Using the internet to sell your car header image

Published: 22nd May 2015

In days gone by, selling your car privately was a bit of a pain that took up valuable time without the guarantee of actually getting rid of your motor. However, time has moved on and the internet has become a game changer.

Gone are the days of advertising your car in local papers and industry magazines, waiting for responses and dealing with at least one time waster who got your hopes up for a quick sale and ending up selling your motor to a dealer for less than what you wanted to make.

New online platforms to offload your vehicle seem to pop up every day, due to the ease and popularity of selling cars online.

However, because there is so much choice, it can seem overwhelming and there is still the risk of getting a bum deal. Here is a guide to the many ways you can use the internet to sell your car.

Placing an online advert

Getting information and photos of your car online can help expose it to potential buyers across the world. There is a myriad of websites to choose from when it comes to placing an advert on the internet, from behemoths such as AutoTrader and Pistonheads to sites that sell particular makes and models.

All you need to do to find one of these websites is perform a quick search, which should reveal plenty of options, with many being free to use. Once submitted, your advert should appear on whatever website you choose and will then be publicly visible, so interested buyers can contact you almost immediately.  

This method is great for all types of cars, as there is bound to be an interested party a few clicks away. As long as your advert is an honest representation of the car you wish to sell, you should encounter few problems.  

Make sure you don't publish any private information online and if someone contacts you about your motor, give them your phone number first to chat about it informally before you provide them with your address.

Auctioning your car on eBay

eBay is a great platform for buying and selling goods, such as unwanted clothes, shoes and gadgets, but it is also a great way of finding a buyer for your car. To use the site, you must register, pay a small fee for your listing (which will include photos), and set an optional reserve price that will ensure it doesn't go for a figure lower than what you wanted.

The great thing about online auction websites is that the winning bidder is legally bound to purchase your vehicle. There is also no set limit on how many photos you provide and how long your description is, while bidders are free to ask you questions about the car.

You can sell your car through sites like eBay no matter what make or model it is or how rare and unusual it is. Just remember, if you are planning to set a reserve price, it should be the least amount of money you want to get for your motor. Setting it any lower could see you having to part with it for a price you aren't really happy with.

A tip to keep in mind are bidders that have only registered with the site days earlier or those who have less than 100% positive feedback, as these could prove to be scammers or time wasters. Contact the winning bidder as soon as the auction has ended to swap details and arrange the pick up of the car.

Online car buying companies

There is no doubt that you've seen websites such as and the Car Buying Service advertised on TV, explaining that they offer a great price for your motor in cash, which can help putting a deposit on a newer model.

While these services will give you the price agreed upon, it is usually much lower than the market value and transaction fees are deducted from the amount you actually end up with. If you're looking for a quick sale and don't mind getting a lower price for your motor, then these services may suit you.