Home Wheel Talk How to sell my car?

How to sell my car?

By carbar on the June 28, 2023

9 minutes

Are you looking to sell your car in Australia? With a thriving used car market and many eager buyers, now is the perfect time to cash...

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Are you looking to sell your car in Australia? With a thriving used car market and many eager buyers, now is the perfect time to cash in on your vehicle, but you need to do it correctly.

Recent statistics suggest that Australia's used car sales have steadily risen, with over 3 million pre-owned vehicles sold in the past year alone. These figures demonstrate the robust demand for used cars in the country, presenting an excellent opportunity to fetch a competitive price for your beloved set of wheels.

Whether it's a sleek sedan, a spacious SUV, or a sporty hatchback, a buyer out there is searching for the exact car you're ready to part with. However, you must know how to capitalise on the flourishing market to enjoy a seamless and profitable selling experience.

In this article, we’ll examine how best to sell your car, helping you land a financially lucrative deal with no compromises.

How to sell my car in Australia - carbar versus conventional methods

As you’d imagine, there are quite a few ways to sell your car; how you choose to sell depends on where you are and what you feel comfortable doing. However, each method has its pros and cons that you should be aware of before proceeding.

Private sale via carbar

Carbar is a car-buying business meant to make selling your vehicle quick, simple, and fair. Vehicle owners who want to sell can post photos of their vehicle, write up a description including the original mileage on the odometer, and post it to the platform. Sellers may also need to answer any questions associated with their vehicle. 

Carbar then gets in touch to arrange an inspection of the vehicle. After the inspection, an offer is made, and the vehicle is sold if accepted. The seller can then drop off the vehicle at any of the service centres in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. A pickup of the vehicle can also be scheduled.

Pros and cons

Hassle-free: one of the best things about selling the vehicle to carbar is that it's hassle-free. This means that sellers don’t need to do much more than get in touch with the company to sell the car online.Carbar may not buy all vehicles: The company may choose not to buy some vehicles for several reasons.
Financially fair: Unlike some of the other methods we’ll discuss below, carbar makes an offer based on the vehicle's market rate. This is unlike selling to a used car dealer which tends to make a lower-than-market-rate offer.
Done from the comfort of your home: There’s no need to visit a dealership or go out to an auction house to get the vehicle sold. Everything can be done entirely online with the utmost transparency right down to filling out the vehicle transfer form.
Privacy: The company keeps all seller information private. Unlike selling your vehicle via classified ads, your phone number, name, and address are not part of a marketer’s database.

Online classifieds and marketplaces

Platforms like Carsales, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace are widely used for selling cars. They allow you to create detailed and honest descriptions along with photos and contact information. Potential buyers can browse through the listings and contact you directly.

Exploring the benefits and drawbacks

Wide reach: Online platforms have a large user base, allowing you to reach a broad audience, increasing the chances of finding a suitable buyer quickly.Competition and saturation: Online classifieds and marketplaces are highly competitive, with numerous listings competing for attention.
Cost-effective: Listing your car on online classifieds and marketplaces is often free or requires a minimal fee compared to other methods.Dealing with inquiries and potential scams: While most buyers are genuine, there is a possibility of encountering time-wasters and scammers.
Control over the selling process: Selling online puts you in direct control of the entire process.Managing inspections and test drives: Organising inspections and test drives with potential buyers can be time-consuming and require coordination.
Transparency and information sharing: These platforms typically allow you to provide extensive information about your car, including photos, descriptions, service history, and any additional features. Therefore, it helps potential buyers make informed decisions, reducing time-consuming inquiries.Privacy and security concerns: Sharing your contact information online may lead to unsolicited calls and messages.
Direct communication: Online platforms facilitate direct communication between buyers and sellers, leading to a more efficient and streamlined selling experience.Negotiations and pricing challenges: Determining the right selling price and negotiating with potential buyers can be challenging.

Car dealer

Some people opt to sell their cars to car dealerships. Dealerships may offer trade-in options or purchase your car outright. While this method may provide convenience, the trade-off is that you receive a lower price than selling directly to a private buyer.

Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages

Pros Cons
Convenience and speed: Selling your car to a dealership can be a convenient and quick option.Potentially lower offers: Car dealerships are businesses aiming to make a profit, so their offers might be lower than what you could get if you sold the car privately.
Trade-in opportunities: Car dealerships often provide the option of trading in your current vehicle to purchase a new or used car from their inventory.Limited negotiation power: Dealerships often have predetermined pricing structures and profit margins, which may limit your ability to negotiate a higher price.
Expert Evaluation: Dealerships have experienced professionals who can assess your car's condition, value, and marketability.Less transparency: Unlike selling directly to a private buyer, where you can provide detailed information about your car and its history, dealerships may focus more on the overall condition and market value. Thus, there needs to be more transparency for buyers.
The trade-off between convenience and price: While selling to a dealership offers convenience, it often comes at the expense of a potentially lower sale price.


Participating in car auctions is another option. Auction houses or online platforms like Pickles Auctions and Manheim facilitate the sale of vehicles to the highest bidder. This method can be helpful if you're looking for a quick sale, but remember that the bidders determine the final price.

The upsides and downsides of car auctions

Competitive bidding: Car auctions can attract many potential buyers, and bidders may offer higher prices for your car.Fees and costs: Selling your car through an auction typically incurs various fees. Bear in mind that the expenses can reduce your overall profit.
Quick sale: Auctions provide a relatively quick way to sell your car.Uncertain sale price: While auctions can generate competitive bidding, there is also the risk of your car selling for a lower price.
Professional assistance: Auction houses usually have experienced staff who can guide you through the selling process.No control: Once your car is entered into an auction, you have no control over the final sale.
Wider reach: Auctions can attract a diverse range of prospective buyers, including dealerships, collectors, and private individuals, raising the odds of finding a buyer.Time and effort: Preparing your car for auction, including cleaning, detailing, and ensuring it is in good condition, requires time and effort.
Transparency: Auctions often have transparent bidding processes, ensuring that the highest bidder secures the sale.No guarantee of sale: There is no guarantee that your car will sell.

Word of mouth and referrals for private sale price

Many car sellers rely on their personal networks, often spreading the word among family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. This method can be effective as it allows you to reach potential buyers who may be looking for a car or know someone who is. However, what if you don’t have an extensive personal network?

Analysing the advantages and disadvantages of selling privately

Personal recommendations: Word of mouth relies on personal recommendations, which can help influence potential buyers.Limited reach: Relying solely on personal recommendations might restrict the number of potential buyers.
Cost-effective: Selling privately through word of mouth typically doesn't incur direct costs or fees.Uncertain timeframe: Selling a car through word of mouth may take longer compared to other methods listed in this article.
Targeted audience: When spreading the word about your car, you can reach those who are genuinely interested in purchasing one. This can increase the odds of getting the best price.Lack of expertise: If you're not experienced in selling vehicles, there may be challenges in providing accurate information or navigating the necessary paperwork.
Flexibility in negotiation: When selling through word of mouth, you can negotiate directly with potential buyers, allowing for more flexibility in discussing the price and other terms of the sale.Privacy concerns: When selling through word of mouth, personal information about your car and yourself may be shared among different individuals.

Car consignment services

Some individuals choose to enlist the help of car consignment services to sell their vehicles privately. These services take care of the entire selling process on your behalf. They handle advertising, inquiries, negotiations, and paperwork, usually for a fee or a commission on the sale price.

Considering the positives and negatives

Expertise and assistance: Car consignment services often have experienced professionals handling tasks such as advertising, pricing, negotiations, and paperwork, saving you time and effort.Costs and fees: Car consignment services usually charge a commission or fee for their services.
Convenience: Consignment services handle the entire selling process on your behalf.Lack of control: You may need more control over the selling process when using a consignment service.
Market knowledge: Consignment services have insights into market trends, pricing, and buyer preferences.Longer timeframe: Selling a car through consignment services may take longer than other methods.
Professional presentation: Consignment services often have the resources to prepare and present your car in its best possible condition.

What to keep in mind when selling your car?

While selling a car in Australia is relatively straightforward compared to some other countries, there are still a few things you will need to keep in mind. You will need to consider these factors even if you choose any one of the previously mentioned conventional routes for selling your vehicle:


Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation in order. This includes the vehicle's registration papers, service history, maintenance records, and other relevant documents. It's essential to provide accurate and up-to-date information to potential buyers.

Vehicle presentation

Presenting your car in its best possible condition can significantly impact its saleability. Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior. But before that, address any minor repairs or maintenance issues. If possible, get professional detailing. Then taking high-quality photos and writing a detailed description in your listing can also attract more potential buyers.

Safety inspections

Consider getting a pre-sale safety inspection conducted by a licensed mechanic. This can give potential buyers confidence and help avoid surprises during negotiations or after the sale.

Negotiation and payment

Be prepared for negotiations with potential buyers. Determine your lowest acceptable price beforehand and be open to reasonable offers. You will also want to establish clear payment terms, such as whether you prefer cash, bank transfer, or a bank-verified check.

Transfer of ownership

Once you have agreed on a price and terms with the buyer, ensure that the proper transfer of ownership is carried out. Complete the necessary paperwork, such as a transfer of registration form, and submit it to the relevant motor vehicle authority in your state or territory.

Warranty considerations

Understand your obligations regarding warranties, especially if your car is still covered by the manufacturer's or extended warranty. Make sure to learn more about the terms and conditions of the warranty in the event of a sale.

What to give the purchaser?

Once the sale goes through, you need to make sure that the purchaser is congratulated and given the following:

  • You will want to provide the purchaser with a receipt for the deposit and then for the remaining balance.
  • You and the purchaser should complete the transfer of the registration document and the notice of disposal document. The buyer retains the notice of disposal page, and the transfer of registration is handed over to the purchaser.
  • Copies of the vehicle’s warranty documents should also be handed over to the buyer. This is only relevant if the warranty applies to the dealer or manufacturer.
  • Ensure the new owner gets all the vehicle keys, the owner’s manual, and the service booklet. However, remove all personal information from the vehicle, like the e-tag.
  • Call your insurer and transfer the policy to the new car or cancel the existing one.
  • Complete your notice of disposal ASAP to ensure you aren’t liable to pay for any traffic infringements after the vehicle is sold. Visit the Service NSW Website to do this online.
  • If the vehicle is listed on the toll account, remove or replace it with a new vehicle.

Wrapping Up: Key Considerations for a Lucrative Car Selling Experience

If you're considering selling your car in Australia, it's essential to approach the process with care and knowledge to ensure a financially lucrative deal. With a thriving used car market and a multitude of eager buyers, now is the time to cash in on your vehicle. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can maximise your chances of securing a fair and satisfying transaction. Whether you choose to go through a trusted platform like carbar or navigate the sale independently, thorough preparation and informed decision-making will set you up for success in selling your car.

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