We have seen a substantial increase in the number of online car sales’ ads in the last few years as more people chose to sell their car privately rather than trading them in. This guide is similar to our Top Tips for Selling a Car Online guide but we are going to focus a bit more on the written content of the ad here. The trick is to write an ad that is informative, trustworthy, engaging and appealing.

No matter how good your car is, it just won’t sell itself. Unless you’re selling a Ferrari Enzo

1car ad placeholder. *Cliche alert* A picture is worth a thousand words. 

I already spoke about the importance of photographs in the other guide but they’re so important they warrant a second mention. Include plenty of photographs of the car from inside and outside (at least 6). Good quality photographs make it easy for the potential buyer to imagine themselves inside the car and a photograph from the drivers point of view is always a good one.

If for some reason, you don’t have any photograph or you plan on taking them later it’s best to upload a placeholder until you do so to let viewers know that you plan on uploading images soon. Ads that don’t have any photographs immediately look suspicious.

2. Include the Basic Information

car for sale

Car Ad Without Proper Title

While getting several enquiries about your car is great, you would probably want to avoid people having to call you to ask whether the car is petrol or diesel. Including the make and model in the title is always a good idea instead of just having the word car in it. Other information to include would be:

  • Make, model and spec e.g. Ford Focus Zetec
  • Age
  • Colour
  • Engine Size
  • Mileage
  • Fuel Type
  • Transmission i.e. manual or automatic
  • Tax & NCT/MOT

Even though the colour can be seen from the photographs, it’s good to have these words in your ads content. So when people search for red ford mondeo for sale, chances are they will find your ad.

3. Honesty

Describing the car as it is will you save you time and hassle. If you over sell it or describe it as perfect then that is what your potential buyer will be expecting when they come to see. If it has any scratches or dents it’s best to mention it here before someone comes to see it. If it becomes apparent that you lied, then chances are they will begin to doubt other things you’ve said about the car.

4. Good spelling & Grammar

Spelling mistakes and grammar are a huge turn off and it makes you look lazy. Copy and paste what you have written into Microsoft Word and let it do a spell check. Bullet points and short sentences are a lot easier to read too.  Top Tip: Cars have brakes and not breaks and tyres have tread, not thread! Abbreviations are also to be avoided if you want to keep your ad looking professional.

5. Why are you selling the car?

This is one of the top most asked questions when people enquire about a car for sale. It makes sense too, especially when you’ve written an ad saying how great the car is – if it’s so great, then why are you selling it? Acceptable answers would be: I need a bigger car for the children or you simply want to upgrade.

6. Service history & maintenance 

Tell them how often you got the car serviced or when the tyres were changed. Don’t lie because you could be asked for proof. Many people will ask for receipts of all the work that has been done on the car.

7. The controversial one – Don’t hide your reg

bmw x5 hidden regWhen I see a car for sale online and the person has hidden the reg with some black plastic or with some crude editing in Microsoft Paint I scroll past the ad. Even though some people hide their reg only to prevent their car from being cloned, the first thing that comes to my mind is that they’re trying to hide something and prevent someone from doing a history check on the car from the likes of Cartell.ie

8. List the selling price

While many car sales websites encourage you to put in a price, it’s good to know that the ads without prices generally receive less enquiries. Possibly, because they think your price is so high and people wouldn’t even look at your ad.

Other things you might want to include in the ad:

  • whether you would accept a trade in or not
  • Does the car have any extras like a hitch, parking sensors or GPS?
  • The number of owners the car has had

I hope this guide helps you sell your car quickly. If you struggle to find any good points about your car have a look at other similar cars for sale and see what makes your car stand out i.e. other BMW 5 series that are for sale may all have high mileage but yours could be low.

Have fun selling.