How to Sell Your Used Car: 10 Details Buyers Want to Know

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you’re thinking about selling your used car, the problem is, there are thousands of others selling too.

How will your car stand out?

Fret not, I got hold of the experts from Carousell Motors and they’ve happily listed out 10 details that car buyers frequently want to find out before they decide on buying a used car.

So before you start thinking about selling it, let’s dive into the important information you need to find out about your car so you can get in the eyes of car buyers (and avoid being asked frustrating questions all the time).

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The Basics: Make and Model, Horsepower, Mileage, Date of Purchase and your Price

You probably know your car’s make and model, maybe even its horsepower, but if you’re not a car person, you may not remember the exact details (e.g. a Toyota Altis Standard is different from a Toyota Altis Elegance).

Don’t worry, you can find the exact specifics in the user manual, or just ask a friend who’s into cars.

You should indicate the date of purchase and mileage of the car – the combination of these two tells the buyer how often the car was used.

Remember not to lie about the mileage!

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Gone are the days when you could manually “dial back” the dashboard counter to hide the number; these days the mileage is digitally stored in onboard computers. You’ll be in trouble if the buyer finds out later.

Finally, include your desired sale price and the depreciation (the difference between the asking price, and the amount you purchased the vehicle for). From this amount, you will be able to work out the average depreciation per year (the total depreciation divided by the age of the car).

If you’re not sure about the right price, you can spend some time viewing other listings on Carousell – check the prices of other cars similar to yours in make and age. This will give you some sense of a reasonable asking price.

However, remember that you’re not obliged to stick to the price range you see; if you think there is some reason your car is worth more – such as low mileage or better maintenance – then stick to your guns and be prepared to negotiate.

The Deregistration Value

When you deregister a car before its Certificate of Entitlement (COE) expires, you are entitled to a rebate.

Yes, it’s true! This is based on the Quota Premium (QP) paid for your COE and the exact number of days left to the end of the COE.

The good news is you don’t need to know the exact equations; just look up how much you paid for the COE. After that, visit the LTA website and key in the details of your car. Make sure you check the option marked “Not for Export”!

Also take note of the cash-back when the COE expires, for the convenience of browsing buyers.

State the owner count

The owner count is the number of previous owners.

This matters to some buyers as they can only get details from you; they cannot find out how the owners before you used or treated the vehicle. So the lower the number the better, but not all buyers care about this.

If there have been no other owners before you and you’ve treated the car well, you can try to justify a slightly higher price.

As with mileage, do not attempt to mislead the buyer regarding the owner count. Any buyer can check the number of times ownership has been transferred by consulting the LTA registry.

The Road Tax and its Expiry Date

Some buyers keep an eye out for the long term, ongoing costs; these include maintenance, insurance, and of course the vehicle’s road tax.

State the amount on your listing, along with the date the road tax expires.

Any Modifications To The Car

selling modified used cars in singapore

Not all buyers will appreciate modifications, and many don’t like the bother of having to remove them.

If you use “kits”, those items that superficially modify your car to look like it’s a racer, a buyer may also suspect you have modified the car in other ways – like did you alter the engine to make it run faster?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve actually done anything – what matters is what the buyer believes you have done.

Most buyers don’t want modified cars, as it is potentially illegal and voids the car insurance (A modification unauthorised by the insurer can void the insurance policy, even if the modification is approved by the Land Transport Authority). It also implies you’re the type to have taken the car to a track, or constantly pushed its limits.

Summary of What Buyers Want to Know About Your Used Car:

Now that you’re ready with the right knowledge, here’s a summary of the 10 important details:

  1. Make And Model
  2. Mileage
  3. Horsepower
  4. Date of Purchase
  5. Desired Sale Price
  6. Depreciation
  7. De-registration Value
  8. Owner Count
  9. The Road Tax and its Expiry Date
  10. Any Modifications To The Car

I made a neat guide for you compiling these 10 details so you’ll never forget the important details that buyers want to know about your used car! Click below to download!


Now that you’ve got some car sales know-how (coupled with your perfect sales pitch), go ahead and click on the button below to list it on Carousell’s car marketplace! It’s time you find a buyer for your vehicle!


Next Issue: “Selling Used Cars: 5 Steps on How to Price Your Car”

Now that you know what you need to find out about your car before you list it for sale, you probably want to know how much you can sell your car for.

Watch out for the next article that teaches you 5 steps on how to price your car!

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Do share with us in the comments section below if you know of any other important details we missed out. Feel free to share with us if you have any problems you’d like us to cover in future articles!

By Ong Hong Ya


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