarding whether their new vehicle purchase comes fresh off the assembly line or pre-loved. So, if you’re looking to sell up and move on from your old car, now could be a perfect time.

But many people find selling a car to be quite a stressful process. Not only do you have to deal with preparing your car for sale and marketing it, but you also have to negotiate with buyers, secure the payment and make sure that all relevant paperwork is completed.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully sell your car. We'll cover everything from understanding the current market value of your car to getting it ready for sale, and how to advertise it effectively. By the end of this guide, you'll be armed with everything you need to get sell your car with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of success

Private Sale vs. Car Dealer

A private sale and selling it to a car dealer are two different options that come with their own advantages and disadvantages. When selling your car privately, you have the potential to make more money because you can set your own price and negotiate with the buyer. 

However, this process can take longer, require more effort and time, and you may have to deal with strangers and potential scammers. On the other hand, selling your car to a dealer is often quicker and more convenient, but you may receive a lower offer due to the dealer needing to make a profit. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before deciding which route to take.

Step 1: Gather all the documents you need before listing your car for sale

Selling your vehicle privately can be a great way to get the price you desire for your vehicle, but it is important to make sure that you have all of the necessary documents beforehand. Gather your proof of ownership (registration), vehicle service manual, and any other documents related to selling your vehicle so that you are well-prepared when listing the car for sale.

Without these documents, potential buyers may be skeptical about your car, leading you to lose out on the sale. If you have a registered vehicle but have misplaced your paperwork, you can contact your state department of transport to obtain new copies of the car's registration. Contacting your mechanic or local dealership may also help with obtaining a service or repair history of the car.

Having this information handy can make selling your car much smoother and can ensure that there won’t be any problems or delays during the selling process. Being proactive in collecting these documents before you list your car online or in local papers can save you a lot of time and hassle later.

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Step 2: Choose the right platform to sell your car - online or in person

When the time comes to choose the right platform for your vehicle, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. If you want a quick sale, selling online may be the best choice. It’s often faster than selling in person and can provide access to a wide range of potential buyers. However, if you're looking for a higher price point or prefer more direct contact with buyers, then selling in person could be the way to go. On the flip side, it could take longer to find the right buyer and you may need to do more leg work in terms of advertising.

Whichever option you choose, make sure that you are well-prepared to answer any questions or concerns potential buyers may have about your car. Backing up your vehicle’s credentials and providing a comprehensive service record is a great way to show buyers that your car is in good condition.

Step 3: Take clear, well-lit pictures of your car from different angles

Taking clear, well-lit pictures of your car is an invaluable step when you're preparing to sell it. Not only will attractive images of the car be attractive to potential buyers, but they will also help set realistic expectations for vehicle condition. To ensure you capture the best quality photos, use natural light and a good-quality camera or smartphone. Compose a captivating shot of the car by framing it straight-on and at eye level; then, capture shots from both sides as well as each corner with a 45-degree angle view. For each angle, move around the car from different positions and take multiple shots from each spot until the outcome meets your expectations. Don't forget to take snapshots of any features or accessories that could help clinch the sale!

Step 4: Marketing your car

One of the best ways to market your car is to use online resources like social media and classified ads. Advertising your car through these outlets not only gives you an expanded reach of potential buyers but also can be much more affordable than traditional forms of marketing such as newspaper ads. It's important to include information about the car such as its make and model, age, features, number of kilometres on the odometer, and any recent repairs or maintenance.

A detailed and honest description of your car will give buyers a complete overview of the car’s condition and performance. When writing your ad, make sure to be as honest and transparent. Also don't forget to answer such common questions as "why are you selling?" and "are there any major issues with the car?", "Can I take it for a test drive?", and "what is the best price you will accept?"

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    Step 5: Set a fair price for your car based on its condition and the current market value

    To do this, assess the car's condition and look at the selling prices of similar cars in the current market. This should give you a rough idea of what a reasonable selling point for your vehicle should be. A site like RedBook can also prove an invaluable resource, as it provides details on the expected market price for a wide range of vehicles, depending on their condition. 

    Ultimately, it's important to ensure that your price reflects your car's quality as well as your desired profit margin. And once you have set your asking price, remain flexible and open to negotiation.  With some research and patience, selling your car can be a smooth and rewarding experience.

    Step 6: Be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers

    When it comes to learning how to sell, car dealers can teach you a lot! Think about the way a car dealer closes a deal. They listen to the customer's needs and offer a variety of options that can meet those needs. Your negotiation strategy should be no different. 

    One of the best bits of advice is to be prepared. You will have already done your research by this stage, so you know how much the car is worth. Don't be afraid to stand your ground and be firm with your sale price. Be prepared to explain why you believe it is a fair reflection of the car's condition.

    However, you should also remain open to negotiation. Keep in mind that potential buyers may have valid points or a counter-offer that could benefit you. Take the time to listen to what they have to say and be willing to compromise if necessary.

    Finally, remember that at the end of the day, you have the final say in whether or not a deal is made. If you feel like an offer is too low, don't be afraid to walk away. You may find a better offer in the future.

    Step 7: Finalise the sale

    Congratulations! You've done all the hard work, and now all that’s left to do is finalise the sale. To do this, firstly ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork for transferring ownership of the car. Secondly, make sure that the buyer pays you in full, preferably by a traceable method such as bank transfer. Thirdly, transfer the title of ownership to the new owner by completing a vehicle transfer form and submitting them to your state motor transport department. And finally, cancel your car insurance and dispose of the vehicle's licence plates according to your local regulations.

    Once all this has been done, you can hand over the keys with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a successful sale.

    Final thoughts

    Whether you need to sell your car because you want to upgrade to a newer model or the vehicle has become superfluous due to changing life circumstances, selling your car privately can be a great option. With a bit of research and preparation, it can be an easy and stress-free process. Just remember to be honest, respectful, and open to negotiation with potential buyers, and you should have no problems finding a new owner for your car in no time.

    And now that you have sold your trusty old car, it's time to get behind the wheel of your new ride. With the proceeds of your sale fresh in your bank account, you can now begin the exciting process of shopping for a replacement vehicle. And this begins with finding the right car finance option for you.

    At Driva, we make it our mission to empower Australians with individualised car finance solutions that best suit their goals and objectives. We will take your unique profile and match you with the best pre-qualified rates available. You still have full control to choose the lender that's right for you, with Driva providing 100% rate and fee transparency. Driva also puts your mind at ease by completing all the checks needed on your online application before submitting it to any lenders, so as to protect your credit score. Before you know it,  you'll be behind the wheel of your new dream car!

    Philana Kwan

    Philana Kwan is the marketing coordinator at Driva she has a demonstrated history in customer service excellence and is knowledgeable in all things car and finance related. When she’s not working Philana enjoys learning new things and keeping up with the latest trends in marketing and technology.

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