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Free car advertising websites

When it comes to selling your car privately, there are many online advertising options at your disposal. Online marketplaces, classified car websites, social media platforms – and even local news sites can allow you to sell your vehicle quickly and effectively.

Whilst many sites charge a fee for advertising your vehicle to their visitors, some allow you to place ads for free. This is certainly an attractive prospect, as if you manage to sell your car in this way, you’ll be able to keep all the proceeds of the sale, without spending a penny on advertising. What’s more, if you are unable to sell your vehicle, you won’t be out of pocket.

In this guide, we will compare the benefits and drawbacks of free and premium car advertising websites. We’ll also highlight the most popular free car selling sites on the web – and cover some expert tips to help you get the most out of your online car ad.

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Free car advertising vs. paid: Which is better?

If you’re looking to make as much money as possible from the sale of your car, you won’t want advertising fees eating into your profits. In this respect, free car advertising websites have an obvious advantage over their paid competitors. What’s more, they’re easy to use; free buy-and-sell sites allow anyone to make an account and post car ads in a matter of a minutes.

With that said, free advertising comes with several caveats. Firstly, ads on free websites are typically less targeted and therefore, less likely to be seen by the right audience. This may reduce the number of offers you get for your car – or you may not get any at all.

Cars that appeal to niche audiences such as classic or supercars may prove difficult to sell through free advertising. Some prospective buyers may also treat free ads with suspicion, as they are sometimes used by scammers.

If you choose to go down the paid route, you’ll have access to a range of targeted advertising features, which can help put your ad in front of the right audience – and may also help you to sell your car within a shorter timeframe. Many paid sites also provide analytics and reports on your ad’s clicks, impressions and shares. These insights can help you adjust your ad to generate more relevant traffic and enquiries.

The benefits don’t end there; premium car selling websites are often seen as more trustworthy – and visitors may have less reservations about committing to a purchase.

However, paid car advertising can be costly, particularly if you place ads on several sites. There is also no guarantee that your ads will be successful. So, there is also the possibility that after paying for several premium ads, you will fail to attract a suitable offer for your car.

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Where can you advertise your car for free?

There are many sites that allow users to advertise cars for free, including:

  • Facebook Marketplace and similar dedicated local buy-and-sell websites.
  • Local free-listing sites, such as Nextdoor.
  • Classified sites, such as Gumtree.
  • Personal social media platforms, such as Instagram.
  • The classified page on your local newspaper’s website.

How to get the most from a free car ad

Once you’ve decided which free car advertising site to use, it’s important to create a listing that will appear trustworthy and legitimate, whilst still grabbing attention. There are a few things you should keep in mind when creating your ad:

  • Avoid ‘clickbait’

    Don’t title your ad in a way that could appear obnoxious or over-the-top. Instead, keep your title clear and informative.

    For example, ‘CAR FOR SALE – AFFORDABLE, GREAT CONDITION’ could seem attention-grabbing and uninformative to many potential buyers. Conversely, a title such as ‘Ford Ka 1.2L Zetec (White) For Sale’ accurately describes the vehicle, whilst appearing more trustworthy.

  • Include all the relevant information

    The description should include the correct make, model, mileage, age, and colour - together with a brief history (including the number of previous owners) and an accurate description of the vehicle’s overall condition.

  • Choose images carefully

    Include high-quality images which effectively showcase both the interior and exterior of the car. Always use photographs that you have taken yourself - and not images of the same make and model that you have found on the web.

  • Appear approachable

    Avoid using language that could make you sound like a potentially difficult seller. Phrases such as ‘serious offers only’ and ‘no haggling’ are best avoided.

    Instead, put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and consider whether you sound like an approachable seller. You should appear happy to help and welcoming towards enquiries from interested parties.

  • Price your car realistically

    To maximise the effectiveness of your online ad, make sure you set a realistic price. Many buyers will be put off if you set the price too high, even if you state that you are open to negotiations. On the other hand, if you set it too low, you won’t get the best price for your vehicle.

    If you are unsure what your vehicle may be worth on the second-hand market, you can get a quick estimate using our free car valuation tool.

  • Be open to communication

    If you’ve created an effective advertisement, you should hopefully start receiving enquiries from interested parties. When this happens, try to respond promptly and be willing to provide further information.

  • Accept haggling

    Even if you feel that your asking price is fair, you’ll need to be open to offers and price negotiations from potential buyers.

    Just as selling privately allows sellers to maximise their vehicle’s resale value, buyers can also attempt to secure a lower price than they could through a used car dealership. Agreeing on a price that both the buyer and seller are happy with requires flexibility from both sides.

    Sometimes, offering even a small discount can persuade viewers that they are getting a good deal – and ultimately help you to sell your car.

What are the alternatives to car selling websites?

If you would prefer not to sell privately online, you can try selling your car to a car buying service such as webuyanycar or your local dealership. With these selling methods, you won’t need to worry about advertising fees or haggling – and you can get the proceeds in your bank account quickly.

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