Tips for selling your car

Selling your car might not always be as simple as chucking a 'For Sale' sign in the windscreen and waiting for the calls to roll in. You may have to put in some work to get a good price. But if you follow these tips, you'll be handing over the keys before too long.

Get your car cleaned and detailed

Giving your car a clean will help present it in its best light and attract buyers. Going a step further and getting your car detailed certainly won't hurt!

Take (good) photos

A blurry picture of your car from a single angle won't give potential buyers the info they need. They might not even bother asking for more photos or coming for a look — why would they, when there are other cars on the market?

  • take landscape (horizontal) pictures
  • crouch down and shoot from the height of your car's headlights
  • snap with the sun behind you
  • take multiple pics, and include different sides and a mixture of close and wide shots
  • capture important features, like the tires, and don't try and hide any dents or scratches — false advertising will waste both the potential buyer's time, and yours.

Write a good ad

Instead of: '1986 manual. Few dents but goes well. Enquire for price'.

Try: 'This trusty 1986 manual sedan has clocked over 200,000 km, serving us well over the last decade. With regular servicing and repairs, it has been looked after. We're selling this well-loved car for $4,500. Registered until April 2022.'

Which one appeals more to you?

  • the price
  • the year it was manufactured
  • the make
  • the model
  • registration information, and
  • how many kilometres it has travelled.

Be fair with your valuation

  • Transmission. Automatics are typically more expensive to buy new, so they hold their value over time a little more than manuals. The exceptions are off-road vehicles, classic cars, and some sporty numbers, which can all be a bit more valuable if they're a manual.
  • Colour. Colour can affect how long your car is on the market for and how much a buyer is willing to pay. 'Standard' colours (think white, black, silver and grey) are usually snapped up quickly. Bolder colours can stay on the shelf for longer, but often end up attracting higher bids — especially for sports cars.
  • Non-standard extras. Bonus features like heated seats, automatic headlights, safety cameras, and tinted windows can increase your car's value, so don't be shy about mentioning them.
  • Condition. If your car has rust, dents, broken accessories, signs of wear, and/or it requires mechanical or body repair, but can be safely driven, then it might be described as 'fair' or 'good' condition. If your car looks new and isn't missing any accessories, is free of damage, and the tires match and don't need replacing, then it might be in 'very good' or 'excellent' condition.
  • Market value. Assess the market, paying attention to similar vehicles, to get an idea of what price to set. Websites like RedBook can help with getting an idea of the market or getting a personal valuation for your car.

If your asking price is negotiable, decide the lowest bid you would accept. Then be firm when knocking back any lowball offers.

Protect yourself against scams

Car sellers are a common target for scammers

When letting someone take your car for a test drive, make sure you accompany them. This is important both for insurance purposes, and to ensure your car comes back. Bingle Comprehensive Insurance customers can make a claim if a potential buyer has an accident while test driving their vehicle for the purpose of a sale, but only if the insured person or a listed driver accompanies the potential buyer.

Another common scam is one in which a fake buyer claims they have transferred funds to you, when they actually haven't transferred anything. They may even send you a doctored screenshot to better sell the idea, but in truth, no payment was ever made.

The best way to protect yourself from scams like this is to make sure that the payment has gone through and is clear in your account — or you're holding the cash — before signing the transfer paperwork and handing the keys over.

With Bingle, you may not need to get a new insurance policy if you sell your car and buy a new one. You can simply change the car on your policy, assuming the new car is eligible for insurance with us. If your new car costs more to insure, we'll ask you to pay an additional premium. If it costs less, you'll get a premium refund. If you pay your premium monthly, we'll automatically adjust your monthly instalment.

If you haven't changed cars, but you'd like to insure an additional one, check out this article for a step-by-step guide on how to do so.

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