As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

How to Set a Price When Selling Your car

Selling your car might seem like a simple prospect, but it also entails challenges. Whether you’re upgrading to a new model, downsizing, or simply looking for a change, one of the most important things when selling your current car is to get the right price right.

If you end up mispricing your car, you might not be able to afford your next purchase. That’s why you need to be realistic and find the right balance. With that in mind, these are the things you should consider when setting a sale price for your car.

Due Diligence

Before you come to setting a sale price, do your due diligence. Browse online platforms, such as car selling websites, to gauge the prices of similar makes and models. Consider factors like the build year, mileage, condition, and any additional features your car might have. This preliminary research will provide a solid foundation for determining a competitive price.

Assess the Condition of Your Car

Take a good look at your car’s condition. Assess both the exterior and interior for any signs of wear and tear. Mechanical issues, dents, scratches, and the overall cleanliness of the vehicle can significantly impact its resale value. You may need to perform minor repairs to get the vehicle in an appropriate condition to maximise its appeal.


Unless you’re holding a vintage classic, all cars depreciate over time. Consider the depreciation rate of your vehicle and adjust your price accordingly. Generally speaking, new cars depreciate faster across the first years of ownership, whereas older models hold their value relatively better.

Key Features

You may be able to drive a higher price for your car if it has some sort of special features or distinctive selling points that warrant a higher price. These features don’t necessarily need to be tangible either. For example, low mileage on the odometer is a favourite for many prospective buyers, and it will set your car apart from others on the market. Registration is another distinctive point.

Selling Costs

When setting your price, you will also need to take into consideration the costs associated with the sale. Whether it be listing costs, inspection fees, vehicle history reports, or change of ownership, the sale price should reflect these additional expenses.

Most importantly, expect there to be some negotiation. With this in mind, it’s not uncommon to set your asking price slightly higher than your firm sale price. Not only does this provide you with some flexibility during negotiations, but in a booming market buyers may be willing to pay ‘overs’ for a popular second-hand vehicle.

Understand, however, that it can take time to sell a car via the private market, especially if you are unprepared to negotiate. You can always take a look at trading in your car towards a new one, but the question here centres on your priorities and whether you are getting the most value out of your current car.