How To Sell Your Car Privately For The Maximum Price

On The Road To Heaven In The Ferrari California T
Janelle Gonzalez

Motoring Expert

Oct 15, 2020

So here’s a checklist on how to sell a car privately that gives you the tools for a quicker, easier sale… at the maximum price. 

1. Know what it’s worth with a REVS Check

A REVS check helps compare your car with similar cars on the market and recent sales. It will show you where your car sits on a price scale as well as information on any current finance on the vehicle, whether it has ever been stolen and any insurance claims. A buyer is likely to request a REVS check or conduct their own anyway. If your car presents well, it’s worth using it as a sales tool when potential buyers first call.                                               

2. Determine your asking price

You can go one step further than your REVS check and find comparable cars currently for sale in your area. The less common your car and the more remote your location, the more likely you’ll have to drop your asking price to get a sale. Check out comparable cars for both the asking price and how long they’ve been on the market. If they’ve been on the market for more than a few weeks, you know there is not enough interest at that price, so you will need to ensure your car is either cheaper, or stands out in terms of features, condition or kilometres.

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3. Maximise your car’s value

  • Replace worn tyres
  • Fix any scratches or dings
  • Do a maintenance onceover
  • Clean out and detail your car
  • Ensure your services are up to date
  • Perform any known repairs

The exception: Sometimes if the costs to fix aspects of your car outweigh what your car is actually worth, you’re better off dropping your asking price and taking whatever you can.

4. Roadworthy certificate

Also called a “vehicle inspection report”, these days, most buyers request one and it’s a great selling tool.

5. List your car online may be the most expensive site but it’s also the largest in Australia, which means you get maximum exposure.

As you make your listing, don’t forget that this is where you get to show your car off. It will be competing with loads of others so you need great photos and to highlight the selling points.    

6. Put a sign on your car

Despite the popularity of online sales, the good old “FOR SALE” sign still works a treat. Sites such as even provide window stickers for this.

Hint: add your phone number and asking price.


7. Get your paperwork ready

When you have a buyer ready to go you’ll need the following items at the ready:

  • Registration papers
  • The logbook
  • Owner’s manual
    All keys: ignition, glove box, boot and alarm
  • Radio security number (if applicable – found in owner’s manual)
    Instructions for working and deactivating any alarm (if applicable – found in owner’s manual)

8. Be ready for the questions

Once you’ve placed your ad you’ll hopefully get some calls and they’re going to be asking you all kinds of questions. Be prepared for questions like…

  • How many kilometres?
  • How many owners?
  • How many accidents and what was the extent of the damage?
  • What added extras does it have?
  • When does the registration expire?
  • Are there any dents or scratches?
  • Is the price negotiable? (Try not to pull out your final price until the buyer has seen the car)
  • What is your reason for selling?

9. The inspection and test drive

When someone shows up to inspect and test drive the car, it’s the moment of truth. Whatever happens in that 30 minutes or so could mean the difference between a sale or no sale, or negotiating the price you want. Therefore:

  • Ensure the car is clean
  • Have a wingman – many buyers will bring a second person with them, try make sure you’re not outnumbered
  • Know your selling points
  • Obtain a copy of the viewers driver’s license or write the details down before they take your car for a road test
  • Ensure someone you trust accompanies the buyer on the road test
  • Check that test drives are covered by your insurance
  • Have your paperwork ready for them to view

10. Negotiating the final price

It’s not uncommon for many people to ‘test’ an offer and start with something much lower than you would expect. Be prepared to again highlight the key selling points of the car and stick to your lowest final price.

11. Finalise the sale – paperwork

Once all payments are made it’s time to hand over your precious car along with its paperwork. The buyer will then need to transfer the car into their name within 14 days at their local motor registry.

For more tips and tricks on anything auto related, check out the Blue Toro Blog.


By Janelle Gonzalez

Motoring Expert

Corporate escapee and mechanic’s wife Janelle Gonzalez has spent the last 24 years in garages, pit lanes and on road trips. Living a double life - corporate by weekday, trackside on the weekends - she shares her husband’s passion for cars. She has now turned her skills to building Australia’s first national mobile mechanic franchise. Her mission is to help Australians trust mechanics by educating car owners and returning to good old fashioned service values, while changing the lives of mechanics and their families.



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