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Whether you have outgrown your car because the dog is the only thing you can now squeeze into it, or you now have twins to accommodate and need to trade your two seater for a family car, or you need to fund that last minute overseas trip, selling your second hand car online for cash is a good way to guarantee you get a good price, but preparation is key.

Bronwyn Johnson, head of marketing for OLX Africa, offers some tips to ensure you have the best chance at selling your vehicle, hassle free, for the right price:

Paper Work: Make sure that you have all your papers in order. This will reassure the buyer and prevent delays and disagreements later. Get the buyer to sign an offer to purchase, outlining the agreed price and the condition of the car. Both parties should sign and keep a copy. All cars must pass a roadworthy test before being licenced. If you obtain the roadworthy certificate give it to the buyer. You’ll also need to hand over the original registration papers to the buyer. If the vehicle is still being paid off, you will need to arrange for the papers with your bank or lending institution. Also, check that there are no outstanding fines attached to the vehicle and pay them.

Preparing your car: De clutter your glove compartment so only the owner’s manual and registration papers are inside. Check all the switches and lights to make sure they are functioning and that the air con and sunroof is working. Empty the boot, check the oil and water and get the car washed and waxed so that it is sparkling clean inside and out. Vacuum the dog hair, empty the ashtrays and get rid of loose change and food wrappers under the seats.

Meeting the buyer: It is very important to meet somewhere public when showing the buyer the car. Meeting outside a police station or in an area with surveillance cameras is a good idea and take someone with you for added security. Make sure your insurance covers the buyer who will test drive the vehicle. Also, avoid letting potential buyers test drive the car alone.

Payment: Avoid receiving payment by cheque, as these are vey easy to forge and often bounce. Receiving large sums of cash is also not a good idea unless you hand over the money at the bank where it can be counted and deposited and have security cameras which will give you peace of mind. An electronic funds transfer (EFT) is the best payment method as long as you make sure that the money clears in your bank account before you hand over your car. If the buyer still needs to make arrangements to pay, it is customary to ask for a deposit once an agreement has been reached. Around 10% of the asking price is acceptable.

Sealing the deal: The last form you need to fill out as the seller is one that will de-register the vehicle from your name, which you can obtain at your local traffic department.

Be honest: Remember, it is important that you disclose the full condition of the car, including its service history and any accidents that it may have been in. With the new consumer protection act (CPA) in place, there is no room for sneaky or sloppy sellers in South Africa.

Price it right: You probably have an idea of what you would like to get for your car, but the only way to know you are pricing it right is to do your research. Check online on the vehicle section on OLX for comparable vehicles and prices.

Posting your ad: Signing up and posting your ad is easy. Just select a category and subcategory, post an ad by filling in the details required on the page and post your ad. A picture paints a thousand words, so take a whole lot of interior and exterior shots from different angles. Mention the brand name, model and year of the car and detailed description and mention all extras as this helps people to compare it with other ads for similar products and make an informed choice. Don’t forget to give alternative methods of contact and at least one contact number.

Johnson adds that on OLX you can easily design rich ads with pictures, control your selling, display your ads on your social networking profile and access the site from your mobile phone.

For more information vist: www.olx.co.za or join the conversation on facebook.com/OLXSouthAfrica or Twitter: @OLX_ZA

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