Part 2: Getting your car ready for sale

In Part 1 of this post, we discussed why now is the best time on record to sell a used car, how to make a good first impression, and how to price your car.

Part 2 discusses the best platforms to advertise, making your ad, the information to include, tips on dealing with potential buyers, your personal safety, selling a leased or financed car and negotiating a sale price. Read on for more.


Where to advertise

Selling your car online is probably the best way to go in 2021. Once upon a time, you’d advertise in the local newspaper but the downside is that only people in the local area reading that newspaper will see your car. 

With car-specific buy-sell websites like, your car can be seen by buyers right across the country.



Use lots of clear, well-taken photos of your car interior and exterior and avoid using touch-ups, cropping, crazy camera angles or filters to mask its true condition. Being transparent about damage from the outset will avoid causing any distrust or anger between you and your potential buyer if they feel you have wasted their time or tried to trick them.



  • make, model and body style
  • the build date (stamped on your car’s ID plate)
  • odometer reading
  • engine size
  • transmission type
  • condition
  • accessories, optional equipment & special features
  • air conditioning, CD, power steering, one owner, always-garaged etc
  • registration expiry (or if unregistered)
  • the asking price
  • your contact information



Working with buyers

Prepare yourself to answer questions about the car and know what you want to say about it. 

Buyers may want to know about:

  • the kilometres travelled
  • any additional/special features (stereo, safety features, sunroof etc)
  • condition
  • accident record
  • service history/book
  • if the price is negotiable
  • your reason for selling

Try to get the prospective buyer’s name and phone number and the specific time they plan to inspect the car. Having their name and phone number can potentially decrease the likelihood of them not showing up.


Top tips for working with buyers

  • Don’t crowd a prospective buyer – sell the good points of the car but stand back and let them look the car over.
  • Be honest – if you know about a major fault, tell buyers about it. Don’t risk being sued for damages and breaching Trade Practices legislation. 
  • Allow the car to be inspected by the buyer’s mechanic – being hesitant may look like you are hiding something.
  • Ensure your car’s insurance will cover other people test driving it.
  • Never let a stranger drive your car unless you accompany them.
  • Ask to see their driver’s licence and write down their licence number.
  • Be aware of your personal safety. If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with prospective buyers on your own, get a friend or neighbour’s help. 


Leased or financed cars

If your car is leased/financed and still has money owing on it, it will be listed on the Personal Property Security Register and will show up when the buyer conducts a check. 

This can create a problem for buyers because if you do not pay out the remaining balance with the funds raised from the sale and it defaults, the lender technically still owns the car and can repossess it from the new owner. 

Consider how you are going to deal with this at sale time as a careful buyer won’t take your word that you’ll pay out the loan when you get their money. The first port of call would be to the loan lender for their advice on how you should deal with the situation.


Negotiating the price

Start with a slightly higher price than you’ll accept to allow for negotiation. If you find that you don’t get any calls it’s possible the price is too high and you should consider reducing it.


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