Happy couple looking at their new car from Cazoo

How to sell your car

Need to sell your old car before getting a new one? Our guide explains your options.

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By Cazoo editorial team

Typically, the first step to getting a new car is selling the old one. But what’s the best way to do that? What’s your old one worth? What paperwork is involved? Here, we answer those questions and more.

How do I find out the value of my car?

The first thing you need to know if you’re planning to sell your old car is how much it’s worth – especially if you want to use that money to help pay for your new car. You can check several websites to find the value of your car by entering its registration number and mileage. Different websites will probably give you different figures, but they should all be in the same ballpark.

You can get a valuation for your current car from Cazoo. We’ll give you an instant online car valuation that’s guaranteed for seven days and we won’t chip away at your offer.

What documents will I need to sell my car?

You need to make sure you’ve got all the relevant paperwork before you can sell your car. Ideally, this should include the car’s service book and handbook, MOT certificates, garage receipts and the V5C logbook. These documents can prove to the buyer that the car’s model, mileage and service history are genuine.

If you want to sell your car to Cazoo, you’ll need:

  1. A valid red V5C that matches your name, current address and the number plates 

  2. A valid photo driving licence or your passport

  3. Evidence of your car’s service history

  4. At least one set of car keys

  5. Any accessories or parts that came with the car

  6. Proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement, if you’re dropping off your car

Should I repair my car before selling it?

You should always be completely honest when describing the condition of your car to a prospective buyer. That includes whether it’s due for a service or if there are any faults that need repair. Ideally, you should get any servicing or repairs done before you sell your car. Doing so will help you get the best possible price, but be aware that the cost of the work may exceed the value that would be added to the car.

Even if no servicing or repairs are required, it still pays to make your car look as good as possible. Giving it a thorough cleaning is time and money well spent.

What happens to road tax when I sell my car?

Your car’s road tax (officially known as vehicle excise duty or VED) doesn’t transfer to its new keeper when you sell your car. When you send the car’s V5C to the DVLA, any remaining tax on the car will be cancelled and its new keeper becomes responsible for paying the tax.

If you’ve already paid the tax in full, you’ll get a refund for any remaining time and if you’re paying by direct debit the payments will stop automatically.

If you get a new car before the direct debit has stopped, you can’t transfer the debit to the new car – you have to set up another one.

Do have I to cancel the insurance when I sell my old car?

You’ll have to cancel or switch the insurance when you sell your car. Many people simply stay with their existing insurer when they get a new car, updating the policy to reflect the change. However, if you want to switch to a different insurer, you’ll need cancel your old policy.

If you sell your car before your policy expires you might have to pay a cancellation fee.
If you don’t intend to get a replacement car, then definitely cancel your insurance. Be aware that cancelling your insurance policy early could affect your no-claims discount.

Ways to sell your car

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at some of the ways you can go about selling your car.

Private sale

A private sale is when you advertise and sell your car through a classified advertisement on a website, in a newspaper or magazine, or in an online auction. You might get a higher price for your car than with other methods, but it can be a hassle. You have to take pictures of your car, write a description and upload everything to your chosen selling platform.

Once your advert is live, you have to field emails and calls from potential buyers and some of them might be more genuine than others. Meeting people who come to view and test drive the car can be a stressful experience, at the end of which they might not make an offer, or they may offer less than you want. The whole process can take a long time.

Some people prefer to sell privately to feel they have more control over the process. If this is the route you'd like to take, present your car as well as possible, take a lot of photos and write a detailed description that’s honest about its condition and includes details of any servicing/repairs. Set a realistic price, but expect a potential buyer to haggle!

Part exchange

Part exchanging means using the value of your old car as part of the payment for a new one. It’s only available through dealers who’ll put a value on your old car and then, if you accept, effectively buy it from you. Rather than give you the cash, they’ll deduct that value from the price of your new car. Read more about how part exchange works.

It’s easy to part exchange your car with Cazoo. We’ll give you a fair price for your old car and we always give you our best price. You can drop your car off at one of our Customer Centres when you pick up your new car, or we can take your old car away at the same time as we deliver your new car to your door.

Selling to a dealer or to a car-buying service

There is a middle ground between selling your old car privately and part exchanging it with a dealer – and that’s selling it directly to a dealer or to a car-buying service such as Cazoo.

Selling your car this way is quick and easy. Take it to a car dealer and it’ll be a case of negotiating a price, followed by some straightforward paperwork.

Using an online car-buying service can be even simpler. You enter your car’s registration number and a few details and you’ll get a valuation that you can choose to accept or not.

Selling your car is easy and haggle-free with Cazoo. If you’re looking for your next car, there are lots of high-quality used cars to choose from at Cazoo and you can now get a new or used car with a Cazoo subscription. Simply use the search function to find one you love then buy, finance or subscribe to it online. You can choose to have it delivered to your door, or you can collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

We're constantly updating and adding to our stock. If you want to buy a used car and you can't find the right one today, it’s easy to set up a stock alert to be the first to know when we have cars that match your needs.

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