Top tips for advertising your car

When you’re advertising your car in attempt to attract a private buyer you have to consider many factors giving priority to honesty, your description needs to be "sticky" so make it as compelling as possible, loaded with accurate facts.

13 March 2024 · Eldon - Barnfield Cars

top tips on selling your car

You’ve probably arrived at this car buying site as you’re looking to sell your prestige car, and we know better than anybody how every Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, and Range Rover is different from most so make sure your advert stands out, but as mentioned earlier just be honest and don’t over-do it by repeating covering obvious facts, engage the buyer by justifying why your is better the other privately advertised cars.

To deliver a knockout ad for your car then continue to read on.

1: Shout the year, ownership, mileage, make, model & derivative early

Within the ad title or the first line of the description tell private buyers exactly what you are selling, with absolute priority over the year & mileage, your buyer will focus on this criteria, and the search engine will do the same. The reason sellers leave the mileage out of the ad or try to hide it is that it’s normally high or well above average, for the same reason someone photographs an interior from knee height without showing the lack of a panoramic sunroof because guess what? it hasn’t got one.

Bad car advert title “Average miles RR Evoque Stunner
A good title is “2021, Private Owner, Low 18,000 miles, Garaged Range Rover Evoque HSE

As many buyers speed read your title has to deliver the facts as early as possible to attract a click-through to your advert, hopefully leading to a call.

2: Become David Bailey

Taking pictures with a smartphone or iPad is the quickest and is perfectly good enough to list your car for sale on advertising sites, but you must remember one thing, a gallery of quality pictures will do the selling job for you, likewise bad imagery will certainly prevent you from getting the phone ringing.

Just because you aren’t a pro there isn’t any excuse to take bad photographs here are a few pointers that will help you:

  1. Take into consideration not only the weather but also the light, a sunny day isn’t the best, and rain is useless but a grey overcast day is fantastic for photography.
  2. Take uniform photography, front, rear, both sides, boot, under the bonnet, each wheel/tyre tread, interior with driver and passenger side front & rear, and always get close to key selling points like sat nav screen, Apple Play, leather seats, heated steering wheel icon, air-con button, panoramic glass roof with blind open and closed and a close up of the mileage.
  3. Don’t try to be arty with silly angles or add emojis to pictures, it’s not professional and will put buyers off.
  4. Consider where you photograph your car, parked on a curb is a disaster in the same way that you drive out to Chatsworth to picture in front of a stately home, unless you’re the Duke of Devonshire, just be honest and photo your car in a clutter-free environment with the focus on the car that you are selling.
  5. Finally, make sure your car is clean inside and out, without gizmos hanging from the interior mirror or free of last night’s McDonald’s milkshake cup.

3: Be realistic with your price expectation

You are selling your car privately, I repeat, you aren’t offering the buyer any security of dealer facilities therefore you must price your car accordingly. Regardless of how nice your house might be you are selling your car from your drive. There has to be a substantial price difference between a private no-frills sale and the offering from a quality dealer, the more prestigious the make and model the bigger that price differential must be. Use the likes of Autotrader as a benchmark but when doing your due diligence make sure you compare “private” sellers and not “trade” sellers, it is also important to understand that you don’t price your car as the highest or just under the highest priced comparison as that example could have been sat there for months and isn’t priced to sell.

Please also understand that you are a private seller who can’t offer a warranty, finance, part exchange, consumer rights, etc most buyers will want to negotiate, and by the time you absorbed advertising costs and wasted your day with tyre kickers it might be worth considering a strong offer from Barnfield Cars, you might be pleasantly surprised by our proposal.

4: Be honest about your cars service history

If you have an older vehicle for sale there is a strong chance that you will have a service book, and the evidence of service history is clear as it should be stamped by the service centre, alternatively you might have service invoices, in some instances you may have both which is a fantastic selling point. In the modern era each manufacturer has a service database, if serviced at either a franchised dealer or reputable independent, either will or should add the service to the database, therefore a potential buyer can review the history. Most manufacturers will allow you to print off a service report, clearly demonstrating what has been done, in some instances like BMW later cars have a media screen where the a comprehensive history report can be viewed.

However, if you either don’t have history or a patchy history be honest about it and don’t try and skirt over it, the more you try to justify the reasoning behind missing services the less honest you will come across to the buyer.

5: If there is any damage? own up!

This is simple, imagine you were going to view a car just like yours and before you agreed to buy it you expect things to be done before you part with your hard earned cash, for example, is there a chip in the windscreen, a couple of scuffed alloy wheels, a little dent in the front wing, if so, own up, otherwise you will disappoint your buyer upon arrival, thus losing the buyers confidence.

It is not only better to mention faults pre-sale but to offer to remedy before the buyer pays, some buyers would rather see an original car than one that has undergone a bad paint job that needs doing again.

6: Ownership

If you bought your vehicle brand new then shout from the roof tops that it’s a one-owner car, not a one previous owner, sometimes you buy a car thinking its a one owner but if it was pre-registered by the dealer to hit sales target then despite the fact your the only driver it is then a still a two owner including yourself.

Since GDPR data protection rules were introduced the V5C (logbook) no longer displays any previous keeper details, and only those of the current keeper, therefore in the instance of a vehicle that has had two or more owners it is recommended to keep a copy of the original document, then you can show the potential buyer exactly who has owned the vehicle and that it’s not an ex-hire car.

7: Factory options or extras

When writing your ad make sure you include the vital detail surrounding any factory options your vehicle has, things like a glass panoramic roof or enhanced alloy wheel options will add value, for example, a luxury SUV with a panoramic roof could be worth up to £3,000 more than one without. However, refrain from repeating standard items on your ad, as this will highlight how basic the specification your car could be.

Imagine you were trawling the ads for your next car, what would attract you or catch your eye to get a click through, yet don’t overdo it with too many as you will lose the buyers focus. If you car has too many extras to list then simple say “Huge list of factory options” or “Over £10,000 of factory options” or “Too many options to list”

9: Offer buyers some clarity

Offer to show the buyer a copy of a HPI or Motorcheck report, these are  industry standard reports that will prove your car isn’t on finance or is listed on an insurance register. It is also recommended to not only have the service history ready for inspection but the MOT history. If you vehicle runs out of MOT within a few months then why not MOT early, again proving that you are an honest seller ad aren’t hiding anything.

10: There is a better alternative

If you can’t be bothered with all the circus that surrounds advertising your car privately then why not sell your car to us at Barnfield. We not only *guarantee to buy your car, *guarantee  not be beaten on price, we collect, we settle finance, we pay before the car leaves your drive!

Call us today on 01246 912067 we loved to hear from you.



*For all vehicles that match our retail profile