Regardless of the condition of your car, there are people and companies that are willing to pay fast money for it. In many cases, the cash can be in your bank account in less than 24 hours.
The best way to sell your car often depends on the situation you are in, and what your priorities are when it comes to ease, speed, and price. It’s all about comparing offers – and your offers will vary drastically depending on how you choose to sell.
Here is an overview of the different ways you might choose to sell your car quickly online – and the pros and cons associated with each method.
1. Sell to a private buyer
You could sell your car for cash privately – which often means that you will get the best price for it by cutting out the professional buyers in the middle. However, it can often be a long, drawn-out process.
Also, if you want a quick sale and a fast payment, you will generally need to be lucky or fairly flexible on the sale price. You might be able to get the prospective buyer to depart with a large bundle of cash, but most will be keener to pay via a bank transfer, once a deal is done.
If you do decide to go down the private sales route, you’ll need to go through the time-consuming process of advertising your car – and showing it to potential buyers. This usually involves a certain amount of hanging around for no-shows and wasting time with non-buyers.
After what could be several months of showing potential buyers your car, you are not guaranteed to find one – and so, if you fancy selling your car for cash quickly, a private sale may not be for you.
Selling privately also typically incurs costs
Though you are likely to get a better price via a private car sale, you will also need to think about how much money you’re willing to pay out on getting your car discovered by prospective buyers.
On websites such as Auto Trader, the price you pay for the ad is dependent on the likely sale price of your car, and the amount of exposure you want the advertisement to have. On auction sites like eBay, you will have to pay out an initial cost to set up your advert, followed by a percentage of the final sale price.
There are cheaper alternatives, like Exchange and Mart and Motors.co.uk, but they have smaller audiences than Auto Trader and eBay – and, consequently, finding prospective private buyers can take much longer.
2. Trade your car at a car dealership
Before setting foot in a dealership, it is essential to get a good idea of your car’s true cash value. When you have this, it will inform your decision-making, and you will be able to strike a better deal when selling.
There are several online vehicle valuation tools that can help – including those provided by Motorway, Parkers, WhatCar, and Regit – which can provide you with an instant cash valuation for your car.
To get a cash valuation, you simply have to enter a few details about your car, including its registration number and mileage, and you’ll be given an estimated price.
The instant valuation tool on the Motorway website will also allow you to compare valuations and offers from a number of leading online car buyers and specialist dealers.
Online car valuations are not definitive guides
With all vehicle valuation tools, you should proceed with some caution. They are not guides to a guaranteed sale price – instead, they should be considered only as a way to get a better understanding of what you’ll get for a cash sale. However, these free services are quick and easy to use and will provide you with a good target price to aim for.
There are dealerships that will pay you instant cash for your used car. Some of them will also offer you a swap deal for your old car, offsetting it against the price of a new car.
The rise of online instant car-buying websites has resulted in big car dealer groups like Inchcape, Arnold Clark and Sytner buying cars directly from the public and paying cash directly into their bank accounts.
If you are trying to sell a prestige model car, Motorway also works with a number of dedicated independent car dealers who specialise in premium brands; such as Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Jaguar.
3. Sell the car to an instant online car buyer
Online car-buying websites came into existence around fifteen years ago, providing a quick, no-frills way for sellers to get fast cash for their cars – which, assuming the details you submit online about your vehicle are accurate, make sales practically guaranteed.
Online car buyers will typically buy your car fast, taking the stress and hassle out of the selling process – then quickly transferring the agreed cash into your bank account. Selling your car to an online car buyer is a quick and easy option.
How quickly you get cash for your used car will vary
Many of these companies also charge hefty – and largely arbitrary – ‘transaction’ or ‘administration’ fees for their services, so it is worth doing your research. Depending on which online car-buying service you choose, the time it takes for the cash to arrive will vary – and, thus, comparing offers is key.
Motorway’s online vehicle valuation tool allows you to compare a number of deals from major players – quickly, easily and at no cost. For example, you can see which companies collect, and which require you to drive to a drop-off centre. You can also see how the different companies make their payments, and how long it takes for the cash to turn up in your bank account.
4. Take the car to a franchised specialist
You could sell to a dealership that specialises in the specific make and model of your car.
If you have an Audi, car dealers that specialise in Audis will be far more likely to be able to give you a good price, rather than if you took the car to a dealer that specialises in Mercedes. This is because it will be much easier for them to sell on via their own forecourt or branch network. Audi dealers will likely have numerous buyers looking to buy used Audi model cars coming into their dealership every day.
Whereas, if you go to a dealership that specialises in Mercedes to buy a new car there, and trade-in your old Audi, the dealership knows that they will struggle to sell your used car and that it will take time to recoup the outlay. For this reason, the dealership is likely to offer a lower price just to compensate for the time and effort it will take to sell it.
Use comparison sites to assess prices at specialist dealerships
If you have a prestige car, but don’t have time to visit a number of specialist dealerships looking for prices – or find the prospect daunting – you can find a range of prices just by adding your car’s details on an online car comparison site like Motorway.
If your car is eligible, Motorway’s Premium Service will automatically connect you with specialist car dealers in their network. Then you simply select your best offer, arrange an appointment to either drop it off or have it collected, and the money is usually transferred into your bank account the same day.
5. Take the car to a scrap company
If your car has reached 120,000 miles on the clock or more than 15 years of age – and is a standard, non-prestige vehicle like a Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot or Renault – it is probable that it has depreciated in value to the point that it is unsellable.
If this is your situation – and, yet, you’re still finding yourself paying out on the car’s upkeep – it is worth remembering that you can still get money for the car by scrapping it.
Looking online, you are liable to find countless websites offering car-scrapping services and manufacturer scrappage schemes, which means that finding the right one for you can be challenging.
Discovering your car’s scrap value
Working out the true sale value of a scrap car can often be problematic, as many cars have sought-after components and parts that can be used for spares. Others may be eligible for car-scrappage schemes that will entitle their owners to serious money off a new car. However, regardless of make and model, all cars retain some value – even if it’s just their weight in metal.
The traditional route to getting fast cash for a junk car was to hand it over to the local scrap yard – but, these days, doing so can often mean more hassle and less money.
Instead, it’s a good idea to use an online valuation website like Motorway. They work with scrap buyers, such as CarTakeBack and Car Converter, that will buy or recycle any car, no matter how damaged or unroadworthy.