how to sell your car privately
3 minutes

Are you considering selling your car privately? It can be a rewarding experience that puts more money in your pocket than trading it in or selling it to a dealership.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through selling your car privately from start to finish. We’ll introduce you to a trusted partner, We Buy Any Car, which can help simplify the process and connect you with potential buyers quickly.

Prepare Your Car for Sale

The first step in selling your car privately is to ensure it’s in the best possible condition. This includes cleaning, making necessary repairs, and gathering all relevant documents.

Set the Right Price

Determining the right asking price is crucial. Research the market to find a competitive but fair price for your vehicle.

Create a Captivating Listing

A well-crafted listing can attract more potential buyers. Include high-quality photos and write a detailed description of your car’s features and history.

Promote Your Listing

Share your listing on various platforms, including social media and classified websites, to reach a broader audience.

Screen Potential Buyers

When inquiries start coming in, be prepared to communicate with potential buyers. Verify their information and schedule test drives.

Negotiate and Finalise the Deal

Be ready to negotiate the selling price and the terms of the sale. Ensure all agreements are put in writing to protect both parties.

Complete the Necessary Paperwork

Transfer the ownership of your vehicle by filling out the required paperwork, including the bill of sale and the title transfer.

Receive Payment Securely

Always ensure you receive payment securely. Avoid accepting personal checks and consider options like bank transfers or cash.

Hand Over the Keys

After receiving full payment, provide the new owner with the keys and all relevant documents, and remove your licence plates.

Notify Relevant Authorities

Remember to notify your local DMV or equivalent authority about the sale to avoid future liabilities.

Where is the best place to sell a car?

Selling your car privately can be a rewarding process, but it can also be time-consuming. That’s where Motorway comes in. They offer a hassle-free platform that connects you with a network of trusted buyers.

Using their service can save time and get a better offer for your vehicle.

Motorway specialises in connecting sellers with professional car buying services and dealerships, ensuring a secure and efficient sale process. Plus, they can help you sell your car for a great price in a fraction of the time it might take if you do it all on your own.

To get started with Motorway and simplify your car selling experience, sell your car through them without hassle.

Can I sell my car privately if it has outstanding finance?

Selling a car with outstanding finance without telling the buyer is illegal. But it is possible under certain conditions. Here’s what you need to consider:

Selling a Car with Outstanding Finance:

  1. Contact Your Lender: Inform your auto lender of your intention to sell the car and request the outstanding loan balance.
  2. Settle the Balance: You must clear the outstanding loan balance to sell the car. This can be done with the sale proceeds, your funds, or the buyer’s assistance.
  3. Coordinate with the Buyer: Discuss the outstanding finance with the buyer. They can pay off the loan directly to your lender or include it in the sales transaction.

Selling a car without V5C

Selling a car without a V5C or the logbook is possible but not recommended. The V5C is a vital document that proves ownership and records essential vehicle details. If you’ve lost it, immediately apply for a replacement through the DVLA. While awaiting the new V5C, you can sell the car with precautions:

  • Inform the buyer about the situation.
  • Provide a receipt or written agreement.
  • Clarify that the V5C will be sent once received.

Buyers should exercise caution when purchasing a car without a V5C, verifying the vehicle’s identity and checking for discrepancies. Importing a car may also involve unique documentation requirements. In all cases, staying compliant with DVLA regulations ensures a legal and smooth transaction.


Selling your car privately can be a fulfilling experience when done correctly, and with the help of our guide, you’re well-equipped to embark on this journey and maximise the value of your vehicle. Thank you for choosing our guide, and best of luck with your private car sale!

Answering your questions 

What are some negotiation tips for private car sales?

Negotiation tips for private car sales: Set a realistic asking price, be honest about your car’s condition, listen actively to the buyer, and be prepared to compromise. Maintain a friendly demeanour and ensure secure payment methods.

What documents do I need to sell my car privately?

Essential documents include the V5C (logbook), service history, MOT certificate, and relevant maintenance records. It’s also good practice to provide a receipt for the sale.

Should I inform the DVLA when selling my car privately?

It’s essential to inform the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) when selling your car privately in the UK. This notification is necessary to avoid any potential liabilities associated with the vehicle after the sale.


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