Selling Your Vehicle

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Selling your vehicle online? Our section on selling you vehicle will help you get started and give you the steps to getting the maximum out of your sale! Good luck!

Where to Sell a vehicle


This is the easy part!

Auto Trader is a fantastic place to sell your vehicle - even if we do say so ourselves! Simply follow the links according to whether you are a TRADE or PRIVATE seller and let us do the work.

Placing a private advert

Advertise your vehicle to the Ireland's biggest buying audience. To place a private advert on Auto Trader please  click here.

Placing a trade advert

Traders get a great deal with Auto Trader! Simply register and you can put up to NINE pictures in an online advert.
To place a trade advert please click here or for Northern Ireland customers please click here to sell your vehicle.

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Before you advertise


Changing Vrooms

No need to get Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen in - but it is worth making the most of the vehicle you're selling to get the maximum price. From sprucing up your vehicle to making the most of your advert - we're here to help.

Wording your advert

Your advert is your first point of contact with potential buyers, so it's important the advert conveys the right message. Get it right and you’ll save money re-advertising.

The perfect advert

The perfect Auto Trader ad will include all of the following:

  • Exact type of vehicle: if it's a Mondeo 1.8 GLX 5-door, write that - not 'Mondeo GLX'
  • Year: 2006
  • Mileage: If your vehicle has low mileage, say how low
  • Colour: be helpful - 'metallic blue' means more to most buyers than 'Sorrento Shimmer'
  • Tax & NCT: Say how much is left
  • Service history: Don't lie! If it has a proper recorded history, mention it. If it's complete, put 'full service history' or 'FSH'.
  • Number of owners: Include if there aren't many for the age of the vehicle.
  • Features: Sell the great features on your vehicle - air conditioning, alloy wheels, electric windows, central locking and so on - to entice the buyers and set your vehicle apart from the others
  • Price: Buyers expect to bargain so if €2500 really is your final price, ask for a little more in the advertisement. But be realistic, check other similar vehicles on Auto Trader to gain an idea of the right asking price.
  • Photographs: You can include as many as 9 images in you advert which will make it stand out even more and generate more response.

Things not to say…
Here's a list of favourites that tell the buyer nothing! ‘Lovely driver’, ‘Good condition for year’, ‘Beautiful condition’, ‘One lady owner’, ‘No time wasters’, ‘First to see will buy’. These aren’t helpful, so leave them out!

Setting a price for your vehicle

So what’s it worth
You want to sell your vehicle, so setting the price is very important. You don’t want to set it too high and put potential buyers off, and, you don’t want to set it too low and feel like you gave it away. A little bit of research will allow you to gauge the current market value.

Price guides
There are plenty of price guides available and many can be bought in newsagents. However, the most comprehensive source of used prices is the Auto Trader web site - and it's completely free of charge, too!  But remember they are only a guide.
You'll be offered several prices for differing conditions of vehicle, with registration letters and model years being listed. A suggested mileage is also given. However, there are many more variables over and above those covered by price guides, meaning 'exact book price' sales are rare.
Consider any options your vehicle has; is it a rare model, or one in particular demand? Is the colour is a desirable one? Are there any other factors  that could affect your price e.g. low mileage, a sought-after special edition or a particularly generous specification.

Classified advertisements
Browsing Auto Trader will usually help you set the price of your vehicle. Look for models similar to yours, and see what the 'going rate' is; you can then price your vehicle accordingly. This works especially well for popular models, because there's so much choice. It's also a good trick for limited edition, rare or older models, as they may not actually be listed in price guides.

Owners clubs
Some owners clubs offer valuation services. Bear in mind you may have to pay - or join the club - but this will probably be more accurate than other methods, because of the breadth of knowledge available. Enthusiasts often know your vehicle better than you do, and can account for any extras, as well as the overall condition and mileage.

Visit dealers to get an idea of your vehicle's trade-in value; anything you get over and above that will be a profit. Don't, however, look at dealer forecourt stock and expect to get similar prices for your vehicle; you're not offering a warranty or any guarantees, and therefore should charge a lot less. Some manufacturer web-sites also offer on-line trade price valuations, and can be another source of guidance for trade-in values.

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Preparing your vehicle



First impressions are lasting impressions. The exterior is what your buyer will see first, so it needs the greatest attention. It's also the easiest part of the preparation to get right.

  • Wash the vehicle then leather it dry.
  • Bird droppings, tar and deposits from trees can be removed with special cleaners purchased from your local accessory shop.
  • Consider touching in paint chips.
  • A quick polish can do wonders for the appearance.
  • If the paint looks really dull try a paint restoring polish.
  • Don't forget the wheels; nice wheels make a vehicle look great.
  • And finally, liven up black and chrome trim with the right polish.


The trouble with vehicle interiors is that they gradually get shabbier without you realising it. The key areas to tackle are:

  • Vacuum thoroughly.
  • Seats: vacuum and, if really grubby, shampoo.
  • Glass: polish out that greasy film on the inside.
  • Instruments and dashboard: thoroughly clean with a damp cloth.
  • Smells! Empty ashtrays and fumigate!


The biggest and best selling point you can possibly have is a brand new NCT certificate and a full service history.

Call in the professionals

If all this sounds too much like hard work, consider a professional vehicle valet, inside, outside and under the bonnet. This will help your vehicle sell faster at a better price.

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Selling advice

Selling a vehicle is easy, but unless you do it for a living then the more you prepare, the better. This is where we help you prepare for buyers and show you how to steer clear of the most common vehicle crime dangers.


Occasionally, advertisers have contacted the Customer Care team at Auto Trader expressing concern about canvas telephone calls received from companies offering to put them in contact with potential buyers for a fixed fee. Auto Trader is not affiliated with such companies and does not pass on your details to these companies.
There are various companies who offer this service and they generally contact vehicle sellers by telephone after seeing their adverts online. These companies try to persuade the vehicle seller to part with a fixed fee in exchange for a list of prospective buyers for their specific vehicle. Some offer refunds if the vehicle does not sell.

Auto Trader would recommend you should NEVER hand over card payment information to canvassers over the phone unless you have verified they are from a reputable source.

These companies employ a number of tactics including calling vendors repeatedly in a bid to ‘wear down’ the seller into purchasing the promised buyers list. Unfortunately, in most cases the promised buyers do not materialise. When sellers have attempted to get refunds they discover that refunds will not be given under any circumstances. Some companies have been found to have numerous addresses and have proved very difficult to track down when trying to complain or seek recompense.

If you feel you have been treated unfairly by one of these companies you can contact your local Trading Standards office and lodge a complaint. It may be possible for your payment card company to help you if you complain you haven’t received the service you were promised, so ensure you ring them as well.

Dealing with buyers

Selling a vehicle can be a daunting prospect. By knowing what to expect, you can avoid being caught out by experienced hagglers, time wasters or criminals.

Test drives

  • ALWAYS arrange to meet a buyer at a place you know well and which is well lit.
  • NEVER meet a potential buyer alone; always take a friend or member of your family with you.
  • NEVER let the buyer go out alone, there's a risk they won't come back.
  • ALWAYS check they have adequate insurance cover; you could be liable for any accidents they may have.
  • NEVER leave the keys in the ignition when swapping seats. Thieves may try to engineer such situations, so you should be especially aware.
  • ALWAYS separate your car keys from your house keys.
  • Let the buyers follow their own route, as many are suspicious if you dictate which roads to take. Be prepared for people to drive your vehicle hard - but if it's a performance model and they are seriously abusing it, you can ask them to calm down.


Buyers are now far more willing to pay for used vehicle inspections and vehicle history checks. If you're serious about selling the vehicle, you shouldn't have any objections. A deposit from the buyer will prove their interest, as should the fact they're spending money on checking your vehicle.


Buyers inevitably haggle about the price; it's all part of buying a vehicle. You need to be firm, without being unreasonable. Set a price beforehand and keep it in your head during negotiations. Don't refuse to take offers - this will see buyers walking away. And don't decline a sale for the matter of €50 or so. It'll cost you far more in re-advertising fees, time and hassle.

Handling the money

In an ideal world, you’ll be paid cash during normal office hours and be able to pay it in immediately (checking for forgeries, of course), but this won’t always be the case.

If you do receive cash, try to get it handed over to you in a bank, so you can pay it in straight away and the cashier can check for fake notes. If your buyer gives you cash outside of banking hours, pay it in as soon as possible.

A far better way to take payment is via electronic transfer. It allows you to transfer funds online, but it can take a few days, so don’t release the vehicle until the bank tells you the funds have been successfully transferred.

Cheques and bank or building society cheques can cause problems. Personal cheques can be cancelled or issued without the available funds in the account, meaning that if you’ve handed the vehicle over, it could be the last you’ll see of it.

Despite common belief, bank or building society cheques aren’t as good as cash. With quality forgeries changing hands, don’t release the vehicle until the money has cleared.

You should ask the bank if you can draw funds against the cheque. Don’t ask the bank if the cheque has cleared as this can mean something different. If possible, go with the buyer to the bank, to draw the cheque.

Ask the buyer for photo ID with an address and landline telephone number. If something goes wrong, you’ll know where to find them. If they are reluctant to give this information, you should be wary.

Write a receipt for both you and the buyer, stating the vehicle is being sold and make sure you both sign it.


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