Sell my car to Arnold Clark: review and 4 tips to get the best price
Thinking of selling your car to Arnold Clark? Our independent review has all the information you need, including how to get the best price for your motor.
‘Should I sell my car to Arnold Clark?’ is one of the most common questions we’re asked by readers.
They are certainly one of the best-known car-buying sites out there, but are they the best option when selling your car online?
If you’re looking to sell your motor quickly and easily, the reality is you’re spoiled for choice these days.
One of the main plus points of selling your car to Arnold Clark is that they are completely fee-free, unlike some of their rivals like Webuyanycar and Cazoo.
However, they don’t offer a collection service, whereas some of their competitors will pick your car up right from your home (or wherever you’d like).
So you need to think carefully about what’s important to you before choosing to sell your car to Arnold Clark.
To help you make an informed decision, our independent review will run through everything you need to know about how Arnold Clark works, including what you can do to get the best possible price.
Sell my car to Arnold Clark: how it works
Arnold Clark is a car dealership with around 200 branches in England and Wales, but you can start the process of selling through them online.
On the Arnold Clark website, you just need to enter your registration plate number and the mileage for your car.
Based on this info, Arnold Clark will provide you with an initial offer.
It’s worth pointing out that this opening offer is just that ‒ an initial ballpark figure, to give you an idea of what your car might be worth.
Value my car: will I get the quoted price if I sell my car to Arnold Clark?
Arnold Clarks says that 95% of customers will get the price they are quoted in their online valuation.
The car buyer also estimates that, on average, the final price offer comes to around 3% lower than the typical price offered online.
That should leave you feeling confident the online valuation will be pretty accurate, but there’s always a risk that Arnold Clark will knock down your initial quoted price because it has made a host of assumptions about your motor.
Here are the main assumptions they’ll make – if you don’t meet these criteria, you can expect your final offer to be lower than your initial quoted price:
- Number of previous owners;
- Having a full service history;
- Having upwards of 30 days left on the MOT;
- That the car is not an import;
- That the car is not an insurance total loss;
- That you have at least two keys;
- The car does not have a personalised registration plate;
- The car has not ever been used as a private hire, driving tuition, police or emergency services vehicle;
- You are the registered owner and keeper of the vehicle.
Arnold Clark will also make certain assumptions about the condition of the car.
Again, if you don’t meet all of these, you can expect Arnold Clark to knock down your initial online valuation:
- The bodywork is free from “imperfections”;
- All tyres have at least 3mm tread;
- All of the wheels are in good condition;
- The interior and glass are also free from imperfections and damage;
- All mechanical and electrical parts are fully functional.
How to avoid Arnold Clark lowering their valuation
You can proceed with the sale based solely on the initial valuation.
However, as we outlined earlier, there is the risk that once an Arnold Clark representative gives the car the once over they will offer a reduced amount.
One way to lower that risk is to take this opportunity to go for a ‘full valuation’, which means answering a host of questions that cover those assumptions above.
By clarifying things like whether there are any issues with the glasswork, whether you have two sets of keys, and how much of a service history the car has, it means that Arnold Clark is in a more informed position to give you an accurate quote.
Answering the additional questions involved in an Arnold Clark full valuation aren’t a huge time sink on your part either, with the firm reckoning it should only take another three minutes.
Spending that time now is probably a better idea than setting yourself up for disappointment down the line, if you know that there are certain issues with the vehicle that will impact what Arnold Clark is likely to be willing to pay for it.
What’s more, it’ll give you a more accurate offer that you can then compare against offers from rival sites – something that Sell My Car Guide strongly recommend if you want to get the best price – and if it is still the best offer you can be confident you’re selling your car to the site that pays the best price.
How do I get the best price when I sell my car to Arnold Clark?
It’s ultimately up to Arnold Clark to decide how much they are willing to pay for your car, but we do have a handful of tips that should get you a better price when selling your car to Arnold Clark.
- 1. Fix minor faults, scrapes and issues
If there are minor issues that will result in you getting a lower price than can be cheaply and easily fixed, take the time to do so.
For example, you can use touch-up paint to cover up any scratches on the bodywork, or replace a wiper blade that’s seen better days.
- 2. Sell at the start of the year rather than the end
Demand for cars isn’t static.
It’s generally far higher in the first few months of the year.
If you have the luxury of being flexible about when you sell your car, selling your car in the first three months of the year could get you a higher price from Arnold Clark.
- 3. …but don’t let your car turn another year older
There is one huge caveat to the above tip on waiting until January: if your car’s birthday is coming up, then consider selling before that date.
This is especially true if your car is about to turn five years old.
- 4. Make sure you bring all your documents
When it comes time to bring your car in for its inspection, make sure you have all your documents handy to avoid any delays or potentially having the price knocked down.
Arnold Clark ask that you bring your V5 document, your driving licence or passport, proof of address within the last six months, MOT history and your car’s handbook.
Also, remember any miscellaneous items like the locking wheel nut and any spare keys (making sure any batteries within the set still work).
On that last point, if you’re unsure how to replace a battery there are loads of youtube videos available online if you just do a search for your specific car make and ‘fob battery change’ you’ll no doubt find what you’re after.
Two car keys side by side (Image: RJA1988 from Pixabay)
What fees will I pay if I sell my car to Arnold Clark?
A nice plus point if you sell your car to Arnold Clark is that they don’t charge you a fee for doing so (unlike rivals Webuyanycar and Wewantanycar).
It means that you keep the entirety of what they offer.
Arnold Clark alternatives: who will pay the best price for my car?
It’s worth bearing in mind that Arnold Clark plan to sell your car on afterwards for a profit.
As a result, they’re going to offer you a slightly lower price than it thinks it will be able to fetch.
So if all that matters to you is getting the absolute best price, you should consider selling your car directly to another buyer yourself.
You can do this by listing your car on one of the following sites and managing the sale process yourself:
Options if you want to list and sell your car yourself
Auto Trader (make sure you read our Auto Trader review first)
If, however, you’re wedded to the idea of offloading your car quickly and easily, we still strongly recommend you get a valuation from a few rival sites to get a better idea of how competitive Arnold Clark’s offer is.
As we highlight in our price comparison between the various car-buying sites, no single company will always offer the best price.
And given that the difference between the best and worst quote for the same car can run into the thousands of pounds, it really is worth your while to spend 20-30 minutes shopping around before deciding who to sell to.
To save you a little time, we’ve rounded up all the best Arnold Clark alternatives below, along with our review of each:
Options if you want to sell your car quickly & easily
How and when will I get paid if I sell my car to Arnold Clark?
Obviously, you won’t be paid in cash when selling to Arnold Clark as a result of money laundering rules.
Instead, all payments are made by electronic transfer, and you should have the money in your account within three business days.
Need your funds even faster? Find out which car-buying sites pay out the fastest here.
Will Arnold Clark collect my car from home?
No, Arnold Clark has no collection service, so you’ll have to drive your car to your nearest inspection centre and make arrangements for a lift home should you decide to sell it.