Written by Robin Brown ▼

Dos and Don´ts of selling your car privately

Dos and Don´ts of selling your car privately

Vehicle auction group BCA is launching a website to give impartial advice to motorists on selling their car privately.

BCA says that women are particularly at risk when selling a car privately.

“A large number of women are potentially inviting strangers to their home, as well as letting them test-drive their car – underestimating the risks associated with selling their car privately," said Tony Gannon, BCA’s Communications Director.

“And even if this goes without incident, accepting payment of large sums of cash, personal cheques or banker’s drafts carry their own risks."

“With Sure-Sell motorists don’t have to ‘market’ their car themselves. There’s no need to wait for the phone to ring and then worry about whether to go on a test drive with potential buyers, or accept a cheque that might bounce or cash that may have been gained through illicit activities.

“BCA does the marketing, offers online catalogues, emails and direct marketing to generate the buying power that will get the best possible price for a customer’s car, rather than one buyer beating its value down on their doorstep. More than this, sellers are guaranteed full payment within a few days."

BCA’s Sure-Sell service is at www.sure-sell.info.

For female car sellers, BCA has produced a useful set of Do’s and Don’ts:


• Talk to your local franchised dealer or professional used car specialist in the first instance.

• Take as much advice as you can and do as much research as possible on the value of your car.

• Make sure the car looks its best for sale – it should be clean and ideally any small dents and scratches removed.

• Make sure your description of the car on any classified or online advertising is fair and accurate and set a sensible price.

• Provide only your mobile phone number for buyers to contact you.

• Check the buyer is insured to test drive the car. Accompany the potential buyer on the test drive and take a friend if possible.

• Provide as much documentation as possible with the car.

• Provide a ‘Sold as Seen’, tried and approved without guarantee’ receipt.

• Detach and send off the V5 change of ownership slip. Due to a recent change in the law, this is the seller’s responsibility.

• Use your common sense.


• Publish your address if you advertise your car in a classified ad or online.

• Invite strangers to your home if you are on your own.

• Arrange a meeting with a potential buyer without either getting someone to accompany you or at the very least letting someone know where you are.

• Allow strangers to test-drive your car on their own.

• Hand over the ignition keys until you are sitting in the passenger seat.

• Take a personal cheque as payment.

• Release your car before a cheque clears – a Bankers draft or Building Society (Savings Account) cheque is better – but beware forgeries. And large amounts of cash present their own security problems.