Viewings and Negotiations

What to do when the phone starts ringing…

Receiving Interest

  • When you receive an enquiry about your car try to respond as quickly as possible to avoid losing the sale
  • The buyer will want to know more about the car so expect plenty of questions. You may be asked why you are selling the car, or the buyer may want to know more about its overall condition. It's worth thinking about how you would answer these questions in advance - but be honest. If there are scratches or dents on the car, tell them. If a potential buyer feels they have been misled you won't make a sale
  • In most cases, even though you have described the car perfectly and listed all its features, the caller will want you to clarify certain details. This is your opportunity to really sell the car and its features
  • Your aim in any phone call about the car should be to arrange a viewing. Only a viewing and/or test drive will convert a potential buyer into an actual buyer. You don't have to be overly forceful, but if you feel the conversation is starting to drift why not try a few 'closing questions' to steer them towards a viewing:
  • "So, what would you like to do next?”
  • "Is there anything else you need to know?”
  • "Would you like to give it a test drive?” or
  • "I'm free [date and time] if you'd like to arrange a viewing/test drive?”
  • If you have received a number of enquiries, consider amending your ad to say so. Letting car buyers know you've received lots of interest could prompt someone into calling you about a viewing. But don't lie - it could cost you an enquiry
  • Some buyers will want to negotiate price on the phone. Although this is a good sign, tell them you'll discuss the price once they've seen the car. This keeps you in control of the sale and steers them towards a viewing.
  • Keep a written record of all phone calls. Take names and note down telephone numbers in case you need to get back to a caller at a later time/date.


  • Encourage the buyer to view your car to give them confidence in you and the buying process.
  • Try to arrange a viewing during the day as this will show the car off at its best.
  • Stay safe - make sure all viewings are on your territory. Do not meet the car buyer at their home or at any other mutually agreed location.
  • Be warm, smile and make the buyer feel at ease. You're more likely to make a sale if you can build some rapport - so stay relaxed and positive.
  • Make sure you have everything you need to hand. That way you won't have to leave the buyer alone whilst you search for paperwork.
  • Show the buyer around the car, point-out all the features and let them see all the documentation (V5 log book, MOT certificate, service history and receipts).
  • Do not leave the keys with the buyer.

The Test-Drive

  • Check that the prospective buyer has fully comprehensive insurance cover on their own car before letting them test-drive your car. If they don't you could be liable if there is an accident.
  • Always go on the test drive with the buyer to ensure they don't steal your car.
  • Don't leave your car keys in the ignition whilst you change seats on the road. Switch the car off, take the keys with you, and hand them back once you're safely in the passenger seat
  • If you feel vulnerable, take a friend or relative along with you on the test drive.


  • If you're serious about selling the car, you shouldn't have any worries about buyers wanting to carry out an inspection
  • Buyers will often pay for a vehicle inspection that could cost them up to £300 - which shows they are serious about buying your car.
  • If your potential buyer is considering a vehicle inspection, point them in the direction of Dekra, our vehicle inspection partners. You'll be helping to give them peace of mind, you'll be one step closer to clinching the sale, and you'll save them money - because with and Dekra, a vehicle inspection is just £99!


The buyer will want to know they have got a good deal. And as seller, you will want to get as much as you can for the car. The aim of the negotiation is to reach a win/win, where both parties feel happy with the deal.

Haggling is a part of this negotiation, but stay in control. A little flexibility will help you secure the sale - but don't give the car away.

If you have paid for a Glass's car valuation report - now's the time to show it!
It will help reinforce your asking price.

Haggling tips

  • Decide what the lowest price you're prepared to accept is - and stick to it
  • Stay relaxed, be friendly and stay in control
  • Be confident and make it clear you know what you are talking about
  • Remind the car buyer of some of the key features to reinforce your position
  • Get upset or angry with the buyer if they offer you a low price - remember, this is only start of the negotiating process

Take a Deposit

  • Take a cash deposit if you can, as a cheque will take longer to clear. The deposit doesn't have to be a large amount. £50-£200 should be enough to secure the sale
  • Ask the car buyer when they will return to pick up the car. If they are bringing cash ensure the transaction is completed during the day, so you can bank the funds directly into your account
  • This will also be a good time to ask if the buyer is planning to pay the balance by bank transfer or bankers draft so you can advise accordingly - don't just assume they will bring cash
  • If they do not leave a deposit, make it clear that you will continue to show the car to other car buyers

Write a Receipt for the Deposit

You must write a receipt for any deposit received. The receipt should include the following details:
Date and time the transaction took place
  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • Buyer's name, address and telephone number
  • Model, mileage, registration and chassis number of the car being sold
  • Price agreed for the car
  • The amount of deposit paid (written in numbers and words) and the outstanding balance
  • The method of payment used (if you accept a cheque be sure to add the phrase 'subject to cheque clearing' to the receipt
  • The date you have agreed for the buyer to pay the balance and collect the car
  • Sign and print your full name at the bottom of the receipt and ask the buyer to do the same
  • Make a copy of the receipt. Give one to the buyer and keep one for your records

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