6 Things to Know When Selling Your Car Online

Posted by: Lydia on 5/08/2021

Category: General




Once upon a time, selling a used car would be a tedious process. A seller would list a short ad in a newspaper with one black and white photo of the vehicle, and sit by the phone waiting for interested buyers. 


Thanks to the online world, the seller’s experience today couldn’t be more different. They can create an enticing ad with a longer description and variety of photos, as well as communicate more efficiently with prospective buyers online. There’s no doubt the process of selling a car today is much easier than it has been in the past, but it's still important to keep in mind these 6 factors when selling a car online. 

1. Competition Can Be Fierce

Though you may be sad to be selling a car that holds many happy memories, the reality is a potential buyer won’t be looking at your vehicle with any sentimentality attached, especially when there’s a huge market out there for them to browse. After all, given that over 916,000 new vehicles were sold last year in Australia, robust competition for buyers among used and new car sellers is guaranteed. That’s why it’s essential to view any listing you create through the buyer’s lens. Ensure your ad has a real ‘wow’ factor about it with quality photos, detailed descriptions, and a friendly tone throughout.

2. You Need to Be Patient With Enquiries

While competition on the seller’s market can be fierce, eventually a good vehicle with a good ad will see enquiries begin to roll in. Although you certainly don’t have to sacrifice your whole life to answering enquiries right away, ultimately if you’re looking to get the car sold promptly, it’s ideal to respond to enquiries as soon as possible. Not only will this signify to a buyer that you’re serious about helping them get their next car without delays, but it’ll also minimise the odds they suddenly strike a deal with another seller and then disappear off your radar.

3. Factoring in Covid-19 Is Essential

Right now many countries in the world are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to moving past the Covid-19 pandemic. Australia has experienced some setbacks in this regard, but has also made some solid strides overall. Nonetheless, until Covid-19 is permanently eradicated it will be necessary to factor it in when seeking to sell a car. For example, sellers may find their community’s current rules require the wearing of masks anytime you’re in the car with someone who is not from your household. 


The pandemic may also mean it’s necessary to have a longer timeline in terms of when you can expect to get the car sold. Lockdowns and other pandemic-related challenges could see it take more time to generate interested enquiries, and those interested may need more time to complete a test drive if local restrictions don’t presently allow them to travel to do so.

4. A Plan Should Be in Place for Inspections

The great majority of people looking to buy a car sold online are good and honest. It’s also important to remember if you feel a bit nervous about meeting someone for an inspection of the car, they may be a bit apprehensive about meeting you too! Nonetheless, it’s prudent to have some safety principles in place to allow for peace of mind. 


Always look to meet at a public location that both parties are comfortable with, and take a family member or friend with you. It’s also good to communicate and obtain agreement before the meet up surrounding what it will involve. For example, if you’re going to go on a test drive with the prospective buyer will that be a quick one around the block, or for a couple of hours? Establishing this beforehand can help ensure both parties are happy with how the meeting goes.

5. Ensure Any Negotiations Are Clear and in Writing

While a handshake or verbal agreement can work in some scenarios, it can be a costly mistake when selling a car online. Instead, respond to key messages in writing, and be sure your meaning is clear and explicit. Even if this means you need to write a little more, it’s far better to take this approach instead of short or vague responses which could result in misunderstanding with a buyer.

6. It’s Crucial to Dot All I’s and Cross All T’s

Although selling a car online may feel less formal than doing so in-person, it’s still far more complex than ordering a takeaway pizza for delivery. Provided the sale occurs in adherence with all necessary law and regulations, the precise terms of a sale can vary considerably from one car to the next. This said, it’s vital to ensure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when it comes to the critical documentation. This will help prevent headaches arising down the road for both the buyer and seller. 

Making a Success of the Sale

Selling a car today is easier than ever before - but it still requires some hard work and patience. That said, sellers who are mindful of what helps to make a sale go smoothly are well-placed to see the transaction finished faster, and the money in their bank account, which could go towards a new car of their own


That’s why online sellers need to be conscious of the fierce competition, be patient with enquiries, factor in pandemic challenges, thoroughly plan for inspections, get everything in writing, and ensure no details are missed when it comes to the important documentation. Any seller that approaches the sale of their car with these things in mind will have a great foundation on which to pursue a successful sale. 



What else is important to know when selling your car online? Let us know in the comments below.


Image: Pixabay