The 7 most common mistakes people make when selling a car


While selling a car seems like a straightforward task, there are a number of mistakes that can impact your vehicle’s selling price. From setting unrealistic prices to not providing documentation or offering a test drive, this guide will run through what can go wrong when selling a car, and how to avoid these issues.

Or avoid the hassle with AutoFlip - the quicker, easier and smarter way to sell your car. In just a few simple steps, you can list your car and have 1000+ dealers across Australia competitively bid to buy your car. 

What can go wrong when selling a car? Common car selling mistakes

There are several common car selling mistakes to avoid when advertising a used car. From market research to high quality photography and what to write when selling your car, here are AutoFlip’s top tips to sell your car and stay safe while doing so.

1. Inaccurate Pricing

While you understandably want as high a price for your car as possible, an unrealistic ask price may deter potential buyers. Research the market to find the true value of your car, taking into account its make, model, year, condition and mileage. By factoring in all these variables, you’ll be able to set a competitive, yet realistic and achievable, selling price for your car.

2. Poor Photos

Poor photography is another significant deterrent when it comes to searching for used cars. Photographs that are out of focus, too dark or too bright don’t allow buyers to accurately see the condition of the car. Ensure you take high quality, well lit photos of your car that allow prospective buyers to see all its angles, inside and out. 

3. Not Preparing the Car for Sale

A neglected car does not make a positive first impression with potential buyers. From simple tasks such as washing and vacuuming your car prior to selling it, to addressing minor cosmetic and mechanical repairs and ensuring the service manual is up to date, putting in a little extra effort can pay dividends when selling your car. 

4. Neglecting to Provide Paperwork

Not having the required or expected documents ready to show prospective buyers can delay the selling process. Proof of registration, service records and a roadworthy certificate (required when selling privately) should all be made available. As a seller, refusing to provide the car’s documents can indicate that you’re hiding something, while not having a roadworthy certificate could land you in trouble with the law in states where it’s a requirement when selling a vehicle privately.

5. Failing to Disclose Issues

Some people want to hide a car’s issues when selling it, in order to attract the best possible price. This is an unethical practice and can lead to trust issues between you and the buyer. It’s best to be honest about your car’s condition, and to have any small issues that may impact the value of your vehicle rectified prior to selling it. 

6. Not Offering a Test Drive

Sellers will often add a clause in their advertisement that says “no test drives”. Refusing to allow potential buyers to drive the vehicle before purchasing can drastically reduce your chances of selling it privately, and raise suspicions about its condition or performance. While you may wish to verify the buyer’s licence or accompany them on the drive, you should offer a prospective purchaser the opportunity to test the vehicle before buying it so they can make a decision with confidence. 

7. Failure to Screen Potential Buyers

Unfortunately, scams when selling a car privately are all too common. Private sellers dealing with the public are especially vulnerable to these security threats, as they’re not liaising with a licensed motor trader. It’s important to gauge each buyer’s intent when dealing with them, to avoid time wasters or scammers.

Avoid common car selling mistakes with AutoFlip

While selling your car privately can still be an effective option, AutoFlip’s seamless online platform helps you avoid common mistakes people make when selling a car privately. We do the hard work for you and reduce the risks involved when dealing directly with strangers. 

Enter your car details with AutoFlip today and sell your car for a great price, hassle-free.