How to Sell a Car Privately

How to Sell a Car Privately [FREE AD Template]

How to Sell a Car Privately

So you have purchased and enjoyed your car and it’s now time for you to say Goodbye. Perhaps you have your eye on a new car or just looking to flip one your purchased for profit, either way, you need to learn how to sell your car the right way.

There are options to trade your car in or part exchange them at dealerships, but in all honesty, you will be getting bottom dollar for it this way, our recommended route is to sell your car yourself privately.

So how do you sell a Car Privately?

By creating a killer advert, taking the correct pictures and listing the car for sale in all major car classifieds drastically increases your chances of selling your car in no time.

So let’s talk a little more about this.

Creating the Killer Advert

A big reason cars sell slower or fail to sell at all is because the adverts are poor and lack quality information, would you try to sell a house with just one line of information? No

Well, then why do it with a car worth several thousands of pounds in such a poor fashion.

A great advert is one of the best ways for your car to stand out from the crowd and be the one everyone wants to buy. Sellers tend to flock towards, honest, genuine sellers who are selling clean, well-maintained cars and this what your advert needs to portray.

Let’s go over how to put a great ad together

1. Headline

Use the headline to list the most beneficial parts of your car and what the unique selling points of it are, simply listing ‘Car for Sale’ or BMW 325 is not good enough, sellers are scrolling through 100’s of cars and you need them STOP in their tracks and click on your advert.

In order to do this, you need the perfect headline.

Here is an example of how we structure our headlines


Here you can see we have plucked all the key information from our vehicle and displayed in an easy to see headline, the seller can instantly see we have a low mileage car with a 12 month MOT and a full-service history, we are making it easy for them to instantly consume this information.

2. Body of Text

Here is where you really SELL the car, you need to be as descriptive as possible listing everything there to know about the car.

Think of it from a buyer’s perspective as to what they would want to know about your car and answer the question. Break the advert down into

  • Exterior Condition
  • Interior Condition
  • Mechanical Condition

We usually rate each area out of 10 (with 1 being the lowest number) and then list everything there is to know about that particular part of the car.

Finish off the body of text with your price and contact details along with any terms e.g viewing times etc

For information on how to find the value of a second-hand car check out our guide HERE

3. Be Honest

Do not try to deceive or intentionally hide any faults the car may have, most second-hand cars will have paint chips and the odd scuffed wheel. If it has any of these list the information here, it will weed out time wasters at an early stage and prevent buyers ‘haggling’ you down in price if the notice the faults upon inspection.

We have found being honest about faults upfront have helped us sell cars quicker because the advert comes across as honest and genuine.


Here is the part you have been waiting for, a real example of our advert which we have used to sell thousands of pounds worth of cars.



Seat Ibiza 1.4 Sport 16V – Cheap to Insure,, tax and maintain

Late 2005 (55 Plate)

77,000 miles (may rise slightly as still in use)

Finished in Platinum Grey

Immaculate Cloth Interior

Super Low mileage for this type of car as it has only covered 77k from new, fully documented mileage supported by previous MOT’s and service records.

The car has only been driven an average of 6,000 miles per year!

2 previous careful owners from new

2 x keys

V5 along with all paperwork for the car.

HPI clear with report

Exterior condition 9.7

Immaculate condition paintwork, no nasty dents or rust anywhere, only very minimal  rock chips from regular use at which can hardly be seen on the front bumper, one very small scrape on the bottom corner of rear bumper (drivers side) hardly visible

The car comes fully detailed which includes paintwork being clay barred, polished and waxed, truly needs to be seen to be appreciated. Engine bay has been de-greased and cleaned and looks like a brand new motor.

Interior condition 9.8

Immaculate cloth seats which have been steam cleaned and smells brand new no rips tears or stains. All interior buttons work as they should, Comes with factory original radio player

Car mats have been washed and steam cleaned and are in new condition.

Mechanical 9.9

Full-service history including 5 main dealer stamps & 2 Specialist stamps, has just been serviced in Feb 2018 at 71,000 miles and stamp in book and invoice available for proof, only been driven a few hundred miles since the last service.

**Critical timing belt and water pump change at 65,000 miles (service book stamped) ** in 2017

Battery starts first time every time without hesitation

Will not require another service for another 12 months

All tyres have approximately 4mm thread on them

The suspension is in perfect working order, no creaks knocks or funny noises when driving

MOT valid till Feb 2019 ZERO advisories.

Bad points

Wheels could use a slight refurbishment, however, this is only me being very picky, and the price has been reflected to cover this

That’s all!

This was a £15k + motor when first released and at this price, it represents an absolute bargain

Viewings will be on appointment basis any other questions please call me on [INSERT NUMBER]

Priced to sell at a firm [INSERT PRICE] as this is a meticulously maintained example which does not need anything spending on it; beware of other examples of hidden work required.

Absolutely fantastic first-time car, small family car or daily workhorse

PX welcome at trade value

Thanks for viewing.


Car Photos

These are crucial for being able to sell your car, car adverts which have poor pictures perform the worst. Spend an hour on taking pictures correctly to reap the rewards

Take pictures from all around the car including the interior.

Take pictures of any chips, obvious scratches or damage the car may have

Take pictures of the service book and invoices laid out to show the car has documentation with it.

Watch this quick Video on how to take better pictures of your car.

Listing You Car

So now you have created the perfect advert and taken some awesome pictures, now it’s time to list your car for maximum exposure.

Listing your cars in as many places simultaneously increases exposure, don’t rely on one website or platform to help your car to sell.

Here are the places you should list your car:

Gumtree – FREE (to list 1 car privately)

Perhaps the biggest classified site in the UK, there are thousands of people looking for cars on here daily. The downside to this site is that your listing can quickly drop down the list, so we recommending resubmitting your advert each day to keep it fresh and higher in the rankings.

Facebook Marketplace – FREE

New to the game but starting to increase in popularity, Facebook has a massive user base and it would be silly not to try and use this to your advantage. The marketplace is a little cumbersome and not exactly search friendly, however, we have both bought and sold plenty of cars via Facebook Marketplace.

Shpock Mobile App- FREE

Another classified site, much smaller user base then Gumtree and Facebook however still a decent amount of traffic. We have managed to sell a few cars on Shpock so it’s still worth listing it in here. You are limited with the numbers of images and text you can use so you will need to list the key points. – Starting from £10 (optional)

More of a marketplace for car enthusiasts, if you have a niche kind of car you’re looking to sell then this may be your best place, provides good value for money. It doesn’t get as much traffic from general sellers instead only from people looking for a particular make and model. Cars on here are expected to be well-maintained enthusiast owned cars.

eBay – Starting from £10

Still, a monster of a site, the majority of our car sales happen on eBay. We tend to stick to listing our cars as ‘Classified’ ads with the option of the best offer, although if you prefer you can use the auction option. We don’t feel this is the best value for money as a £10 ad will expire after 10 days, however, given the amount of traffic it generates its a must to list on eBay.

Autotrader – Average Listing is £50+

Still, the daddy when it comes to selling your car, the amount of traffic it generates for hot buyers is insane. There are downsides to AutoTrader, one being it is insanely expensive. Secondly, you are limited with the text you can use and you will need to alter your add to key points about your car. We get a good proportion of sales through Autotrader and again is a go-to site to list our cars.

How We List Our Cars,

We list our cars on all of the FREE car sites mentioned above straight away as well as taking out a £10 eBay classified listing.

We take time to resubmit our ads on the free sites daily to keep our listing fresh and higher in the ranking

We let this run for a week to see what kind of interest our car gets and around 60% of the time we find this is enough to get our cars to sell.

If we find our car hasn’t sold after a week we then take out an Autotrader ad to sit amongst the other ads.

We find the majority of our cars sell within 1-3 weeks

What to do if your car doesn’t sell

It’s completely normal for a car to take 30+ days on the market to sell, so don’t start to panic

If the car hasn’t sold by week 2 of your listing we recommend a 15% drop in price and then so on every 2 weeks until the car does sell.

Do not use words such as – Quick Sale, Fast Sale, Urgent Sale etc as this screams out desperation and provides buyers with ammunition to give you low ball offers.


We are confident that following the tried and tested advice above, you will massively increase your chances of selling your cars for the maximum amount of money possible. It’s important to have a structure to what you are doing and a formula on how to list your cars properly. Feel free to check out our other guides for some other great advice

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