autoDNA advises
How to safely sell a car

How to safely sell a car?

9 January 2023

If you’re planning to sell a second-hand car, there are a few ways to do it. The easiest way is to send it to a used car lot, but then the price obtained might not be satisfactory. The most profitable solution is a transaction with a private person. How to safely sell a car?


Prepare the car for sale

Although you’re sure that your car is absolutely worth its price, the buyer might not so sure about that. All the more so because the unfair practices connected to selling vehicles are still encountered on a daily basis. So, your job is to thoroughly describe and present the car data and put the offer in the right place. Photos are an essential part, too. However, first of all, you need to prepare the car for presentation to a potential buyer. How to do it?

Selling a car requires some effort. It’s not enough to announce the urge to get rid of a car and show it to the interested people. It’s necessary to follow certain steps. It’s no surprise that neatness is the most important aspect for potential buyers. Even a car in the best technical condition won’t impress them if it’s dirty and neglected. So, you should first pay attention to this matter. Where to start?



Visit a carwash

It’s a must. Presenting a dirty car to the interested people might be perceived as a lack of manners, and it gives an impression of you as an owner who doesn’t take care of their car. The potential buyer might assume that if you haven’t done even the most basic hygiene activities, then you probably have also neglected the technical aspect of the car. Besides, the car simply looks better when it’s clean.


Neat interior

It’s also an important thing to pay attention to. Clean the upholstery and make sure that the interior smells pleasant. Check if there is no trash e.g. in the glove box. If some elements (e.g. pedal caps or floor mats) are heavily worn out, replace them with new ones. By spending several dozen zloty you can increase the chance of a profitable transaction. Sometimes it’s also good to make sure that the space under the hood is clean. However, you should do it skillfully so that you don’t damage anything.


Prepare necessary documents

When you’re planning to sell a car, you need to be well prepared. It might happen that the person interested in your car wants to buy it right away. It’s best to have all the necessary documents ready, instead of looking for them last minute.



The person interested in your car might also ask for producing the vehicle card or the vehicle registration book.


Be prepared for questions

It is only natural that a potential customer has many questions to ask during inspecting the car. Be prepared and try to answer them factually. If it turns out that you don’t the engine parameters, or that you can’t remember how you’ve been using the car, then you might give an impression of an ignorant or an unfair seller. Skills in communicating properly with a customer are very important, and that’s why sellers should maintain a professional and friendly approach.


Consider negotiating the price

Be prepared that even if you offer an attractive price in your opinion, the buyer will definitely want to negotiate it with you. How to sell a car and not lose money? Usually, sellers slightly increase the price in the sale offer to make room for lowering it in case of negotiations with the customer.


How to construct a car sale offer?

In order to sell a car quickly and profitably, writing an effective offer is the foundation. Keep in mind that the secondary market is very wide. A person interested in buying a car from a particular brand or from a certain price range definitely browses through a lot of sale offers which present the same car in various conditions. Yours, then, must good and interesting enough to grasp the potential customer’s attention.

Nowadays, in order to sell a car, you can put a sale offer online, which a very convenient option. You don’t have to (if you don’t want to) put the car on the stock exchange, because all the important information can be presented in an online sale offer. How should it look like?

The content of the car sale offer should include all the important from the customer’s point of view information. At the beginning describe which model exactly you’re selling. Describe the equipment and the type of the engine. Mileage and the general technical condition are also very important.

It’s good to enlist what repairs of the car have been done. You can also include information about the expiry date of the third party insurance, and the first registration date. And, of course, offer the price you’d be interested in. You can highlight that you’re ready to negotiate it.

The more information you put, the bigger the chance that you sell the car quickly. Sale offers which contain only a picture and laconic content don’t inspire confidence in customers. Therefore, you should make every effort to construct a reliable offer.

Also, it’s not enough to state that the car is in an excellent technical condition, because that also doesn’t convince customers. Especially, when it comes to the second-hand cars, whose prime period has already passed.


Pay attention

In order to sell a car via an advertisement website, it’s necessary to describe the car parameters in the most detailed way.


How to safely sell a car – formalities

In order to legally sell a car, certain formalities must be completed. First of all, you must know what documents you should pass to the buyer. You need to have a purchase and sale contract constructed, a template of which you can find below. It’s a proof of entering a transaction, and on its basis the tax on civil law transactions (TCLT) is calculated (usually the buyer is liable for paying the tax).

It’s good to know that TCLT is charged at the rate of 2% of the purchase price. That’s why some try to lower the price on the contract to save up. Such practice, however, is easily comes to light, and relevant services can get interested in it, so it’s better to avoid it. If the tax office discovers undercutting of the vehicle value, both parties might get in trouble.

The moment you transfer the vehicle to its new owner, you should also hand your customer the vehicle registration book and the vehicle card, which are two the most important documents identifying the car, as well as all sets of the keys.


A sample purchase and sale contract

The purchase and sale contract is a very important document, because on its basis the buyer is obliged to pay a particular amount of money, whereas the seller – to pass the item to the buyer. It’s important to make sure that the contract is constructed (or signed) is a correct way, and most importantly – that it’s legal, in accordance with the law. What should such contract contain?

  • the contract must include precise personal data of both parties of the transaction, such as names, surnames, addresses of residence, PESEL numbers etc.
  • Another important element is describing the object of the purchase and sale transaction, which in this case is a second-hand car. The contract should explicitly describe what has been sold, therefore in the case of cars, the VIN number is provided.
  • The last but not least important thing is the price. If it’s not included, the sale becomes a donation under the law, which involves precise formal requirements.


It is good to know

autoDNA is the leading provider of services of checking vehicle history online and free VIN lookup. Based on your VIN number, with autoDNA you can verify vehicle history before making a purchase. In many cases, VIN check may prevent you from incurring unwanted additional costs associated with purchasing a vehicle with an unknown or salvage past.



To safely sell a high-value car, consider the following steps:

  1. Complete necessary repairs and clean the car thoroughly.
  2. Determine a realistic price for your car using online appraisal tools.
  3. Use local classifieds sites or online services to reach potential buyers.
  4. Screen buyers thoroughly before scheduling a test drive.
  5. Conduct a secure transaction, preferably inside a bank.
  6. Keep a paper trail and ensure the title is transferred correctly.
  7. Keep your car insured until the title and registration are transferred to the buyer.

When selling a car, it's important to provide potential buyers with the necessary information about the vehicle. This includes details about the car's make, model, year, mileage, condition, and any significant repairs or modifications. However, you should avoid sharing personal information, such as your home address, until you're ready to meet the buyer for a test drive. Always inform someone you trust about your plans for the test drive, including the time and location. When it comes to payment, it's safest to request a cashier's check or money order rather than cash. Finally, make sure to properly transfer the title to the new owner to avoid any legal issues down the line.

How to safely sell a car?
Article Name
How to safely sell a car?
If you’re planning to sell a second-hand car, there are a few ways to do it. How to safely sell a car?
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo