Are some cars really not suited to selling privately?

Are some cars really not suited to selling privately?

Author
Discussion

Darinz

Original Poster:

145 posts

64 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
As I write the title, I think - duh, of course - but I don't think the car I'm trying to sell is unreasonable to sell privately, but perhaps just not a good fit!

I am selling my partners car due to an incoming company car. It's a practical, 2016 automatic petrol MPV with good history in good condition. I have priced it reasonably - OK there is one trader with a similar car at the same price but with +20k miles, otherwise it's the cheapest of 20 cars similar age and spec bar a dodgy one priced below market value with modifications.

It's been online for nearly a month and I have not had one single call or email about it, no offers or anything. I am using autotrader.

Perhaps the market is just quiet but a thought I had this week is, realistically are the kind of buyers for this car willing to buy privately - I am not so sure. It's the kind of car a "normal" person would buy, not a car enthusiast, and perhaps private seller puts them off or is something they wouldn't even consider? I've sold two of my personal cars privately before but both enthusiast cars - I had calls within days, a few calls within 2 weeks and sold within 3 - so by comparison I am just surprised by the radio silence.

Any advice would be appreciated - we aren't in a mad rush to sell but I have lowered the price £1k so far (this is a £10-15k kind of car). We will of course continue to to lower the price. Perhaps the market has quietened down now as WBAC was nearer £10k when I put it on but has dipped below £9k now. We are near £10k but I would try motorway or similar before heading to WBAC.

Cheers!

blue_haddock

3,448 posts

70 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
A couple of issues, firstly MPV's are no longer fashionable as people now prefer suv's so its a small market and secondly, for a lot of people looking to spend £10k+ they will be looking towards a dealer for things like warranty etc

Everything will sell at the right price but you could end up dropping a chunk off the price or waiting an age for the right buyer to come along.

SFTWend

894 posts

78 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
blue_haddock said:
A couple of issues, firstly MPV's are no longer fashionable as people now prefer suv's so its a small market and secondly, for a lot of people looking to spend £10k+ they will be looking towards a dealer for things like warranty etc

Everything will sell at the right price but you could end up dropping a chunk off the price or waiting an age for the right buyer to come along.
I tend to agree.

Might be worth giving someone like Motorway a try. In theory you should achieve offers above what WBAC are quoting.

Truckosaurus

11,592 posts

287 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
blue_haddock said:
... a lot of people looking to spend £10k+ they will be looking towards a dealer for things like warrantyFinance etc.
I suspect that £10-15k is a funny price range for private sales for 'normal' cars. It's a hefty sum that most people would have to borrow to raise, so looking for as low risk as possible.

(Let alone wanting to trade in a less practical but still decent car)

OutInTheShed

8,202 posts

29 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
The private seller market is a tough place.

Lots of buyers need finance.
Buyers are aware they have more rights if they buy from a trader.

Darinz

Original Poster:

145 posts

64 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Thanks for the replies everyone - finance and warranty are good points and it is probably an awkward price range.

I better get working on a Motorway listing! haha of which the most annoying aspect is I took a load of good photos but Motorway app only lets you take new photos with your phone, not use existing ones. I understand why, but put me off initially. Will have to get over that!

vikingaero

10,654 posts

172 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Darinz said:
Thanks for the replies everyone - finance and warranty are good points and it is probably an awkward price range.

I better get working on a Motorway listing! haha of which the most annoying aspect is I took a load of good photos but Motorway app only lets you take new photos with your phone, not use existing ones. I understand why, but put me off initially. Will have to get over that!
I imagine that Motorway want to know the condition of the car now and that it exists - not some pictures a few months ago or stolen off the internet.

pingu393

8,274 posts

208 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Anybody who buys privately must be prepared to lose all the money and the thing they bought.

More people are becoming aware of that.

Caveat emptor applies.

This makes selling privately more challenging as the price increases.

I always ask myself if I would be happy to buy from me, and then decide how I would sell the thing.

Alanf56

61 posts

11 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
I will soon be putting my Mini Cooper S on the market due to it being too small for me now. I’ve decided I’ll try listing it privately for a couple of weeks and if it doesn’t go I’ll put it through motorway or a similar car buying site.

Id advise leaving it for sale for the next month as that’s when buyers tend to come out and if it does t sell by April bung it into motorway. That way you’re giving it a chance. Also might be worth putting on Facebook marketplace. I’ve managed to sell two cars there recently.

alabbasi

2,533 posts

90 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
I would not say that some cars are not suitable, but some owners might not be as dealing with tire kickers can wear people out.
Have you checked on how long the trader has had his MPV. Some cars are slow sellers and you can make them more attractive by lowering the price.

ingenieur

4,097 posts

184 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
In the old days private sellers were the better bet. Cars from dealers were typically the car that had gone badly wrong or was critically rusty and had been stuck in the auction by a private seller for the dealer to then take it, polish it and put it on the forecourt. By comparison a car sourced directly from a private buyer would be a more honest proposition.

Personally I don't mind either way as I tend to think warranties on cars from Bill and Bobs High St fairycake garage tend to be worthless if you ever wanted to use it and you can get finance as a personal loan from the bank.

Darinz

Original Poster:

145 posts

64 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
ingenieur said:
In the old days private sellers were the better bet. Cars from dealers were typically the car that had gone badly wrong or was critically rusty and had been stuck in the auction by a private seller for the dealer to then take it, polish it and put it on the forecourt. By comparison a car sourced directly from a private buyer would be a more honest proposition.

Personally I don't mind either way as I tend to think warranties on cars from Bill and Bobs High St fairycake garage tend to be worthless if you ever wanted to use it and you can get finance as a personal loan from the bank.
Agree with that, the warranties are pointless - the one time I tried to use one when a BMW started misfiring a few weeks after buying it they wanted me to pay £80 for a Halfords diagnostic test before they would even listen to anything - I was just going to ask for the cost of sparks/coils to sort it which would be less than £80 but of course not. lol

Agree about personal finance, better rate too but most people want the convenience and only look at that monthly figure, not even considering the interest rate.

Darinz

Original Poster:

145 posts

64 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Alanf56 said:
I will soon be putting my Mini Cooper S on the market due to it being too small for me now. I’ve decided I’ll try listing it privately for a couple of weeks and if it doesn’t go I’ll put it through motorway or a similar car buying site.

Id advise leaving it for sale for the next month as that’s when buyers tend to come out and if it does t sell by April bung it into motorway. That way you’re giving it a chance. Also might be worth putting on Facebook marketplace. I’ve managed to sell two cars there recently.
Thanks for the reply - I had considered FB marketplace, had a scope around and doesn't seem like a brilliant selection around me but no harm in trying for sure.

Mini Cooper S should be a better bet private sale wise I'd thank, having said that I traded mine in through motorway (or whatever the previous iteration was called) back in 2018 as found my next car suddenly!

Thanks for the advice, will certainly leave it on there - get the Motorway stuff sorted in a week or two, then reduce the price for one last gasp, maybe only a couple hundred quid above Motorway then trade it in if it still doesn't go.

Darinz

Original Poster:

145 posts

64 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
alabbasi said:
I would not say that some cars are not suitable, but some owners might not be as dealing with tire kickers can wear people out.
Have you checked on how long the trader has had his MPV. Some cars are slow sellers and you can make them more attractive by lowering the price.
I have sorted by listed date a few times and they do seem like slow movers... plenty been on longer than us actually especially if I expand into slightly earlier and later cars. eek!

Sukh13

788 posts

188 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Make it cheap enough and it will sell smile

Darinz

Original Poster:

145 posts

64 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Sukh13 said:
Make it cheap enough and it will sell smile
Thank you :-)

skinnyman

1,666 posts

96 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
With some cheap lease/PCP deals starting to appear I can imagine trying to sell a £10-£15k car is quite difficult. It's a good chunk of money to put upfront/take a loan for. The car will have no warranty, will likely be of an age/technology where the majority of repairs will require a main dealer visit, or will be expensive, on top of the usual tax/insurance/MOT/tyres etc.

I know if I had £15k sat in my bank I'd rather pay £200-£300/mth to lease something for hassle free motoring.

If you knocked up a spreadsheet for all the running costs + depreciation of a £15k car vs leasing I imagine it would be very close.

Sargeant Orange

2,738 posts

150 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
I was in the same boat back in November trying to get rid of my Honda CRV for circa £10k.

Cheapest in the country but not one genuine call about it. I lost patience a few weeks ago when tax and insurance was coming up and it needed a new battery.

I called a local trader and agreed a price £700 over the WBAC offer, which realistically would have ended up being £1k over at least after their usual shenanigans.

The trader had it advertised that afternoon for £3k more than we agreed (£2.7k more than I had it up for privately) and sold it a few days later.

I came to the same conclusion as others here in that the price point was just wrong for a private sale at the moment and people were willing to pay a hefty premium for some theoretical piece of mind

bennno

11,981 posts

272 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all

Too many private cars are overpriced, need to be 10-15% less than a dealer to offset lack of warranty and back up.

At the right price you get calls, especially calls from dealers.

I’m selling a bmw 1 series 3L manual cab, mint, new brake discs /pads, tyres all round, full bmw history from new, almost every factory extra, 83k miles, asking 6.5k but not a call at the mo.

Vee

3,100 posts

237 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
Every private buyer wants to look at WBAC and expects to pay that. You need to wait for the sensible person who realises that below dealer price and above WBAC represents a deal for both parties.
I was selling our old 440i GC, excellent spec, low miles and BMW SH with a desirable colour combination.
WBAC was £14K before viewing, not one for sale under £19K, mainly at traders.
Eventually I got a buyer who met in the middle and both were happy.