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Selling your car to a dealer

Selling your car to a dealer is a popular option and was traditionally the easiest way to sell a vehicle before you were able to sell your car in under an hour with webuyanycar. Our guide will explain what to consider when selling to a dealership, how to get the best deal and how it compares to the other options available.

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Why should I sell my car to a dealer?

Dealerships are considered a convenient way to sell your car. Whilst you are likely to receive less than if you sold the car privately, it is less time-consuming and less hassle. You don’t need to meet prospective buyers, answer phone calls and prepare the car for every viewing.

Where you have a car that is desirable to a dealership, you may have more bargaining power to demand a higher price. For example, if you are selling a Ford Fiesta and the dealership knows that car is in high demand, they might want it on their forecourt.

Illustration of a car showroom/dealership

How to get the best price for your car

You should consider if the dealership you want to sell to will be interested in your car before visiting. For example, if you own a Volkswagen, you may get more if you sell your car to a specialist Volkswagen dealer compared to one that specialises in another brand. This is due to their customers coming to them for that specific make, meaning it should be easier for them to sell the car for a profit. If it’s a car that the dealership will struggle to sell, they are less likely to offer you a good price.

You should also consider when the best time is to sell your car based on demand and seasonality. For example, convertibles will be more desirable in summer and therefore demand a higher price, whereas SUVs will be more desirable in the colder, winter months. Unless you are in a rush to cash in on your car, you may want to consider waiting until the best time of the year.

Can I negotiate with dealers?

When you sell your car to a dealership, they will know what price they’re able to offer based on factors such as their profit margins, sales targets and buyer interest in that particular vehicle. However, there may be an opportunity to negotiate a better price for your car if they show an interest. Learning how to negotiate the best price for your car could result in you getting the best price for your car.

Should I part-exchange my car?

Part-exchanging your car may seem like a logical decision if you are in the market for a new car and want to sell your current vehicle at the same time. When you trade-in your car, you can either take out finance for the difference in value between the new car and your current vehicle or pay the difference in cash.

Whilst it may seem like a good solution to part-exchange, it can be a complex process as you are merging two transactions into one. If you are going to part-exchange, we would recommend keeping the two deals separate to ensure you’re getting a fair price for your current car and the car you want to purchase. Your best option may be to get a price for your car before stating that you are interested in part-exchanging to ensure you can negotiate the best price.

Alternatively, you could sell your car to webuyanycar, which makes you a cash buyer and able to negotiate the best price for your new car. You can simply get a free online valuation in under 30 seconds and sell your car in under an hour. By choosing our Immediate Payment option (fees apply) you can have the money in your bank in less than 15 minutes.

How to prepare your car for resale

If you want to get a fair price for your car, you will need to ensure the vehicle is prepared before you sell. The first step should be to thoroughly clean the car inside and out — having a dirty car could result in cleaning fees and could indicate that the vehicle hasn’t been well looked after, which may reduce the amount a dealer offers.

You should also consider the damage to your vehicle and how it will impact the value. If your car has scratches or dents, you should consider getting them professionally repaired before selling the car. Whilst there will be an initial outlay to carry out the repairs, it should result in getting the best possible price.

As well as aesthetic damage, you should also consider repairing any mechanical faults before you sell the car. Mechanical faults can be expensive to repair and difficult to diagnose, therefore if you present a car that has no faults, the dealer is more likely to provide you with a higher valuation.

What documents do I need to sell to a dealer?

There is a range of documentation you will need to sell your car to a dealership. The V5 document or logbook is one of the most important and proves that you are the registered owner of the car. Without proof of ownership, you won’t be able to sell and change the owner details.

The service history is equally important to a dealer, as a full-service history shows the car has been well maintained and improves the desirability at resale. If you don’t have all the service records, you should present all service history documents available. You may be able to request service records from the garage that carried out the work if they’ve been misplaced.

A dealership will also want to see MOT stamps or certificates to ensure the car has had its MOTs carried out at regular intervals. You should also bring any maintenance bills which show that the car has been well maintained.

Dealerships are also likely to need valid forms of personal identification, which could include a passport, driving licence or utility bill. This will vary depending on the dealership and should be confirmed before your visit to sell the car.

Important car documents

Selling to a dealer when the car is on finance

If you are selling a car with outstanding finance, most dealerships will still buy your car. If you have bought a car on PCP, you may be eligible for early termination if you have paid off 50% of the total finance figure. If you haven’t paid off 50% yet, you can apply for a voluntary termination figure from the finance company, sell the car and settle the difference.

If you owe less on the car than the car is worth, you can apply for early settlement. Once you have this figure, you could buy the car and sell it to a dealer, using the equity towards a new vehicle, or keeping the money for another purchase.

Sell your car in under an hour

If you want to avoid the hassle of selling privately, you can sell your car in under an hour to webuyanycar. Simply enter your registration plate and get a free online valuation in less than 30 seconds. If you’re happy with how much your car is worth, you can book an appointment at one of our 500+ UK branches, which are under 13 minutes away on average.