Sell your car!

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

The ex­cite­ment of buy­ing a new car is of­ten tem­pered by the chore of get­ting rid of your old one. If you’re keen to pump up your re­turn by try­ing your luck with a pri­vate sale, you’ll need to put to­gether a clas­si­fied ad that’s equal parts en­tic­ing, in­for­ma­tive and hon­est. Here are some fun­da­men­tal rules to re­mem­ber.


Are you the first owner of your car? Or per­haps the sec­ond or third? Did you keep the ser­vice records? Was it ser­viced with gen­uine parts by a li­censed me­chanic, or non-gen­uine parts by your part­ner in your home garage? Men­tion­ing these things may seem un­nec­es­sary but they’re of vi­tal in­ter­est to some­one look­ing to buy your car as they help build a pic­ture of how well it was taken care of. If you’ve done any­thing ex­tra dur­ing your own­er­ship, men­tion that too – es­pe­cially if it’s some­thing that has in­creased its longevity and aes­thetic, like fit­ting seat cov­ers to pro­tect up­hol­stery, or wax­ing and pol­ish­ing the paint ev­ery few months. Tyre-re­lated in­for­ma­tion is also help­ful to in­clude, such as the present con­di­tion of the tyres and the date they were last re­placed. Tyres are ex­pen­sive, and if the ones al­ready on the car still have plenty of life, a po­ten­tial buyer will see value in that.


It’s prob­a­bly not some­thing you’re keen to do, and un­der­stand­ably so, but you’ll need to in­clude the bad de­tails, too. If you don’t, it could look dis­hon­est when a would-be buyer rocks up and finds a car with faults that weren’t listed. Maybe it copped heavy hail and the roof re­sem­bles a golf ball, or it blows a bit of smoke. You might not want to broad­cast these things, but con­sider this: hav­ing some­one show up to in­spect your car only to im­me­di­ately leave when it doesn’t match its de­scrip­tion doesn’t just waste their time, it wastes yours, too.


De­tail whether your car has a 2.0-litre en­gine, or a 1.8, for ex­am­ple. Per­haps you bought it in 2014, but it’s ac­tu­ally a 2013-plated model. Or maybe you got the deal­er­ship to throw in a set of op­tional wheels so it looks like a high­er­spec model from the out­side. These are all im­por­tant things to note, be­cause the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of your car will have a sig­nif­i­cant bear­ing on how much you can rea­son­ably ask for it. It might be a pain to get these de­tails right for the pur­poses of your ad­vert

– es­pe­cially if you don’t re­ally care too much about cars – but from a buyer’s point of view, this kind of info is a must-have.


As a car buyer, there’s noth­ing more frus­trat­ing than find­ing a car for sale with an in­for­ma­tive de­scrip­tion, an en­tic­ing price tag... and just one photo. Pho­tos cost you noth­ing to take these days, so there’s no ex­cuse for not show­ing your car from ev­ery an­gle – both inside and out. Don’t be shy with that shutter!

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