1 Make the most of what you’ve got
To sell your car and achieve the highest possible price, you have to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers. That means giving it a really good going-over – wash it, polish it and valet it (or pay someone else to do it for you). If possible, attend to all those jobs you were ‘going to get round to one day’, like replacing worn or tatty bits of trim, touching-up stone chips and oiling creaky hinges. The fewer niggles you leave for a buyer to pick up on, the less excuses you give them for haggling down the price.
2 Get your paperwork prepared
There’s no point offering your car for sale if you can’t find the registration document, MoT certificate or other relevant documentation. Buyers will expect to be able to check these when they view the car and won’t look kindly on you if you spend hours rummaging through your belongings muttering: ‘I could have sworn I put them here…’. Make sure these documents are all gathered together and ready for any possible viewings, before you advertise the car: registration document, MoT certificate and as many receipts and service records relevant to the car as you can muster.
3 Get your price right
Naturally, you want the highest possible price you can get for the car you’re selling, so don’t undersell it, but don’t be greedy – a grossly overpriced car will put buyers off. Do some research – look at the prices of other examples of the same car being offered for sale. Compare prices on classiccarsforsale.co.uk and also Classic Cars magazine or Classic Car Weekly’s auction pages – they’re a barometer of what cars are fetching at auction, with expert analysis of up or down trends for certain models. The market moves according to fashion and supply, so you may be lucky enough to ask more than you paid for the car. The golden rule is: you can go down, but you can’t go up. So if you’re not bothered about a quick sale, start off with an asking price that’s slightly stronger than the current going rate – you might get lucky and you can always drop the price later if the car doesn’t sell straight away.
4 Take time to compose your advertisement
The wording of your advert is crucial to your chances of selling your car. There are obvious inclusions, such as the make, model, year, asking price and contact information, but also try to focus on your car’s particular strengths and unique selling points. Avoid clichés such as ‘first to see will buy’ or ‘mint condition’ that tend to be favoured by the less savoury of car sellers.
5 The right place and time to sell
You want to sell your car in a marketplace that offers exposure to as many buyers of the right kind as possible, so classiccarsforsale.co.uk is a natural choice! Our sister publications Practical Classics, Classic Cars and Classic Car Weekly offer the same service in the world of print-based media. As regards choosing the right time, late spring and early summer are generally the best times of year to sell, when the post-Christmas doldrums are over and buyers are looking for a nice classic to tool around in during the more clement months – this especially applies to convertibles.
6 Dealing with prospective buyers
Be polite but don’t give away any details that could reveal yours or the car’s location until you are convinced you are dealing with a bona fide buyer. You’re allowed to ask questions, too, so enquire as to why the person is interested in this particular car, whether they have driven one before, etc. If the buyer’s story doesn’t ring true, don’t invite them for a viewing. Beware of conmen, scammers and thieves and don’t let anyone have a test drive if they cannot prove they are insured to drive your car.
Only accept a form of payment that you are familiar with. If a buyer offers you a banker’s draft and you’ve never actually seen one, insist on taking it to your bank for verification that it’s the real thing. Digital transfers by electronic banking have become more common now – if the seller offers to pay by this method, ensure that you are familiar with the confirmation necessary before allowing a buyer to take the vehicle away. Try to be firm but fair in your negotiations with prospective buyers and you have more chance of concluding a transaction that you’ll be happy with.