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Closing the deal

Car buyers usually expect some negotiation on price, and there are a number of ways to pay. We show you how to seal the deal quickly, for the price you want.


Buyers will be keen to haggle on your asking price. You need to be firm, without being unreasonable.

Decide the lowest price for which you’re willing to sell the car before you begin negotiations. Don’t decline a sale if a buyer’s highest offer is only slightly below your set price – it could cost you far more in re-advertising fees, time and hassle. Here are some golden rules to haggling:

Stay calm
Have your lowest price in mind before the seller arrives

Indicate you could be open to offers if you’re asked on the phone, but don’t enter negotiations until the buyer has seen the car – you could be haggled down more than you want

Don’t accept the first offer
Push the buyer hard; phrases like “you’ll have to do better than that” can work well, but once you’ve given them your negotiating price, stay quiet

A tank of fuel or extra tax can make a good bargaining tool

The best way to take payment is in cash and at a bank, allowing you to pay the money straight into your account, letting the cashier check for fake notes. If your buyer gives you cash outside of banking hours, keep it in a safe place and pay it in as soon as possible, keeping possession of the car until it’s in your account.

If the buyer gives you a bank or personal Cheque, ask the bank if you can draw funds against the Cheque – merely asking if the Cheque has cleared can mean something different.

Top tips:

  • Ask to be paid in cash – this is the safest method of payment for smaller sums of money
  • Payments by Cheque will take a few days to reach your account, and they can also be cancelled or issued without the available funds in the account
  • If you receive payment by electronic transfer, the funds can take a few days to appear in your account
  • Ask the buyer for ID with an address and landline telephone numberIf possible, go with the buyer to the bank to draw the cheque
  • Don’t hand over your car until the full amount is in your bank account
  • Despite popular belief, bank or building society cheques aren’t as good as cash – forged cheques are common. Find out more about fraudulent payments.

Once you’ve sealed the deal, you’ll need to write a receipt acknowledging the following information:

  • The date
  • Price
  • Make and model
  • Registration numberThe names and addresses of the buyer and seller

 Make two copies – one for you and one for the buyer – and make sure all parties sign both receipts.