Get the best price when selling my car: 6 questions to ask before choosing a car-buying site
Which site will pay you the best price for you car? Will there be any fees? Will they collect it from your home? Sell My Car Guide has all the answers right here.
‘How can I get the best price when selling my car?’
The first thing you need to do is get quotes from a bunch of different car-buying sites.
There are loads of different options out there, and they all work in different ways.
For starters, some charge fees while others don’t.
Some will come and collect your car right from your home, while some expect you to drive to one of their branches (which could be many miles away).
If it all sounds a little confusing, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
We’ll run through six of the most common questions most people want answered when selling to a car-buying site to help you decide which is best for you.
Which site will pay me the best price when selling my car?
The short answer is this: no car-buying site can guarantee the highest price for every motor.
We rounded up a bunch of quotes for the UK’s most popular cars from all of the major sites to see how their offers compared.
While some sites certainly seemed to offer more generous sums, no site was always the best.
That means if you are serious about getting the best price when selling your car online then you need to set aside some time to get quotes from all the major players.
If you don’t, you risk losing out on thousands of pounds if you don’t shop around.
When we compared offers, we found a whopping £4,900 difference between the best and worst quote for the exact same car!
Thankfully, it doesn’t take too long – you can probably get quotes from all the biggest players in under 30 minutes.
To save you a little time, we’ve rounded up the six main sites below.
The first link will take you to our detailed review of each site, while the second will take you straight to their online quote page.
Will I have to pay any fees I sell my car?
Some sites will charge you a fee (or perhaps even fees), but there are completely fee-free options out there.
We’ll explain a little more about the charges to look out for next, but if you’re short on time here’s a table rounding up the fee situation at the various car-buying sites.
|Car-buying site||Admin fee||Home collection fee|
The three main charges you’ll come across are admin/transaction fees, collection charges and fees for fast payment.
The fees aren’t massive – likely between £25 and £150 – but, on low-value cars in particular, they can have a big enough impact on the final sum you’re offered.
So make sure you factor these in when comparing rival offers.
Which car-buying site pays out the fastest?
If getting paid quickly is all that matters to you, then Carbaba is probably your best bet as they pay you in advance of picking up your vehicle.
However, there’s not a lot in it: all but one of the major firms can pay you by the next day (although some charge a fee for doing so) and, remember, you risk losing out on £1,000s if you don’t shop around for the best offer.
The table below has all the info you’ll need on payment times.
|Car-buyer||How long for standard payment?||Can I pay for faster payment?|
|Arnold Clark||Within 3 days||N/A|
|Carbaba||Same day price is agreed||N/A|
|Cazoo||Same day of handing over car (within 2 hrs)||N/A|
|Money4yourmotors||Same day of inspection||N/A|
|Motorway||Usually same day of vehicle collection||N/A|
|Webuyanycar||Up to 4 working days of sale||£24.75 for next day / £29.75 for same day|
|Wewantanycar||Same day of inspection||N/A|
What paperwork will I need to provide when I sell my car?
You’ll need to hand over a bunch of different documents when it comes time to hand over your motor.
- The V5C vehicle registration document;
- MOT certificate;
- The service record book and car handbook
- If your car is on finance, you’ll need authority from the finance company confirming the final settlement figure.
You’ll also need to prove your own identity, which you can do through photo ID ‒ think of things like your driving licence or passport ‒ as well as proof of address, such as through a utility bill or bank statement.
The address must match the address that appears on the V5C registration document.
Will they collect my car or will I have to drop it off?
That really depends on who you sell to in the end.
Some, like Carwow and Motorway, offer a free collection service.
Cazoo will charge you at least £149 for a home pickup, while Webuyanycar and Arnold Clark require you to drop it off at one of their branches.
The table below provides a brief summary of all various collection/drop-off policies. If you want to know more about a specific company’s policy, we’ve rounded up who offers collection and who doesn’t in this guide.
|Car-buying site||Do they collect?||What's the charge?|
Will car-buying sites pay for scrap cars or cars with outstanding finance?
Some sites will buy absolutely anything while others have no interest in anything other than roadworthy cars that are owned outright.
Click on the article below that best applies to your situation to learn more about your options: