Should I Sell My Car To A Dealer In WA?

Posted on 28th, May 24

Have a car that you need to sell in WA? You might be considering selling your car to a dealership. In this guide, we’ll explain the process of selling your car to a dealer plus the pros and cons. We’ll also look at alternatives to selling to a dealer that may better suit your needs, especially if your car is not in the best condition.

Cash in hand at a wrecker

Pros and Cons of Selling to a Dealer


✅ Trade-In Option: You can get a better deal for a new car when you trade in your old car

✅ Instant Payment: Receive payment immediately.

✅ Paperwork Handled: Dealers manage all necessary paperwork.


❌ Lower Price: Typically lower than private sale prices. Valuations are also lower for older models or those with mechanical issues.

❌ Upselling: Dealers may try to upsell you to get you to purchase a new car.

❌ Selling Older Cars: Dealers may offer less or not accept older models.

Is There A Better Option For Selling My Car?

If your car is older or in poor condition, selling to a cash for cars service such as Perth Car Buyer is the recommended option. How we compare to car dealers:

We Buy Cars in Any Condition: Unlike dealers we do not have and mileage or condition requirements. Whatever the age or condition of your car, we’ll happily but it with no need for repairs or cleaning.

Fair Compensation: When it comes to valuing cars, we’ll also look at the scrap metal value and salvageable parts to give your more cash even if the car doesn’t run.

Free Car Removal: Unlike car dealers, we offer same day car removal free of charge to any area in Perth.

To sell your car today, call us at 0418 532 275 or fill out our online form.

How To Prepare Your Car Before Selling To A Dealer

Gather Essential Documents

Before approaching a dealer, ensure you have all necessary paperwork ready. Thiswill help speed up the process:

  • Registration documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Roadworthy certificate (RWC)
  • Service and repair history
  • Owner’s manual
  • Driver’s license
  • Finance payout letter (if applicable)

Clean Your Car

A clean, well-maintained car is more visually appealing. Consider giving your car a thorough wash and wax and remove any rubbish and personal belongings.

Repair Any Issues With The Car

Fixing small issues such as scratches, dents, and cracked windshields can prevent dealers from lowering their offer. When it comes to more significant issues such as engine and transmission issues, the cost of repairs my outweigh any benefit. Be careful to assess the overall cost of repairs before getting them done.

Common minor repairs include:

  • Repairing Body scratches and dents
  • Repairing or replacing cracked windshields
  • Replacing lights
  • Battery replacement

Evaluating Your Car’s Value

Understanding your car’s value is crucial before negotiating with a dealer. If you have a good idea of the market value of your car you can push for a better deal. Online valuation tools can provide a good estimate. Factors influencing your car’s value include:

  • Number of previous owners
  • Condition of the car
  • Mileage
  • Service history
  • Any outstanding finance
  • Accident history

Steps To Sell To A Dealer

  1. Contact the Dealer: Fill out an online form or call to provide details about your car.
  2. Get a Valuation: The dealer will assess your car’s value.
  3. Negotiate: Discuss the offer and negotiate if necessary.
  4. Receive a Written Offer: The dealer provides a formal offer.
  5. Accept the Offer: Agree to the terms and arrange payment.
  6. Hand Over the Car: In most cases, you’ll have to arrange for the car to be taken to the dealer, however they may collect your car for an additional fee.

Selling Options

Direct Sale: Selling your car to the dealer directly and receiving the full cash or electronic payment.

Consignment: The dealer sells the car on your behalf, and you’ll get a portion of the sale price.

Trade-In: Use your old car as credit towards a new purchase at the dealer. You’ll generally get more credit than the cash amount of a direct sale.

Tips For Negotiating with Dealers

Dealers might offer varying prices for the same car. It’s important to:

  • Compare Offers: Make sure to take the time to evaluate different offers before finalising the sale. Look for licensed dealers with good reviews on Google to increase your chances of getting a better deal.
  • Remember To Negotiate: Don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better price. If you’re not satisfied with an offer you can ask the dealer to match or beat a competing offer.
  • Use Online Tools: Use valuation tools to do your research and support your negotiation with statistics. You’ll be able to get a good starting figure to base negotiations on.

Legal Considerations For Selling To A Dealer In WA

Cooling-Off Period

In WA, there is no cooling-off period for private sellers who sell their car to a dealer. This means that once your sign the contract the decision is final and cannot be reversed, so make sure that your sure before selling.

Contract Requirements

The dealer must provide a written agreement detailing the terms of the sale. This includes the agreed price, any conditions of the sale, and the payment method. Ensure that you carefully read and understand this agreement before signing.

Transfer of Ownership

The dealer is responsible for transferring the ownership of the vehicle. This includes lodging the necessary documents with the Department of Transport to officially transfer the title from your name to the dealer’s name. It’s important to confirm with the dealer that this process has been completed to avoid any future liabilities.

Selling On Consignment

The dealer is legally required to have a ‘Category E’ endorsement on their existing license to sell cars on consignment. Without this specific endorsement, they are not permitted to handle consignment sales.

The dealer is also required to:

  • Follow all your instructions, exercise care, skill, and diligence, and always act in your best interests.
  • Disclose all relevant information regarding the sale of the car and not delegate unauthorised power to act on your behalf to another party.

Source: Department of Commerce WA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Sell My Car to a Dealer if It Has Outstanding Finance?

Yes, dealers can assist in settling your existing finance and provide the remaining amount(if applicable) after the loan is settled. However this may vary from dealer to dealer so be sure to confirm with them.

What If My Car doesn’t have a Roadworthy Certificate (RWC)?

This will make it difficult to sell your car, as most dealers require cars to be in good running conditions. Some may still accept it at a heavy discount or You can consider getting the necessary repairs done or sellingto a cash-for-cars company that doesn’t require an RWC.

Is It Worth Selling My Car to a Dealer if it’s an older Model?

Dealers usually prefer newer models, but it may be possible to do if your car is still in good running condition. Alternatively, car wreckers are more likely to accept older or non-functional cars and provide a better deal.

Can I sell my car to a dealer if I have lost the owner’s manual or my spare keys?

Yes, you can still sell your car to a dealer if you have lost the owner’s manual. While having the owner’s manual can be helpful, it is not required for the sale. In the case of lost spare keys, you may lose some of your valuation, but the sale should not be affected otherwise.

How long does it typically take to sell a car to a dealer?

The process of selling a car to a dealer can vary but is generally fast once you accept an offer. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on how quickly you accept a deal during the negotiation process.

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