As the demand gets higher day by day with the interest among the public growing rapidly over classic cars, one might think it is a piece of cake selling your old wheels. But … you should know the walk in the park is not quite smooth as you expect, since there are several things you should put into your head before stepping in.

Without any argument, there is a market for every used car, where the stats indicate that an excess of GBP 5.5 billion a year for the UK economy is generated through the classic car industry.

Old cars can be repainted but they still keep moving in the same old ruts.” 

– Mongo Beti –

You are being a newcomer to the industry, it might seem a bit puzzling and frightening when you don’t know where to begin. Don’t worry, sit back and relax, we are here for you. Our discussion today will definitely shed some light over those dark patches inside your mind and educate you on how to get into the business.

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First thing before stripping down all the clothes and sprinting towards the blue waters, our advice is that you should do some research. Getting to know about the market before putting up a price tag is always a better idea which will be easy for you to generate a positive attention towards your sale and get leads.

Either by checking online or through other sources get an idea how much a vehicle similar to the condition you have worth in the market. Checking where other sellers list their vehicles is the next important thing when it comes to getting the best price desired.


So, let’s start with the first thing first; Get to know how worth your vehicle can be according to the current condition it’s in.

Though browsing through the internet will get you an idea about the current market value, we recommend that it would be better if you consult an expert when it comes to valuation of your vehicle. Because rather than following the majority and putting up a price tag for your oldie, the best thing for a novice is to follow an expert’s opinion and who knows, you might get to know many things you didn’t even know about your vehicle before.

Most classic car clubs have many such experts working with them and if you’re already a member, a lucky chap you are, even your fellow members can provide more insights of your vehicle than you already knew. You might even get leads for your sale through your club.

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There are also several auction houses, dealers and many websites available in providing appraisals for vehicles where they charge a small fee for the service and additionally, they might also lead you to potential genuine buyers through their networks. 

It is very important to be educative of what you have when stepping into the market since not all are genuine, and the waters are filled with sharks of scam and fraud.

Selling Method

Once you get an idea of how worth your vehicle can be as to its current condition, the next thing down the line is to find out how you can sell it or what would be the best way to sell it.

Either selling it personally, incorporating it with an auction or selling it to a specialized dealer are the routes ahead of you which you can choose to go down with as per your expectations. However, each of these routes include their own pros and cons which you must consider before you start navigating through one.

  • Private sale

Considered one of the most time-consuming methods, selling a vehicle personally sometimes can be quite a financially worthy route you can go down, since it is you who governs the sale.

Most importantly, you should make sure you advertise your vehicle clearly with quality photographs, accurate details of the vehicle and to be clear with your expectations with the sale.

Having insert quality photographs showing all of your vehicle clearly including interior, exterior, engine bay and undercarriage, will give a clear idea for a potential buyer where it might save some time for you in explaining the condition of your vehicle. Moreover make sure you insert photos of any flaws and rust spots if you have any. A proper detailing consists of clear and accurate information along with the photos will give you a boost in leads which will also be a time saver and can make the sale quicker.

Make sure you display a clean and tidy vehicle when buyers visit for inspections, as a dirty and a messy vehicle might take a huge troll on your sale.

Furthermore, it is important to provide any available spare parts (if you wish to give them away with the vehicle) and paperwork including original manuals, vehicle’s history reports and sales slips if available so that it is easy to prove what you wanted to tell them about your vehicle and close the deal without any fuss.

If you wish to leave a space for any bargain, you can set the price a bit higher so in the end you might get what you need from the sale. However, make sure you do not set the price too high as it can scare away the potential buyers from even contacting you.

Main benefits through a private sale are that you can usually get the expected value or at least much closer to it and since there are no third parties involved, there will be no to or fro-ing included with the sale.

While getting some selling experience yourself, another exciting benefit through a private sale is that sometimes you will receive exchange offers. If the intention is to upgrade your classic wheels to another ride you’re having in your dreams, this is the perfect offer for you without any trouble. These offers come with either fully trade or sometimes a partial trade where you might get additional cash along with another ride replacing your own or the other way around.

Having decided to sell your vehicle as a private seller, you should consider where you will list your vehicle, where it’s an online auction sale, classified ads in a newspaper or in a magazine, social media groups specialized in selling classic cars or in an online classified car sale.

The method being branded time consuming, is because you have to do all the things by yourself. Starting from taking photos, preparing exact description and listing for the advertisements, arranging views and regular cleaning of the vehicle when buyers arrive and the most hated part of the method, dealing with potential time wasters and tyre kickers where most of the people get second thoughts on changing the selling method to another.

We recommend that if you are someone who wishes to clear away your parking space quickly, better you look for a different method rather than selling your vehicle personally.

  • Sale through an auction

Rather a hassle-free method for a quick sale, incorporating with an auction to sell your vehicle will take most of the burden off from your shoulders.

Unpredictability in auction houses can be either exhilarating or frightening, as sometimes you end up disappointed for the sale being quite cheaper than you expected due to no interesting buyers inside. But, if the situation is exciting and bids are going crazy, you will become the luckiest person in the room.  

However, except for the risk, there is also a catch with an auctioning as you are subject to pay an auction fee which is a thing you must check before you enter. Also, in case of a no-sale, it might take more time to get your vehicle back into the auction and sometimes having to negotiate a price with the highest bidder.

With all the risks involved, considering thoroughly before going down this route will save you from all the troubles later.

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  • Selling the vehicle to a specialized dealer

Going with a specialized dealer would be the best option for you if you have a popular type vehicle with a fan following. The dealer will make sure that your vehicle ends up with someone who loves it and cares for it.

With a variety of customer base and contact list, these dealers are always quite interested in looking at what you have to offer. For their long lists of customers who are having a wide range of interests, these dealers might not bother whether your vehicle is a modern or a vintage and if it is a barn find or a mint condition.

Similar to private sale, sometimes you might get unexpected offers for an exchange or a part trade through these dealers where some of them offer finance options for these. Not having to deal with time wasters and any other trouble including the sale, joining up with a specialist dealer for selling your vehicle might be the ideal way if you wish the sale to be quick and easy.

Nevertheless, this technique also contains some cons, which you should be aware of before jumping in.

Commonly, these dealers look to buy vehicles at a wholesale rate where they seek enough space for a profit for them, where you end up not always getting the market value as expected. Further, some dealers are quite selective when it comes to classic cars where they sometimes do not want a vehicle under certain conditions since it might take them to put more work into the project to make it sellable. Same with the vehicles with higher mileage where they would not offer the same as you would like. 

So, it’s all for today and we hope the article provides you with several tips which would come in handy with your sales experience and make it fuss-free and quick. 

We wish you good luck with your sale and hope that your sale goes smoothly and you end up getting what you expect.

See you mate !!!

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