But nobody should be put off by that, because with a few tricks, anyone can correctly assess their car and sell it at a good price. Whether the used car is best sold privately or at a dealer, or how to set the right price – AUTO BILD gives these and other tips on the subject of “selling a car”.
Private or dealer, how to sell?
Purchase or trade-in by dealer: If the car needs to be sold quickly, buying it through a dealer is the best choice. The price when buying is usually below the amount that could be achieved with a private sale, but the facts are quickly on the table, the seller does not have to deal with many inquiries or test drives. Nevertheless, a bit of time should also be invested here: Obtaining various offers can pay off. The prices that dealers pay for a car often vary greatly. The buyer is a professional who can assess the condition of the used car very quickly. Based on small defects, he will try to push the price down. In advance, you should therefore think carefully about where your own pain threshold lies.
It is also helpful to know the exact condition of the car (e.g. by checking a used car beforehand), so that no additional weaknesses can be “talked into” about. If you want to buy a new car as soon as you sell the old one, it might be worth trading in. The dealership where the new car is bought accepts the used car as a down payment. Here the dealers usually have a little more leeway than with classic purchases, since they also gain a new customer by trading in.
In general: Don’t sell to anyone! Become suspicious if the buyer accepts the price but rejects the other terms. Don’t respond to such “special requests”. If the buyer even becomes aggressive, cancel the purchase immediately.
Pay attention to this when selling privately
• Down payments are taboo! Exception: The rest is paid in cash upon collection. Never hand over a car if the purchase price has not yet been paid in full.
• Cash is king! Only those who hand over the purchase price in cash will receive keys and papers. Never accept promissory notes, wire transfers, credit cards, partial or installment payments.
• Hand over car only de-registered! Otherwise there is a risk of trouble if the buyer does not re-register the car as agreed. As long as the car is in your own name, you pay taxes, insurance and fines yourself. Even if the handover time is recorded in writing in the purchase contract.
• Report sale immediately! The registration office and the insurance company need to know that the car has been sold. Fax the purchase contract to both of them or send it by e-mail!
Set the right price for a used car
Market observer Schwacke, for example, provides further information. A vehicle valuation is carried out here for EUR 7.90, which also takes special equipment into account. The TÜV assesses the car even more precisely. However, this assessment also costs significantly more money. If the ad is followed by a real rush, this can be an indication that the price is too low. Conversely, if no one answers after a long time, the asking price may be exaggerated.
The optics are crucial
Small investments pay off
Alternatively, a certificate from TÜV or Dekra creates trust. Depending on the inspection agency, the used car check costs between 60 and 120 euros and also takes the wind out of the sails of those who say bad things. Also important: check the oil and cooling water levels as well as the wiper water, check the tire pressure and check the functionality of the lighting. If something is wrong here, it quickly gives the impression that the car has been neglected.
Good presentation is half the battle
Once the used car has been pimped up and checked out, successful sales are ultimately just a question of presentation. Of course, the same principle applies here as in all other areas: whoever has something to sell advertises it. The car should be described comprehensively with all details – but above all honestly (!). In addition to all the equipment features and special features, defects are also listed. This creates trust with the potential buyer even before the first meeting. And – with private advertisements: pictures are the be-all and end-all. Without photos, the chances of selling decrease rapidly. But even with bad photos, only a few interested parties will contact you.
For example, anyone who wants to sell their convertible in the summer but shows it in the snow in the photos gives the impression that the car has been for sale since winter. So the pictures should speak the right language, in short: If you want to get rid of your garage car, it is snapped in front of the garage. The buyer sees: It was nice and dry. The completed service booklet is photographed. The buyer sees: the car is well maintained.
There is a small dent on the rear shown in the photos. The buyer sees: nobody has anything to hide here. At the same time, the interested party can already assess that the “small scratch on the driver’s door” is not as bad in reality as it sounds in the advertisement. If you want to further increase your sales opportunities and attract more attention, you can make a YouTube video, for example.
What documents are required for the sale?
Tips at a glance
• The most important thing when selling a car is the price. Sellers should therefore get a comprehensive picture of the current market situation in order not to sell below value, but also to avoid a dissuasively high amount.
• Small investments in a good polish, interior cleaning or small touch-ups pay off. A higher price can be asked for a well-maintained car and there are more interested parties.
• Buying a used car is a matter of trust, so one of the most important goals is to gain the buyer’s trust. The best way to do this is with transparency. Therefore: admit weaknesses and shortcomings openly. The best way to substantiate the condition of the car is with a professional appraisal.
• While haggling and negotiating is part of the used car business, if a potential buyer pushes them or talks about the car being worse than it is, that can be reason enough not to accept the deal.
• Don’t do without a sales contract even when selling privately. As long as the purchase price has not been paid (in cash!), under no circumstances hand over the car. Only sell deregistered and inform authorities and insurance immediately.