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Thinking of selling your car? Get some expert tips from Bristol Street Motors and get the best price for your motor.
Bristol Street Motors

How Do I Get The Best Price For My Car?

How Do I Get The Best Price For My Car?

Who doesn’t love a new car? While upgrading your motor is an exciting process, selling your old car can often feel like a chore.

  • We're here to make selling your car simple
  • Check out our tips on making the process more streamlined
  • Learn what all the jargon associated with selling your car means


Not only can you encounter unreliable buyers wanting to drive the asking price down, but you also have to fish out all the correct documentation to ensure the sale goes through. For a more convenient approach, many people prefer to sell their car to a reputable car dealership. 

We’re here to help you breeze through the selling process, so you can get the best possible price when selling your car.

Continue reading below to become a car selling expert.


The most common questions about selling a car

At Bristol Street Motors, we’re experts in both buying and selling used cars. As such, we know our stuff when it comes to the process of selling a car, and everything you need to do to prepare for this.

But we don’t want to just keep all this essential knowledge to ourselves. That’s why we’ve collated answers to the most common questions about selling a car privately.


What are my responsibilities when selling a car?

While there are many considerations that come with selling a car, your main responsibility is to ensure you are accurately describing the condition of your car to any potential buyer.

The car must run and look as advertised. If there are any defects or problems with the car, they need to be spelled out clearly so the buyer can make an informed purchasing decision. In fact, it’s a criminal offence to sell an unroadworthy vehicle without informing the buyer of its specific issues. If found guilty upon prosecution, you may be subject to a fine of £5,000.

Ensure you also inform the DVLA of the sale and change of ownership. Otherwise, you will still be liable for the vehicle, even though someone else is driving it. Getting a parking fine or speeding ticket for a car you no longer own is not worth the hassle!


What paperwork do I need to sell my car privately?

Once you’ve negotiated an agreeable price and shook hands with the buyer, the next step is to start collating all the required paperwork to push the sale through.

Certain documents, such as the vehicle logbook, are essential to legally complete a sale, while others make the process much smoother. For example, a full-service history can provide evidence of your car’s top condition and justify a higher asking price.

Here is a checklist of the documentation that will help facilitate a sale, below:

- Vehicle logbook: This is what you’ll use to transfer ownership of the car to the buyer, informing the DVLA of the purchase.

- Proof of reservation and purchase: You need two copies, one for the seller and one for the buyer. Typically exchanged when the buyer puts down a deposit on the vehicle.

- MOT certificate: A document that confirms the car meets the minimum road safety and environmental standards required by the law.

- Insurance policy: Confirmation that you have cancelled your current insurance cover on the car being sold.

- Service record: This details the car’s service history, including when and where a car has received its regular servicing.

- Car parts receipts: Should any car parts have been replaced during the seller’s ownership, full details of these replacements need to be disclosed to the buyer.


How long does it take to sell a car?

On average selling a car privately can take between four to eight weeks, possibly even longer depending on the asking price and where it is advertised. Of course, it can happen much faster, but expecting a swift sale from the get-go can lead to disappointment and frustration with the process. 

However, if you are keen to secure a sale as quickly as possible, then selling your car via a car dealership could be the best option. With an easy-to-use online valuation, Bristol Street Motor’s Sell My Car tool could help reduce the stress of selling your car.


How do I keep my car safe when selling?

With car sale adverts naturally including personal data, such as your phone number, you need to be careful when using third party selling websites. Minimise the risk by not giving out any sensitive information over the phone.

You also need to be cautious when it comes to the face to face meeting. Ensure you are present during test drives and, if you feel more comfortable doing so, consider conducting them yourself. Never let the buyer keep hold of the keys until the payment has been processed, and similarly, do not hand over the vehicle until the money is officially in your bank account.

Of course, if you sell your car with Bristol Street Motors you won’t have to worry about any of these factors. We’re one of the UK’s largest automotive retailers, so we’re a name you can trust. 


What is the best way to accept payment for my car?

For quick convenience, a bank transfer is one of the best ways to accept payment for a car. Nowadays, many banks offer instant confirmation of funds being transferred, allowing you to hand over the keys then and there.


The essential vocabulary of selling a car

Many people get flustered by a buyer’s perceived superior car knowledge, putting them on the backfoot in price negotiations. If the buyer starts talking about fuel economies, powertrains, and drivability, an inexperienced seller can start to feel overwhelmed.

Well, we want to ensure you can hold your own at the negotiation table. Read the definitions, below, to some of the essential vocabulary of selling a car.


Concerning the performance of the vehicle, drivability is determined by how smooth and steady the car’s acceleration feels while driving. Essentially, this term refers to how easy a car is to drive.

Fuel economy

Measured in miles per gallon (MPG), fuel economy indicates how far a car can travel on a gallon of petrol or diesel. The higher the MPG, the further a vehicle can travel on a single tank of fuel.

Keyless entry

As the name suggests, you do not need to insert the key into the door of any car with keyless entry. Instead, the vehicle will automatically unlock when the fob is nearby.


Encompassing the engine, transmission, driveshaft, axles, and differential, the powertrain is the group of components that generate power on the road. 


A unit of measurement that indicates the power of a vehicle’s engine. The higher the horsepower, the faster a car can travel at top speed.


Short for Vehicle Identification Number, the VIN is 17 digits long and can be found on your vehicle registration certificate, and often on the car itself. This number sets each car apart as unique.


Now you know how to maximise the value of your old car, it’s time to start thinking about your next motor. Browse our range of new and used cars on the Bristol Street Motors website. 

Sell My Car


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How to Increase the Retail Value of my Car