What Questions to Expect from Someone Buying Your Used Car?

The advert you put together for your used car advert has just been launched and now you will have to take calls and emails and now people want to come and inspect the car. You want to be prepared because they will want to ask you a lot of questions. Either before or at the inspection.

These questions are important to know how to answer:

Why is the car up for sale?

A prospective purchaser will want to know if there’s an issue with the car as perhaps this is the reason you’re selling. Tell them why you are selling - be open and honest. Whether you are upgrading or downgrading or do not require it any more or have a new job. If there is a problem with the car it’s better to let the buyer know.

How many years have you owned the car?

The prospective buyer is wanting the background of the car. Give them all the facts that you know and have all the documentation for the car available for them to review.

Where did you get the car and did you know the previous owner?

Let them know whether it was a dealership or a private seller. They might even request details of the previous owner so if you have those on hand that may be helpful.

What condition is the car in?

They may ask you over the phone or by email about the condition of the car. The more honest you are with providing this information, in relation to any issues will fast track the sales process and avoid both parties wasting time on an inspection.

Does the car have any features other than the basic model?

Make a list of all the features that the vehicle is equipped with. Writing them down ahead of time will prevent you from forgetting anything when you’re put on the spot.


How many kilometres has the car done (odometer reading)?

Give the caller an accurate reading down to the kilometres.


What is the cars VIN and/or engine numbers? Can I see the registration and your ID?

A buyer will want to see this information to confirm that you legally own the vehicle and also to double check that the registration information matches with the car’s VIN number.

When you show them your CARIFY VEHICLE REPORT, they can verify this information

Has the vehicle been involved in any collisions?

If the vehicle has been involved in an accident, major or minor, then you need to let the buyer know. This is your chance to disclose what you know and whether the car was repaired and if there are any lingering issues as a result of the incident.

For most purchasers, if the vehicle was repaired properly, past incidents are not deal-breakers.

Has the car been modified beyond the manufacturer’s specifications?

New tyres on the car last year will mean less maintenance so let the buyer know.

If you have receipts for any added features or new parts, show them to the buyer to verify the purchases.

Is the vehicle mechanically sound?

Share with the buyer any issue or problems that you know about or think might occur in the future. They’ll appreciate your honesty.


Am I able to take the car for a test drive?

Many buyers will want to take the car for a test drive. They need to get a feel for the car, and this may take about a half hour to complete. It also allows them some time alone to discuss the vehicle.

Ask if they prefer to go by themselves or would like you to come along. If they want to go by themselves, make sure you have all their details in case of accidents. Or set the ground rules and insist that you go with them.

Can I have my mechanic look over the vehicle?

If a buyer in unsure about the vehicle they may ask to take it to and inspector to give them the all clear. Often this is a good sign that they are interested but want to tick the final box before committing.


The vehicle has issue ‘x’ can you fix it before the sale?

On an inspection they may have a cost of repair for any issues. If you can get them repaired cheaper than the quote, it may be better to get it done, otherwise you could take the inspectors advice into the negotiations.

Negotiating a deal that works both for yourself and the buyer is the ideal solution to any transaction. Remember they want to buy a car and you want to sell one, and you are equally trying to get the same thing – in a negotiated deal not one person will be 100% happy.


The ‘Cheat Sheet’ of tips for receiving calls about your vehicle

  • Treat every caller with respect and politeness, answer with your name, not just ‘hello’.
  • Answer questions honestly, if you’re not sure, just say so.
  • If you need to go out, leave details about the sale with others who can speak on your behalf.
  • Offer to communicate via email, if that works better for the buyer.
  • Return phone calls as fast as possible, don’t keep them waiting – this will make you seem uninterested.