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How to sell a car online?

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If you are here, you made the right choice because we have in detail all you need to know about putting up your car for sale online in the UK. Enjoy your reading.

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Answer Adeosun
Nov 25, 22 · min read
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If you have an urgent money need, putting your car up for sale might be the next best step you can think of. Sometimes you just want to have a change or an upgrade of cars. Getting a sale for your car may be difficult especially if you are the type who does not have time to go around telling people about it.

Selling products online these days is not limited to production companies. Some sites allow you to advertise your used wares, including cars, for a price. However, before you put up your car for sale, there are things you need to know and take care of to ensure that there would not be issues arising later.

Preparing your car for sale within or outside the UK

You can either decide to put your car up for sale within the UK or choose to export it outside the country. Whichever one you have decided upon, there are ways to make sure everything is in order before you start advertising the car.

  1. Make sure the government has the correct details about you and your car – if you have made changes to the car or you changed your name or address, you will need to request an update of your vehicle log book (V5C) with This is to ensure that you can get a refund of vehicle tax after you make the sale.
  2. Show buyers your logbook but do not give them a copy of it – giving a potential client a copy of your V5C may expose you to fraudulent activities or theft of your car. So, even when you put your car up for sale, don’t put a copy of your logbook online.
  3. Clean the car – just like putting up a house for sale or rent, an unkempt house or one in disrepair will not attract or it may reduce its market value. Make sure that the car is clean and ready for sale. You may want to take it to a car wash for deep cleaning.
  4. Make repairs if necessary – if there are reasons to make repairs or replace parts and wirings, you should do that too. When the car is in good condition, it will sell faster and for a better price than it would if it is not. However, you don’t have to do major repairs, especially if the car is old if they are not worth the price of sale at the end of the day. Minor repairs are enough to get you a good sale.
  5. Make sure all necessary documents are in order – documents like records of repairs or works that had been done on the car and MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate should be kept and copies may have to go to the new buyer.
  6. Pay up outstanding debts on the car or be upfront with the buyer – the car has an outstanding debt on it, you should pay it off. Otherwise, if you cannot pay off the debt in time for the sale, make sure that the new buyer is aware of the debt and that might influence the price you sell the car.
  7. Apply to remove personalized registration number – if your car has a personalized registration number and you wish to keep it after the car is sold, you must apply to the DVLA to remove it from that car before you make the sale.

How you can place your car on sale online

The best way to place your car for sale online is to look for online platforms that specialize in selling cars. You can do a quick search for the best platforms that operate within your area and where you will get a good bargain for your car.

Most of the time, all you need to show potential buyers on such platforms are pictures of the car's exterior and interior. Just like online shopping, there would be a lot of options for potential buyers to choose from and that means that your pictures must be of good quality. This is why the car must be clean too. 

Always remember too that the buyer would most likely come to take a look at the car. So, presenting a false picture could make you lose buyers and prolong the time when you eventually get the car sold. All in all, you need to be truthful.

What to do when you have sold your car

If you sold the car within the UK

  • you should give the green slip that is in your car log book to the new owner.
  • notify the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) of the sale and give them the details of the new owner too. This is to make sure that you get a vehicle tax refund if you are owed one and you will normally get it after 4 to 6 weeks of notifying DVLA

If you are exporting the car outside of the UK

  • fill in the permanent export portion of the vehicle logbook and send it to the DVLA for recordkeeping and to ensure you get a refund of vehicle tax.
  • give the rest of the logbook to the new owner so that they can use it to register the car in the new country it is being taken to.

Advantages of selling your car online

There are advantages to selling your car online and they include but are not limited to:

  • You do not have to pay car dealers to get your car sold anymore. The online platforms will only charge you very little cash to advertise your car on their website.
  • You can reach larger potential buyers that way instead of waiting on the day one walks into the dealership where you put it for sale.
  • You can get a better bargain for your car and you do not have to settle for a lesser price than it is worth.
  • It is more convenient and easier. You can sell your car from the comfort of your home.

Disadvantages of selling your car online

  • While you are reaching more people with your advert online, you will reach a lot of fraudulent people too and that may put your car at risk of theft especially when you put too much information about you and the car in such adverts.
  • Buying a car is an investment and it could be difficult to gain the trust of customers when they cannot interact with you or the car first-hand.
  • The price to advertise will definitely differ from site to site and that means you have to do a thorough search of the site that offers the best advertised price.


Selling your car online may be your best option if you want it to sell quickly. But also remember that it could take a while, especially because your car is not the only one on sale. Unless you have put a good price and pictures that will attract people, selling it quickly may be difficult. You must therefore weigh the pros and cons of selling online, putting it up for sale at a dealership, or both.

What do I need to sell a car in the UK?

Follow this guide
HowTo step image

1. Pictures of the interior and exterior of the car

For this your car must be clean so that it can attract the right buyers and you can also get a good price for it. The pictures give the buyers an idea of what to expect when they see the car

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