First-Time Buyers: How to Sell Your Car

Increasing disposable incomes and the availability of a large number of makes and models has resulted in a boom in the used car market. People are graduating from two-wheelers to four-wheelers and those with four-wheelers are looking at upgrading their ride. So if you were planning to sell a car in India, this is the right time to do so. There are various avenues that you can explore to sell your ride. Let’s take a quick look at them and their pros and cons.


How To Sell Car The Traditional Way?

Placing an advertisement in the local newspaper, getting in touch with local car dealers, informing your friends and family members and asking them to spread the word around, sticking a ‘For Sale’ sign with your contact details on the rear windshield of your car, putting up leaflets on the notice board of your housing complex, office, clubs etc – these are all the traditional or offline ways of selling your used car.


How To Sell Car The Modern Way?

Placing an advertisement on online classified portals, availing trade-in and exchange offers, utilizing the power of the social media and using car buying services are some of the modern ways to sell car.


There are four major steps if you plan to sell the car yourself:


Preparing the car for sale

Interacting with prospective buyers

Documentation and payments

And finally, things to do post sales

  1. Preparing The Car For Sale

The first step consists of preparing the car and advertising your intentions to attract prospective buyers for your vehicle. Let us break this down further:


Preparing your used car for sale


In order to be able to sell car at the best possible price, it is important that you put in place the following steps:


Get your car serviced and cleaned –  Remove all personal belongings from the car and if possible and viable, get scratches and dents repaired. Make sure that the interiors are clean and free from blemishes and stains. Of course, if you have maintained your car properly, these should not be a big issue

Gather all the papers of the car and make a copy of them –  If you have a service record of the car, be sure to include it with the other documents. Do not forget to include the owner manual, battery warranty cards, PUC certificates and any other document that is related to the car

Park your car in a clutter free area and take at least ten to fifteen photographs of the car –  Take good photographs of your car – both the exteriors and the interiors – and from different angles. Though you do not need to get a professional to do this job, you need to make sure that the photographs are in focus, sharp and clear.

The next step is creating the advertisement – Along with the photographs of the car that you have taken, your advertisement should contain as much information about the car as possible. This would include:

1) The year and month of manufacture or registration

2) The state or city of auto registration

3) Commercial or individual lifetime tax

4) The total number of owners

5) Comprehensive or Third party insurance type and its validity

6) The availability of service history

7) Colour of the car, both interior and exterior, and if original or re-painted.

8) Variant or Trim level

9) The number of kilometres covered

10) A list of accessories fitted

11) Reasons for selling

12) Expected price


Ensure that your expected price for selling your car is neither too high nor too low – Again some amount of research will give you an indication of the price range for cars of similar make, model, and age. Along with the above, state the salient features of the car which would count as advantages – for example – single ownership, low mileage, accident-free, extended warranty coverage etc. Include an email id (you can create a new one for this purpose) and a phone number (with timings for receiving calls if you wish). If possible, scan the car documents – this will help as you can email the same to prospective buyers if they wish to inspect them beforehand.

Research will help you to find out the best portals for placing your online advertisement. You can also place the advertisement on your social media platforms, as well as on the notice boards of your apartment, office, and club. However, do find out if you are allowed to do so before you pin your advertisement on the notice boards.


  1. Interacting With Prospective Buyers To Sell Your Car

Selling your used car


Once your car advertisement is in place, you will start receiving calls and emails from prospective buyers. How you interact with your potential buyers can make or break the deal.


The first step is to screen the potential buyers – You will receive inquiries from businesses, agents, individual buyers and also from sellers like yourself who are calling up to do their research on the price factor. You need to focus your time and energy on serious buyers only – hence, you need to separate the serious potential buyers from the rest at the first call/email stage

When talking/answering queries, be as straight forward as you can in your interactions –  Do not get too eager to sell or overly aggressive. Remain focused and to the point, answering all queries to the best

Once you have screened the buyers, send them the scanned copies of the documents – This will save both of you time and effort before the buyer decides to physically inspect your car

Fix a time that is convenient to both for the physical inspection of the vehicle – Request the buyer to be punctual and make sure that you are punctual too – this shows your seriousness. Be prepared by asking the buyer beforehand if he would like to test drive the car, and set the time accordingly. Remember to go along with the prospective buyer on the test drive

The prospective buyer might want the car inspected by an authorized, reliable and credible service station or his mechanic – This is a commonly placed, reasonably valid request and shows the serious intent of the buyer. Discuss the most convenient way to get this done – the mechanic could come to your place and inspect the car or you could drive it to the service center/ mechanics workshop. However, ensure that you or your representative is present at the time of the inspection

Negotiate for a reasonable deposit – It is possible that the buyer might say yes to the deal, but requires time to get the finance in place (either his own or from a bank/NBFC). It is wise to hold negotiations for a reasonable deposit – maybe between 10,000 and 30,000 and clearly state the time frame by which the entire amount of the payment should be made. Failure to pay within the stipulated time would lead to forfeit of the deposit and allow you to subsequently offer the car to a different buyer.

Lastly, never be in a rush to sell the car or feel pressurized into doing so – Inform the prospective buyer that you will get back to him/her within a stipulated time period and stick to it. Think the deal through before committing yourself to the sale.

  1. Documentation & Payment – Which documents should you give to the buyer and which ones should you keep

Documents for selling a used car


Assuming that you have been able to find a buyer for your car and confirmed the deal, the next step is documentation and payments. This is the most crucial step in selling your car.


Wait for the cheque/ demand draft to be cleared before handing over the documents and the vehicle – There is a slew of documents that need to be prepared and signed for transferring the ownership of the car. However, remember this cardinal rule – signing of transfer papers and delivery of the vehicle must happen only after receiving the full payment for the car.

Ask the buyer to provide you with a copy of his government issued photo id and address proof – It could be a copy of the passport, driving license or any other acceptable document.

All fields in the transfer forms issued by the RTO, and the delivery note, should either be filled or N.A written if not applicable – Do not, I repeat, do not leave any blank fields on the forms. Similarly, the forms need to have the signature of both the buyer and the seller. The best way, if time permits, is for both parties to visit the RTO in unison and help the transfer process to reach its completion.

Along with the duplicate keys, the list of documents that is required to be given to the buyer of your vehicle is:

1) Form No.28 (3 originals) – This pertains to the N.O.C. as well as the grant of certificate when the buyer happens to belong to another RTO’s jurisdiction

2) Form No.29 – Notice of the transfer of car’s ownership (Original)

3) Form No.30 – Report of the transfer of vehicle’s ownership (Original)

4) A copy of the delivery note

5) The Registration Certificate in original

6) All RTO tax related documents in original

7) Insurance cover/ policy – in case it has been included in the deal

8) The vehicle’s owner’s manual

9) All warranty papers

10) Service history

11) Copy of the original invoice of the car

12) PUC certificate.

13) Form No.35 – The finance organization has to provide the NOC. If the outstanding loan on your vehicle is still unpaid, as per the general procedures in place, you have to foreclose the loan. Thereafter, procure the NOC and forward it to the buyer.


While you hand over the documents to the buyer, remember there are some documents that you need to keep in your custody. These include:

1) Copy of Form No.29

2) Copy of Form No.28

3) Original delivery note

4) Copy of Form No.30

5) Copy of the Government issued id (with photo) of the buyer

6) Copy of the vehicle’s RTO tax papers, Registration, insurance policy

7) Original car invoice

8) Copy of NOC from the finance company, only if applicable


  1. After You Sell Car

Used car sold


The fourth step consists of actions to be taken after selling and giving delivery of your vehicle to the buyer. Although these may come across as additional work, they are important as they ensure your safety and security.


Inform the RTO – As per the law, as long as the car is registered in your name, you hold the responsibility for the car and any unwanted incident that takes place because of it. Therefore, it is your responsibility to inform the RTO of the transfer. You need to inform the RTO, belonging to where the vehicle was registered, in a period of 14 days of the sale, by sending copies of all the relevant categories of documents (the documents retained by you) through registered post. The postal confirmation needs to be maintained for records. Once the delivery acknowledgement is received, only then can you be indemnified of all the liabilities associated with the car sold by you. Remember, just in case, the address of the buyer happens to be the jurisdiction presided by another RTO, an identical document has to be dispatched to him as well.

Inform the insurance company – The insurance company has to be appropriately informed of the transfer; especially if the insurance cover happens to be part of your deal with the buyer. If not, then you need to inform them of the cancellation. This should be done by registered post, just as it was to be done with respect to the RTO.  If you decide to visit your insurance company, do carry an “acknowledgement” stamp on your application’s copy. All No Claim Bonus benefits cannot be transferred and are available for use towards the car that you decide to hold next.

Ask for the updated RC from the buyer – Remember to ask the buyer to dispatch a copy of his updated RC book (which has been duly transferred to the buyer’s name) to you. While this will, in all probability, need consistent follow-up, it is important that you do so. Keep the copy along with the other retained documents of the car.

Found the article helpful? Do share and explore more tips on selling car online. Looking to sell car quickly? Sell it to Badicar.com From free online car valuation, guaranteeing the best price for your used car, taking care of ownership transfer and other paperwork to instant payment – we ensure a simple and hassle-free way to sell your car.

Bipin Sharma

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