The Age-Old Question – How and When to Best Sell Your Car in Singapore

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There comes a time in every Singaporean’s life when he or she has to sell the family car. It could be because it’s too expensive to run, or there are just not enough seats for the growing family, but no matter what the reason is, every car owner would have, at some stage, been faced with the conundrum of how best to sell their used car.

However, if you think that simply putting up an ad on an online car marketplace platform will fetch you top dollar for your used car then I’m sorry to say this but you’ve got another thing coming. The age-old question of how to sell your Singaporean car and get maximum value for it still remains debatable.

Do you try to sell it yourself to a direct buyer to try and obtain the maximum value?

Or do you sell to or trade it in with a used car dealership for a hassle-free transaction, where all of the legal paperwork, loan and insurance documentation is handled for you?

When it comes to selling a used car in Singapore, there are both advantages and shortcomings to carefully mull over. For example, selling it on your own gives you direct control of the sale price, but necessitates more paperwork and potentially a temporary cash-flow squeeze if there are any outstanding loans to be settled.

Selling your used car to a dealership can be easier and virtually hassle-free on your part, but does not allow much room for negotiation and you will almost always end up with a very poor price offer.

One of the alternatives is a mix between the two options discussed, which is to sell it through a third-party trader that’ll take care of all the paperwork for you while giving you some wiggle room when it comes to negotiating the price. Otherwise known as consigning your car, a third party trader does the marketing and price negotiation work for you as a middleman, drawing a commission cut in the process. They would also handle all administrative hassles for both the buyer and the seller. However, communication with the buyer through a third party also has its difficulties. Often, buyers and sellers in a transaction via a consignment trader find it difficult to arrange for a test drive and viewing appointments. And in terms of value, it still does not beat selling your car yourself after taking into account the commission payable to such traders.

Hence, if you are seeking the maximum value for your used car, it is more often than not that trying to sell it yourself would be the best bet.

So then, what then are your options if you wish to maximize the value from the sale of your used car by selling it yourself?

Carousell Cars – A Car Marketplace for the Smart Buyer and Seller

If you are planning to sell your used car on your own, there is no better place to do so than on Carousell Cars!

Carousell Cars are Singapore’s largest growing and most significant car marketplace today! According to a recent article by Vulcanpost, 5 in 10 car transactions in Singapore took place over Carousell – an incredible feat for a young startup.

Reach out to thousands of interested car buyers today and list your vehicle on Carousell! The listing process literally takes minutes, so hurry over to Carousell Cars today!

Carousell also provides useful information, forms and guides for the entire sale and purchase process, making it quite a breeze actually for you to handle the paperwork on your own! When you do bear in mind that dealerships often charge up to $500 for assisting you with this paperwork, the little bit of effort seems extra worthwhile!

Read on here, for a more detailed guide on selling your car on Carousell.

Do a bit of research on the potential value of your car

Before you dive right into listing your car, you should have a realistic and reasonable gauge of the value of your car shouldn’t you?

This is the most important first step to selling your car on your own – determining the selling price!

Setting a fair, market price is critical as if you price it too high, it will just turn genuine potential buyers away. Price it too low, and you will be holding the short end of the stick. To get a rough estimate, here are a few things you can do.

First, get onto a car marketplace platform like Carousell to find similarly aged car models and see what prices are car dealers listing them for. It is important that the age is closely similar, as even a few months’ difference can mean several thousands of dollars’ difference in price due to how cars depreciate in Singapore. Other factors to consider thereafter are details such as condition, mileage, service history and trim options and levels. From this point on, you should have a good range to work with.

The next best thing to do after is to get onto a car quote service platform like Swiftquote by the good chaps at Services such as Swiftquote quickly publish your vehicle’s information out to hundreds of used car dealers and have them submit bid prices before they select the best offers to present to you. At this stage, you should be able to form a basis then for the minimal selling price of your used car.

Once you are happy with the price that you think is reasonable, it is now time to list your car for sale!

Clean up your car inside out, and take great photos

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. In the case of selling your used car, your pictures could mean the difference in the price of thousands of dollars!

One proven way to attract more buyers better than any other method is to showcase your car in the most attractive way possible. Just as homeowners are popularly “staging” their homes for sale, the same idea applies to cars.

If your car is cluttered and dirty, it immediately gives viewers the idea that your car is more than just cluttered and dirty – it tells viewers convincingly that the car is hardly taken care of. Something that could well lead to really expensive repairs eventually.

This is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to bump up the asking price of your car! It costs next to nothing, and in the meantime, you will get to enjoy a clean and clutter-free car until it is sold!

So, when should you think about selling your car?

Now that we have established some of the best ways to sell your car, let’s look at WHEN is the best time to do so. As with all things in life, planning ahead and a bit of research work will do you a great deal of help before you embark on the journey of the actual sale process!

Often, life situations dictate when you should sell your car. However, if you are planning the sale of your vehicle by timing it to maximize utility, here are a few things to consider.


Buying a car is a major purchase in one’s lifetime, and more so in Singapore than anywhere else. With the high price tag, cars are often sold with extended warranty periods of up to 5 years or more. During the warranty period, dealers may cover everything from regular servicing to major repair works, depending on the car make and model. Therefore, many car owners choose to change or upgrade their ride when the warranty runs out at the 5th year mark.

In doing so, you maximize your utility of the vehicle while driving almost “risk-free” from having to incur significant costs from repairs and servicing.

5th Year

Coincidentally, another reason the 5th year mark is a great time to sell your vehicle in Singapore is due to the PARF rebate scheme. As long as a vehicle is still younger than 5 years old, car owners are entitled to the maximum PARF rebate of 75%. This bumps up the value of the vehicle in question, as the rebate amount would subsequently reduce steadily by 5% every year thereafter till 50%.

One condition that is unique to Singapore however, is the infamous Certificate of Entitlement, or COE. If the COE is sky-high at the 5-year mark of your vehicle, you may not wish to consider selling your car if you intend to purchase a new vehicle subsequently, as the new car purchase is going to cost way more.

In such a case, car owners can consider the next alternative.

7th to 8th Year

If you have managed to drive your car without worries for 7 to 8 years, congratulations! Otherwise, you will be acutely aware that by now the wear and tear of your car are getting more severe and impending repairs are going to get costlier as time goes by.

To avoid going through the dreaded major repairs when your vehicle has only 2 to 3 years of its COE left, this is another best time to consider selling your car. At this point, there is still some residual value on the COE, as well as a 50% PARF rebate, which still adds to the overall value of your car.

Moreover, younger drivers who are first-time car owners often tend to look for such cars as a first time purchase, in part due to their lack of experience and therefore the consideration of a shorter-term “practice” car, and also in part because of the much lower quantum to purchase a car. This makes selling your car at this stage an attractive timing.

When NOT to sell your car

Conversely, you can maximize value by avoiding bad timings to sell your car.

As with all things new and shiny, cars tend to lose more of their value in their first three years of life and especially more pronounced in the first two years. This is in part because the price differential isn’t as great during the first one or two years, many buyers would rather make a brand new purchase instead. The lowered demand, therefore, drives the prices down.

Car Loan Early Settlement Fees

Selling your vehicle that early could also attract penalties if you have a hire purchase loan with a financial institution. Often, banks and financial institutions would charge an early settlement penalty if you choose to sell your car within the first one or two years and, in the process, have to repay your loan early. Such early settlement fees could run into the thousands, and is certainly something to look out for and consider when you are planning to sell your car!

As a word of advice, always contact your financial institution directly and ask about the early settlement amount as well as any penalties.

A Myriad of Considerations

We started by saying that oftentimes, life situations are what determine when someone chooses to sell their car. Whether to upgrade to a bigger one or simply out a whim’s fancy, selling your used car in Singapore can be tricky business. However, one thing is for sure – there are ways to maximize the value of your car regardless of when you choose to sell it, so be sure to send this guide to your friends if they are planning on selling their cars soon!


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