Guide To Selling Your Used Car – Advertising Your Car



At some point probably every driver will need to sell their car privately. But with trade-ins and those online car buyers, is selling your car privately worth it?
Well yes it is…. but not always.
When you trade your car in or sell it to an online based company that ‘buys any car’ all they do is sell them on. So selling your car privately yourself can often be the best way to get top money for your car as long as you don’t need the cash instantly.

Where to start.

Well you need to decide on the best place to advertise your car and this depends mostly on the value of your car. We’ll start with higher quality used cars.
If your used car is worth under £10k, you might want to try the online buyers that ‘buy any car’ just be honest when completing the forms about the condition of the car. Although if you aren’t desperate for the money to allow you to buy your next car then a private sale is probably your best bet.
For a car worth over £10k I would suggest advertising your car on Autotrader. Continue reading to see my advice on how to write your ad for Autotrader.

Is your car worth £3-5k? Autotrader is a great place to advertise your car for sale, but you will incur some fees. Annoying I know but this is the premium website in the UK for selling your car.
If you want to try a cheaper way, then put your car on Gumtree. I have had some excellent results selling cars on Gumtree and you can too. Keep reading for my advice on writing your ad for Gumtree.

Is your car worth less than a couple of grand? This is the most interesting and fun market to sell your car in.
You can use Autotrader or or even Exchange & Mart (although I wouldn’t really recommend them) these sites will charge you a flat rate listing fee, usually based on the advertised value of your car.
All my cars are usually in the ‘up to £3k’ value bracket. My favourite place to list my cars for sale is It’s free to list it on there and with a good ad you can get a really fast sale.
Another favourite of mine if I’m not getting good bites on Gumtree is eBay. But I would only use eBay if I was having no luck on Gumtree, which is rare.

Is your car worth less than £1,000?. You should advertise it on Gumtree first, but also stick it on eBay. With a clever ad you will sell it before the auction ends.
I love putting cars on eBay, and you can have some good fun with it if you use the right wording.
See my guide below to writing your ad for eBay.

Writing Your Ad

When trying to sell your car only two things matter, how you write your ad and the pictures you use. I’m a sucker for a good picture in a car ad. And if there isn’t a picture on an ad I won’t even bother to read it. If you can’t be bothered to take a picture of your car why should I be bothered to read your ad?

What To Write?

Don’t bother putting ‘never raced or rallied’, ‘the first to see will buy’ or ‘one lady owner’ nobody cares and nobody will believe you anyway. You need to sell your car on its features and how they will benefit the new owner. So the most important things to mention, and these need to be the main part of your ad are: Service History, MOT and tax expiry. That’s what people care about.
After those things, talk about the interior options, all the good stuff. Air con, leather, leccy windows all that, use bullet points.
Then you can add the extra bits you need to mention but keep it brief.



Selling Your Car on Gumtree.

Make sure to display your phone number and to enter your postcode correctly. The reason for the postcode is that Gumtree supply a map on your ad. This will really help buyers see if they are able to view your car or not.
Your phone number is very important, make sure it’s a mobile too as Gumtree buyers love to text you rather than call.

Stick to your price. You will get quite a lot of texts offering you silly money for your car. These are usually dealers. Stick to the value you want for your car.
Be available. Make yourself available for buyers to come and view the car. But if a potential buyer does arrange with you to come and view, ask them to text you when they are about 15 minutes away. That way you won’t waste too much of your time if they don’t turn up.

Selling Your Car On eBay

This is my personal favourite place to sell a car worth less than a grand. You know you’re going to get a sale if you word your ad correctly and usually within a week too!
So, things to mention on your ad. Same as above, stick to the rules and don’t babble on too much. Service history, MOT, tax and then the features.
After that, state your payment terms. Mine are usually “Cash on collection only. Car must be picked up within 3 days of the auction ending. If you have feedback of less than 10, please message me before bidding”.

Now, eBay do not allow you offer swaps or private cash offers. But these are usually the best way to get your car shifted on there, so there is a way around it that I use.
I am open to serious cash offers for the car, if accepted to keep within eBay’s terms I’ll list the car on a buy it now for you
If you want to actually list it on buy it now is up to you.

With your car listed on ebay you will get loads of messages from people asking your best price. Be firm with what you want in your replies, but also be polite. These are usually dealers looking for bargains to re-sell.
But 90% of the time that I list a car on eBay I sell it outside of the auction to somebody who has sent me a message. So don’t ignore them! And don’t forget that if you sell your car before the auction ends you don’t pay all the fees.


I’m no car dealer but I have brought and sold hundreds of cars over the years from £300 – £10,000. So if you have any questions about selling your used car I would love to help if I can. You can leave a response below or tweet me on @smellyclutch


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