Sell your used car to a private buyer

This article offers advice on how to sell your used car to a private buyer with a particular focus on what questions to ask the buyer and what safety precautions to take to avoid physical harm or being scammed.

Use Cars.co.za to sell your used car

Providing that you have adequately researched and prepared your car for sale, your next move should be to advertise your used car for sale on Cars.co.za. Cars.co.za is a premier car website in South Africa that attracts a large South African audience, giving you access to more than 250 000 potential buyers every month. Follow the 3 easy steps and load your used car for sale on Cars.co.za today.
  • Click on the Sell Car' button on the menu bar,
  • Step 1: Fill in your personal details,
  • Step 2: Fill in the vehicle's details,
  • Step 3: Select your preferred advertising package,
  • Payment can be made with a Credit Card or EFT,
  • Once payment has been received, your advert will be screened for quality purposes and your advert will appear on Cars.co.za within hours,
  • If you require further assistance with your advert, please email ad@cars.co.za or contact 011 614 5612.
Once your used car has been advertised on Cars.co.za, you can expect to receive telephone calls or e-mails from potential buyers who may want to arrange a time and place to view your used car for sale. As the seller of your used car, you should try and obtain as much information as possible about the potential buyer. This will help you determine if the buyer is serious about buying your used car or if the buyer has ulterior motives.

What questions should you ask the buyer?

The questions to ask the buyer offered here only serve as a guideline, you may think of your own questions to suit your specific needs. Some questions are better asked before meeting the buyer, while other questions may have to be asked when meeting with the buyer in person. Here are some questions you can ask the buyer, General Questions
  • What is your name?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your landline telephone number?
  • What car are you looking for?
  • Have you looked at any other cars?
  • Where did you hear about my car?
  • Who is the car for?
Meeting Arrangements
  • Would you like to arrange a time and place to view the car?
  • When would you like to view the car?
  • Where would you like to meet to view the car?
  • Do you want to test drive the car?
  • Do you have a valid drivers licence and insurance to test drive the car?
  • Do you want to have the car inspected by a mechanic?
When Meeting the Buyer
  • Do you like the car?
  • Do you want to buy the car?
  • How do you plan on paying for the car?
  • Would like to put down a deposit to secure the car?
  • When do you want to collect the car?
*Tip: Only accept cash or electronic bank transfers. Be weary of cheques and only release the car once you have received the full amount of money for the car.

What precautions should you take when meeting with the buyer?

Personal safety and avoiding car scams is of paramount importance when meeting with a potential buyer. For your own safety, consider the following safety precautions, Personal Safety when meeting the buyer
  • Meet the buyer in a public place. Never meet in quiet or deserted locations,
  • Have a friend or family member accompany you when meeting with the buyer and when on the test drive,
  • Let other people know when and where you are meeting the buyer,
  • Ask the buyer for a driving licence, this will allow you confirm that the buyer is the person you have been communicating with, but will also ensure that they are legally able to test drive your used car.
How to avoid car scams
  • Avoid buyers who want to purchase your used car from overseas,
  • Avoid being distracted and watch your car keys at all times during the test drive. Some buyers, posing as thieves, could do a key swap and return later to steal your car,
  • Never let a potential buyer test drive your car alone because they may never come back,
  • If you accept a cheque as payment for your used car, make sure that the cheque clears before you release the car. Never release your car until the full amount of money is visible in your bank account,
  • If you suspect fraud, or are a victim of a car scam, contact your nearest Police station immediately.

What documents do you need when selling your used car?

When selling your used car to a private buyer, it's important to have the necessary paperwork ready before meeting with the potential buyer. Make sure you have the following documents ready to handover to the buyer of your used car, Service History Book A comprehensive service history book and any other receipts regarding the maintenance of your used car are valuable to the buyer because it proves that your used car has been serviced and maintained properly. A wise car buyer won't purchase a used car without comprehensive service history records. Registration Documents Make sure that you give the buyer the original vehicle registration document. You will also need to obtain form NCO (Notification of Change of Ownership) and fill in the relevant seller information. Make sure that the buyer understands that he/she has 21 days to notify the relevant registration authorities of change of ownership. Receipt Once all monies have been exchanged, you may write out a receipt or sellers contract to conclude the sale. Make sure you create two copies, for yourself and the buyer. Include the vehicle's details such as make, model, year, mileage, registration number and VIN number. Make sure that the date and sale amount is also included. Stipulate that the car was sold as is, and include any other extra information relating to the sale. The seller and buyer's name must appear on the receipt and both parties must sign the documents as proof of sale. Also have a witness sign the documents in case any issues arise in the future. Summary Selling your car privately can be a rewarding experience if you know what to ask potential buyers. Be aware of your surroundings when meeting with potential buyers and take the necessary precautions to avoid being scammed. Remember, Cars.co.za, the simple way to buy and sell cars.

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