Selling a vehicle – 3 things to do before listing

Are you selling a vehicle? If you’ve decided it’s time to say goodbye to your current car and upgrade to something new then read on. Because in this post we’re going to share some tips that will help you navigate that process!

Three things to do before selling a vehicle:

1: Determine its value

When you’re selling your vehicle, its good to establish a rough idea of its market value. If your car isn’t a specialist, classic or collectable car, a good place to start is This straightforward site will give you a good idea of fair and realistic value.

However, once you start getting into something a bit more specialised, or perhaps an older car, you need to look at other websites. In these cases, we’d recommend Pistonheads Classified. The audience is more car enthusiasts, rather than mainstream, so buyers often head there to look for sports and prestige. This means you might be able to find other examples to compare your car to and gauge a realistic price.

Don’t write off the old favourite Autotrader. This website has had a resurgence in recent years. So, it’s another website where you might see examples of similar cars that will help you determine your vehicle’s value.

Finally, there are many independent specialists who deal in classic and sports cars, sometimes single marque, others across the board. Not only would they be a great place to ask an opinion on value, but they may also be able to put you in touch with potential buyers for a small fee.

2: Decide how you want to sell

Selling a car has never been easier with all the options available online. But, it’s a case of picking the right online channel for your vehicle.

Classifieds online with Pistonheads has an audience of people looking for classic, sports or prestige cars. It also has national and international reach, which is excellent if you have a valuable and particularly sought after car. The associated fees aren’t the cheapest. That said, we think it still represents relatively good value for money.

Autotrader has a national audience, aimed at more mainstream vehicles.

eBay has an outstanding audience size, and listings can be made as a classified format with a specific price, or as an auction format over a fixed period of time. It’s relatively inexpensive to list, but do watch for the final fee which is based on the sale price of the vehicle (fixed at £75 at the time of writing).

Finally, consider a reputable auction house such as Silverstone Auctions. Selling your vehicle this way can, on the right day, get you a price far beyond what you’d hoped for. The auction will be well publicised and attract buyers who have the cash to spend. But by the very nature of an auction, this isn’t guaranteed. You can set a reserve price, the minimum for which you’d sell for, but be clear on what fees you will be eligible for because even if the car doesn’t sell, you’ll still be liable for them. Also, it’s worth remembering that you will be entering a contract to sell your car at the agreed auction. If, for any reason you decide against selling your car, withdrawing the car from auction has penalty fees, which can be significant.

3: Book an enhancement detail

Once you’ve determined the value of your car and decided where to list, you’ll want to make sure it is looking its best.

Viewers will often buy with the heart first, and their head second. By selling your car looking its very best, a buyer is likely to fall in love with it the instant they see it. We’re talking about gleaming paintwork, clean, shiny wheels and properly dressed trim and tyres. A professional detail will achieve all of these elements.

Investing in a professional detail by Auto Curators should, at the very least cover its own cost, if not add several hundred pounds, and increase the speed at which you sell your car. It will help you maximise the sale price of your car, give little opportunity for people to haggle you down, and reduce the amount of time you are paying for advertising because ‘first to see will buy’ becomes a lot more likely!

How an enhancement detail helps to sell your car:

The initial deep clean and decontamination process your car goes through as part of our Enhancement Detail leaves the paint feeling as smooth as glass. The paint is skillfully machine polished. This process leaves it extremely glossy and bright, undoubtedly making it look newer than it is. Combine those factors with a fresh smelling interior and crystal clear glass, and it all paints a clear picture of a car that has been pampered and cared for in the very best way possible. You become a person they want to buy a car from. Compared to other cars for sale that your prospective purchaser may have viewed, your vehicle looks, feels, and smells as though it is in top notch condition. As a seller, this puts you in a powerful position to negotiate.

You might be reading this and thinking ‘for what they charge, I could buy the stuff and do it myself’. But that isn’t true. The results we get are not just the result of smart product choice. We have vast experience and knowledge. Both of which allow us to get the best out of the products in any situation, safely. True, you could buy a machine polisher for several hundred pounds. That said, without the necessary know-how, you could spend an entire day just making the paint finish worse, or even damaging it irrevocably. After that, you’d need to visit a body shop. One necessary repair like that would suddenly make our service seem very inexpensive. And that’s not even taking into consideration the time wasted in arranging repairs. After all of that, you’re still be left with a car that hasn’t had any of the initial problems fixed!

But there’s more:

We can also take care of other issues that might detract from your vehicle’s value and saleability. Kerbed wheels, car park dents, scuffs on bumpers are all common problems, but when someone views a car a sees these defects they think to themselves, ‘If they haven’t bothered to fix the obvious problems, what has been neglected underneath?’. Auto Curators are ideally placed to solve these problems for you, through carefully selected partners that we know and trust.

Trading in through a dealership? We can still help:

If you are trading your car in via a dealership, you might still consider an enhancement detail. Should it be within the manufacturer warranty, and therefore likely to be sold from that dealer’s forecourt, then having us detail the car offers an excellent opportunity to help you negotiate the best price possible.

Selling a vehicle and ready for it to look a million dollars?

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