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Used car sales ads

A properly worded advert is vital to your car selling endeavours. If you don't provide all the information a buyer needs then they are likely to look elsewhere. So, the key here is to give clear and concise information without overloading your advert with cliches and waffle.

Pricing is key

Working on your classified adWhen glancing though classified ads, they eye is initially drawn to the price. If it's too high, you're likely to lose people straight away. Take advantage of our pricing tool, and look around at similar cars for sale. How much are they being sold for? And are they in a similar condition?

Traditionally, the easiest and quickest way to sell your vehicle is part exchanging for a new car from a dealership. This will however yield you the worst price for your car. You can get an idea of what you'll get as a trade in value if you use our valuation tool, and check out the lower of the prices.

To really wring every penny out of your old motor you'll have to sell privately. This isn't as simple or quick as selling to a dealer, but you should easily sell for more. You shouldn't be aiming for prices similar to those you see on dealership forecourts, as these are bumped up significantly, as the dealer often includes warranties and extras that the private seller cannot. Plus they have their own costs to cover.

A reasonably priced car will sell most of the time. If you want a quicker sale, go for a slightly lower price. Check out the current marketplace and see what cars similar to yours are going for, and what types of cars aren't shifting. Time of the year also plays a part in selling a car; you're more likely to find a buyer for your soft-top convertible in the summer months than in the dead of winter!

When deciding on your asking price, it's good practise to add a 'buffer' to it to accommodate for hagglers. Should a buyer manage to knock a bit of money off your original asking price, they are likely to feel better about buying your car. Always have a minimum price in mind though, and don't part with your motor for any less than that.

Choose a spot for your adMake sure to be as accurate as possible in your advert, and don't hide anything. If the car is unroadworthy, or you're just selling it for parts, you must say so, otherwise you are opening yourself up for all sorts of legal trouble. Stay honest and you'll be fine.

Keep an eye on the language you use in your advert, and avoid any words or phrases that be exaggerations or hyperbole. If you say the vehicle is in very good condition, then you should make sure it is. Deliberately misleading a potential buyer is a great way to end up in court. Try to avoid sounding like a salesperson and using words like 'amazing', 'cheap', and 'must see'. These are more likely to put buyers off rather than pulling them in.

Your advert should however say as much about the vehicle as possible, so make sure to include all the important details; as well as the usual make, model and trim/edition, you should include the car's registration and year, it's engine capacity, how long there is left on the MOT, and of course the price you are asking. You should include the location of you and your vehicle as well as full contact details.

Many classified ad sites or magazines charge for each word in the advert. To keep the number of words used down, there are a number of common abbreviations used that can cut down your expenditure. Here are the most used abbreviations:

ONO - Or near offer. Useful to signify you are flexible with the price
FSH - Full service history. The more documentation you have for the car, the more interest you'll get from buyers.
VGC - Very good condition. Remember to only use this if the vehicle is indeed in very good condition!
ABS - Anti-lock brakes.
MAN - Manual gearbox.
AUTO - Automatic gearbox.
4WD/4X4 - Four-wheel drive.

You can use other abbreviations, but make sure they are widely used. If you're not sure what an abbreviation means, certainly don't use it.

Be polite

If you're advert is good enough, you should be getting many calls and emails enquiring about it. Always be polite and courteous on the phone, and keep some details to hand so you can easily answer questions without having to go digging out your paperwork and wasting the buyer's time. When accommodating potential buyers by letting them view the vehicle, keep them outside unless you want to draw up paperwork, and have a friend or member of your family around at the time too, for your security.

Keep to the facts when writing your classified ad, and stay honest. If your car isn't in a good condition, and you say otherwise, you are just wasting your and the buyers time. Stick to less than 30 words for a print advert, but you can go up to 60-odd for online ads.

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