User avatarSelling a car

Are you tired of being able to move around at speed with the radio on and feel like maybe you’d prefer staying in the same place and owning more money instead? Then perhaps you’d like to sell your car.

Before the fall of the People’s Democratic Republic of Great Britain, you could only sell your car to the National People’s Used Car Supermarket, where the secret police would beat you until you agreed to their low, low prices. But nowadays there’s lots of ways to sell a car.

All those websites that say they buy any car dot com

They’ll tell you on their website that your car is worth an amount that is actually slightly higher than what you paid when you bought it. Then they make an appointment for you to go in and sell it to them. When you arrive (at a dirty portakabin at the wrong end of a supermarket car park) a disinterested man will ask you lots of questions, photograph the car from all angles and then take it for a desultory test drive before phoning his boss in, I don’t know, Milton Keynes or Stockholm or Barbuda. They will then offer you £300 for it. You say you know the car is worth more than that and on the website their estimate said £45,000 and a gold tiara. The man sighs like you’re one of the difficult ones and phones his boss back and says OK, they can go up to £350. You leave.

Trade it in

If what you actually want is another car (seriously, what’s wrong with you, you’ve got a car, just drive that for god’s sake, what do you want a different one for, they’re basically all the same) then you might be able to give your car to the person who is selling you the new car. That way you give them a car and some money instead of giving them some money and some more money. When you do that they will look at it and nod thoughtfully and tell you the microscopic scuff on the paintwork that is so small you’ve never actually seen it before knocks a bit of value off the car, and then they offer you £450 for it. You leave, saying you’ll sell it elsewhere instead. Like, seriously, just keep the car you have and drive that, you cretin, what are you even putting yourself through all this for.

Sell it privately

The person who will pay the most for your car is some idiot off the street who knows no more about cars than you do and who isn’t aware that it’s worth either £350 or £450 depending on which professional shyster you ask. All you have to do is make them aware of it. To do that you photograph it from every angle and list it on a website that trades autos. They list a phone number on their website that connects directly to your mobile number and for the next few days you keep receiving phone calls from sullen, suspicious-sounding men with a range of intimidating accents who sound like people you would normally cross the street to avoid. They ask you questions you don’t think you’re qualified to answer and try to beat you down on the asking price before they’ve even come to see the damn thing. You hope one of them just buys it and goes away soon so you can take down the advert and end your time as a chat line for middle aged men who are obsessed with timing belts and vehicle tax bands.

Next steps

When you have sold your car, don’t forget to buy another car with the money so you can go through the whole exhilarating process again in a few years’ time.

16 comments to Selling a car

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver


  • No, it’s fine. Go ahead. We’re all listening.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    So erm this is based on your own personal experience?

  • Yes. Partly. By which I mean, the estimate for my car was never £45,000 and a gold tiara.

  • Do you still own you old car then or did you accept a wooden sheckel and a nice shaped rock?

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    He’s driving around in a tin of beans on wheels. Wheely beans.

  • I do not still own my old car. Some bloke of unknown nationality now owns it and drives it to Swindon three times a week.

    The beanmobile is temporary. And delicious. Temporarily delicious.

  • Excellent. Are they temporarily delicious as you’ve opened the tin and they will spoil soon? Or have you been eating them and turning them into very un-delicious poop?

  • I had to eat enough of them to carve out a space to sit in. When not in use, I keep the temporary beanmobile in the fridge so it doesn’t go off.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    It’ll only last so long though, you’ll need a more long term plan, such as a Heinz multipack, to get you through Christmas.

  • My multipack is on order and should arrive tomorrow, so we’re fine.

  • I look forward to seeing your multipack (waaaaaaay!) that is unless Kevin is driving his own bean mobile tomorrow.

  • You took little or no interest in my multipack and I will not be sharing it again.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Was it there? Did you bring it? I saw no evidence of these beans. Woe betide you.

  • I brung my multipack and parked it right in your street. It garnered little attention. It won’t be back. Its feelings are badly dented like a tin of Aldi chopped tomatoes.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    That’s some bad dents, not bad tents which is what I almost typed. What you need is a portion of bad tents. That would take your mind off the Aldi chopped tomatoes.

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