Selling a vehicle through Auto Trader is no more risky than any other publication, but you do need to take sensible precautions:
- Meet a potential buyer on your terms not theirs at a place of your choice
- Get the buyer to provide a contact number – a cell number alone is not sufficient
- Do not take your registration papers with you
- Insist that the route for a test drive is yours. Get someone to follow you.
- If a deal doesn’t go through make sure the vehicle is secure at all times
- You must ensure funds have been cleared before releasing a vehicle. Rather risk losing the buyer than losing your vehicle
Getting Ready to Sell Your Vehicle
- Get your vehicles cleaned – a full valet is usually well worth the investment.
- Prepare the service history – even if you haven’t used the same company or done some of it yourself, be honest with a potential buyer.
- Make sure you are available once your ad starts to appear.
- Proof of ownership is your responsibility – have all necessary documentation ready, but only provide copies, not originals.
Writing your Advertisement
When describing your vehicle always state the features whether extras or standard. People buy a vehicle for many different reasons, so try to paint a word picture of value for money. Check through Auto Trader to help you define a fair price.
It is not unusual for someone to sell their vehicle on the first day of advertising in Auto Trader – make sure you are ready for the response. Buyers will call at any time. Try to be obliging, but do not give out unnecessary information until you are sure of the legitimacy of the caller. Agree on a time when there is more than one person in the house. Do not give unnecessary information over the phone. Get proof before you pay third parties offering you ready buyers in return for a fee. Auto Trader is not connected to them.
It is human nature for the prospective buyer to want to pay a lower price. Remember to keep the mood pleasant. Derogatory remarks to lure you into lowering the price should be taken lightheartedly. Be polite and take all offers seriously. Consider your first offer carefully – you may get a better one as the day / week progresses.
Viewing / Allowing a Test Drive
A test drive is a reasonable request. Decide when, where and how, only after having given it some thought. Viewers should come to you. For safety reasons it is not recommended that you go to them or meet them half way. Avoid seeing callers on your own. Keep hold of the keys at all times and when allowing a test drive, make sure you are in the vehicle (preferably with a friend) and the person driving the vehicle is insured and has a valid driver’s license. Make sure the vehicle is fully insured until the sale is complete.
Show Receipts, Bills and Service History
A lease is an agreement between a buyer and a financial institution. It may not be transferred and any existing lease must be settled in full prior to a vehicle being transferred to another party. A service history and receipts for any recent parts will show the vehicle has been cared for. Vehicles without a vehicle identification number (VIN) and/or engine number may be virtually unusable. Also remember the onus is on you, the seller, to inform the licensing authorities when you have sold your vehicle.
Always ask for cash first. A deposit followed by a bank guaranteed cheque is the next thing. A deposit slip from the purchaser does not necessarily mean that the payment has been cleared by the bank or that the amount stated on the slip matches the amount claimed to be deposited. We suggest you go to the bank with the purchaser to make the deposit.
When accepting cheques from the purchaser it also makes good sense to arrange a special clearance with your bank. This can only be done at the time of the deposit – it can not be done afterwards. Cheques drawn on banks in Lesotho and Swaziland should be treated with caution. If in doubt, speak to your bank manager up front to seek advice. Do not release you vehicle until you are certain you have full payment.
- Do not accept faxed copies of deposit slips.
- Check the authenticity of bank deposits with your bank.
- Request your bank to confirm this in writing.
” If accepting a bank cheque, check with the bank concerned that the cheque isn’t stolen. ‘Sufficient Funds’ means nothing if the cheque has been stolen.