Selling a Problematic Car Privately

Selling a Problematic Car Privately

selling a car with problems

How to sell your problematic car for cash privately

After experiencing several breakdowns while running in the middle of the road, you’ve finally made up your mind. You’re going to dispose of your problematic car and you’ll be over the tons of stress it gives you – maintenance costs, expenses for unexpected repairs, registration renewal fees, etc.   But, as you may be aware, selling a car with problems is not as easy as selling other slightly used items such as shoes or dress. Surely, it will take a considerable amount of time and effort to get rid of it. Take note, your auto has been used and not to mention the problems it has and how severe these are.

waiting period

A better option for selling your used car

You don’t really have to be bothered by the challenges associated with selling a car with payments, especially if these are outdated or damaged. The good news is you can sell your troublesome vehicle to private parties and you’ll get a chance to make more cash out of it. Based on a 2014 LA Times story, the price of a secondhand car, when sold on the private market is higher by about 12% than its value when sold to dealer trade-ins.

This can be very helpful to all Australians in Queensland who wish to earn extra cash with their useless autos without facing too much hassle. Plus, the waiting period before the unwanted vehicle disappears may be shorter if sold to private buyers. Without a doubt, selling a used car privately can be a better option for you. With this technique, it’s more likely that you’re able to dispose of your secondhand auto easily and at a reasonable price.


A comprehensive guide to selling a car privately

Selling a car privately for cash in Queensland doesn’t have to be that stressful if you did the necessary preparation. It’s not an easy task, by the way, but it will be worth all of your time and effort. Now you don’t have to worry on how and where to go about it because we’ve put up everything for your convenience.

Here’s what to do when selling a car privately and make additional cash from your used vehicle.

  1. Make sure your car for sale is ready
  2. Get maximum exposure for your car through compelling ad listings
  3. Transact with serious prospective buyers
  4. Complete a safe and legal auto deal


Make sure your car for sale is ready

Before listing your used car for sale, it’s very important that you know everything about it. This allows you to present sufficient information to prospective buyers. It is also your first step to preparing it for the sale. Here’s a list of the things you need to do as part of the preparation process:

  1. Check the general condition of the car. You may bring your vehicle to a credible mechanic for a full inspection. If there are certain issues with the car you’re concerned about, let your mechanic check these. For example, you’re aware of the car’s emission system failures. You might want this to be inspected in order to determine how serious the problem is and if it needs urgent patching up. Multiple and detailed inspections will cost you extra amount but you’ll be at peace with the sufficient knowledge you have about the car you’re selling.

Decide whether to fix your car first or sell as is and let the buyer know

 Once the thorough inspection is done and the range and extent of the problems were determined, spend time on your plan to sell your vehicle privately. You can opt to make the needed repairs first and pay the costs out of your pocket. Or, you can list your unfixed car right away and expect to receive a lower amount. Whichever you choose, be ready to accept smaller net gains from your car sale.

Think carefully if selling your car privately is profitable

 As a seller, your main goal is to earn as much cash from your secondhand car. If you know you’ll get less from the sale, you would naturally think it’s not worth selling your car to a private buyer. If you’ve reached any of the following, then you’ll know private car sale is not a better option.

  • The cost of repairs would extremely decrease your expected net earnings.
  • The fair value of your vehicle when sold to private party without repairs is lower compared to its trade-in value also without repairs.
  • You’re in a hurry to get rid of your car and not willing to make repairs or go through the process of private sale.

Perform minor repairs, retouch, and remodeling as necessary. After checking the car and you’ve decided to sell it privately, here’s a do-to list you may wish to follow prior to listing it.

  • Remove everything from the interior and trunk.
  • Use vacuum to deep clean the interior including the floor and upholstery and the spaces under and in between the driver and passenger seats. Both sides of each window must be cleaned using a glass cleaner. Remove ground-in dirt from the hard surfaces with a wet rag and soap.
  • You also have to consider changing the oil and putting some accessories such as a cooling system flush or winterization.
  • Fill all available fluid containers completely including the brake fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid.
  • Even if the car you’re selling isn’t brand new, make sure the interior has pleasant smell to entice your prospective buyers.
  • Collect and compile in one file all the related documents such as work orders, service and maintenance records, and necessary receipts. This will give your buyers the impression of how organized and careful you are with respect to your car. In case they’ll ask, be prepared to provide copies of these records.
  • Make sure that you put everything back to the cabin including all manuals and other important informational materials your ultimate buyer might look for.
  • Finally, do not forget to bring your car to the car wash. This will make your vehicle appear attractive to prospective buyers.

Get maximum exposure of your car through compelling ad listings

After making sure your car is completely ready for sale listing, your next step is to get it in front of as many local buyers. To do that, you’ll need the following:


A captivating listing – The number of hopeful sellers of secondhand cars can be that huge. This means you’ll need your listing to stand out from the competition. These are helpful tips to make your listing great and encompassing.

  • Prepare plenty of exterior images of your car from various angles, enlarging those aspects you want to focus on. Make sure that the photos are of high quality to show the precise appearance of your car to prospective buyers.
  • Take a few shots of the interior. Highlight only some features that buyers may be interested in seeing (i.e. in-cabin entertainment).
  • Set a price based on your mechanic’s assessment of the overall condition of your car.
  • Choose the best aspect of your car you want to highlight in your ad. For example, if the car’s trunk is more spacious for its class, you can mention all storing possibilities. You can also put emphasis on the car’s superb mileage if, say for instance, the current gas price is expensive.
  • Prepare a draft of your ad template. Summarise all the selling points and present them in a convincing language. Adding a sentence or phrase that accentuates a specific description, such as “excellent traveller car” would be great.
  • Tailor your ad listing’s language according to the type of your advertisements and where you’ll list it.
  • Don’t forget to buy a “For Sale”sign. This will inform everyone that your car is for sale.
  • If you’re not in a hurry to dispose of your vehicle, know the perfect timing to sell it. For example, if you’re trying to sell a specialty car during winter, it’s more likely that you’ll be ignored. The best thing you can do is wait until summer to list this type of vehicle.

An appropriate venue for advertising – There are plenty of places for listing used autos for sale. That means you’ll never run out of it. However, you must be careful in choosing the best and most effective place to list. It’s important to take note of what type of car you’re selling and for what type of buyers as some ad venues might not suit your purposes.

  • Local media classifieds. This includes your local newspapers and magazines which can either be in print or online or both. If you pick up the latter, chances are that your ad extends beyond those who are fond of reading newspapers.
  • Free online classifieds. There are some auto websites that offer listing arrangements to individual sellers for free. For example, accepts basic listings free of charge. If your car falls under the low to mid-range category, then this site is ideal for you to list it. Also, if your car is priced inexpensively, Gumtree is a great place for listing.
  • Online marketplaces. This is best for used highly specialised car models offered at any price. Because of that they charge sellers a premium amount for their listing arrangements. Examples of these sites are eBay Motors and Autotrader.
  • Social media. Different social media platforms have never been this effective for placing ad listings. And it’s completely free! So if you don’t want to spend to promote your ad, which is advisable for private-party transactions, then resort to social media.
  • Sign in the window car. This is probably the easiest and cheapest listing option you can take on. You never know how many people are seeing that “For Sale” sign on your car window every time you’re driving down the road who might be interested in buying.

Transact with serious prospective buyers

 A skillfully made, high-visibility advertising campaign drives buying interest in no time. Once the number of potential buyers contacting you started to rise, this can be a little overwhelming. Therefore, you must be prepared on how to deal with them. A few tips on how you can scrutinise, communicate, and meet with prospective buyers are presented below:


Effective communication with prospective buyers.

 Interested buyers may reach out to you through convenient means such as sending emails or text messages, while a few will give a call. Make sure that you respond to each buyer’s first attempts and in a way that’s recorded so you can review them later. Your initial communication must include the following:

  • Make sure that they’re a licenced driver in Australia.
  • Ask the kind of car they’re looking for in general.
  • You must know if they’re buying for themselves or for others. Beware of buyer representatives who might be scammers.
  • Find out if their time frame for buying jibes with your selling time frame. Otherwise, consider transacting only with the right buyer.
  • Ask if they will need a loan. If so, this might take time as they still need to get approval. Buyers who can pay in cash would be preferable.
  • Make sure that they’ll agree on meeting in person. Remote deals shouldn’t be entertained.
  • Ask and record their preferred payment period.

Safe meeting with prospective buyers

Meeting with a stranger and inviting them into your rides for testing can be somewhat intimidating. But this is still part of the selling process and an important determining factor of getting an offer. It’s important to take extra precautionary actions to protect yourself and properties against any unfavorable event that may take place before, during, and after the meeting. You can take the following tips as your guide:

  • Remove your valuable items and personal belongings from the car.
  • Choose to meet in busy public places.
  • Don’t bring with you extra cash or credit cards.
  • Make sure to bring someone with you instead of meeting with your prospective buyer alone.
  • Inform someone else other than your companion to the meeting place of where you will be.
  • Make sure you’ll be meeting with the right buyer.
  • Only one driver must be allowed to do the drive test.
  • Give a time limit for the drive test and make sure they follow it.
  • If the potential buyer shows interest in buying after the drive test, arrange for a follow-up meeting.
  • If you’re having a bad feeling about selling your car to this buyer for whatever reason, you must trust your intuition.

Complete a safe and legal auto deal

 As soon as you’ve determined the most reliable buyer, you can start negotiating for the final sale price. As a seller, you have the right to set a fixed selling price and reject as much as possible any negotiation attempts. One important tip you can take when negotiating is setting a bottom dollar. This is the outright lowest price you’ll accept for your car. Make sure that your bottom dollar is close enough to the car’s adjusted fair market value.


Accepting payment and transferring ownership

 To complete the sale of your used car, be sure to tick the following steps:

  1. Schedule your meeting with the buyer. Make sure the meeting time and place is convenient for both of you.
  2. Ensure that the buyer is ready with the agreed amount and mode of payment.
  3. Be ready with the title for transfer. Everything must be complete, but don’t sign it yet until payment is received.
  4. If there’s a need, you can proceed to your motor vehicle registry and formally sign the title.
  5. Secure your payment by depositing it the soonest time possible.
  6. Inform your designated motor vehicle registry of the ownership transfer of the already sold car.
  7. Advise your insurance company that your car has been sold already for them to make the necessary adjustments on your premium payments.


Final thoughts

 After selling your used car, you might think of buying a brand new ride or a quality second hand vehicle at a reasonable price. But replacing your sold car is not really a necessity. You might just want to get rid of an old useless auto out of your private property. Selling it on the private market is your best chance to make the most of the transaction. Of course, this becomes possible only if you’re willing to comply with the requirements.

Also, if you’re looking for the best way to sell an old car, you can contact us on 0401242410 anytime and we’d be happy to discuss it with you.

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