Selling a used car in Singapore: The complete guide for direct owners

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Many car buyers in Singapore, first-time or not, consider used cars as a good choice. According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), over the past 5 years, an average of over 100,000 cars changed hands each year!

And as a seller, it’s actually not that complicated if you’re planning to DIY the selling process. This way, you’ll get to save on agent fees (more savings to buy your new car?), and you’ll still get to continue driving your car while waiting for an interested buyer (as compared to leaving it with a dealership).

Here’s our guide to selling your car to a direct buyer on your own:

1. Decide on the selling price of your car
2. List your car for sale
3. Arrange car viewings with prospective buyers
4. Get a deposit and sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement form
5. Settle any outstanding vehicle loan on your car
6. Apply for a transfer of vehicle ownership via the OneMotoring website
7. Hand over the keys

1. Decide on the selling price of your car

Price your car too high and it’ll be hard for you to attract buyers; price it too low and you’d be at the losing end. There’s no exact science to finding that sweet spot when it comes to setting a selling price for your car, but you can do some research to get a rough estimate.

First, do a quick search on platforms like Carousell to check out how other direct sellers are pricing their cars. This gives you an idea of the market depreciation rate and market value of your car.

Of course, cars of the same model and make could vary in price depending on a whole ton of factors like their age, mileage, condition, and modifications. Read the description in each listing to see how the sellers justify their asking price. For instance, has the car been freshly modified with brand new aftermarket parts, hence the higher price?

how to sell your car in singapore guide

To get a better idea of how much you can be getting for your car, you can also get a quote from services like Swiftquote. The folks will find you the highest offer from their network of car dealers – this can at least act as a benchmark. Or, for all you know, you’ll be quoted a price you’re happy with, and you might decide to just go with that. (Zero obligations, though!)

2. List your car for sale

A car is a big purchase, so be sure you’re giving as many useful details as possible.

Other than the basics like the make, model, and submodel of your car, also include information like:

  • Transmission: Auto or manual?
  • Badge/ trim: Is your car a special edition?
  • Specifications: Engine capacity? Maximum power output?
  • Age: Original registration date
  • COE category and COE expiry
  • Mileage
  • Open Market Value (OMV): Basically the price paid when your car was imported into Singapore. You can check the average OMVs of common car models on LTA’s OneMotoring website.
  • Additional Registration Fee (ARF)
  • Quota Premium (QP) paid
  • The number of previous owners
  • Road tax expiry
  • Road tax cost
  • Any additional car modifications/ accessories
  • Condition: How often is the car serviced, and when was the last time? If you have previous receipts or service records to prove you took good care of your car, all the better!

Not to be tooting our own horn again, but you can simply key in your license plate number, ID and country when listing your car on Carousell, and we’ll automatically look up all of the hard-to-remember car details for you: the original registration date, COE category, COE expiry, OMV, ARF and QP:

how to sell your car in singapore carousell

Alternatively, you can check your car’s details through the OneMotoring website. Log into the digital services page with your Singpass details, navigate to “Vehicle Hub”, and then “Enquire and print vehicle registration details”:

onemotoring lta singapore how to find out vehicle details

3. Arrange car viewings with prospective buyers

So you’ve listed your car for sale and received enquiries from a bunch of interested car buyers. Now is your ride’s real time to shine!

When arranging car viewings with prospective buyers, be sure to allow ample time for each of them to give the car a thorough check-through and test drive. Say, a good 1-1.5 hours.

Or, if your buyer feels more at ease getting a professional opinion, you can engage a pre-purchase car inspection service like Carousell Inspected and send the car to an authorised service centre for a professional health check.

Before the buyer test drives the car, it’s good practice to request for them to sign a test drive indemnity form, which indemnifies you against any liabilities caused during the test drive.

Another tip: You might also want to pre-plan the test drive route. Identify a road that you know will be relatively empty during the test drive so that the buyer can concentrate on the performance of the car.

4. Get a deposit and sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement form

A verbal agreement isn’t legally binding, so if the buyer is ready to call dibs, collect a deposit (there’s no stipulated amount – however much both you and the buyer are comfortable with!) and issue them a payment receipt as well as a Sales and Purchase Agreement, which acts as the ‘contract’ of the sale. This should also indicate the agreed price and the handover date of the car.

It’s then the buyer’s job to secure a car loan if they need one; they’ll also have to make sure to have valid motor insurance under their name, covering the full period of the car’s valid road tax, beginning from the vehicle handover date. As for yourself, you’ll need to have paid off any outstanding vehicle loan on your car. Which is our next point…

5. Settle any outstanding vehicle loan on your car

If you got a loan when purchasing your car, you’ll have to pay it off in full before selling your car.

If you’ve got enough cash on hand to do so, great! This step will be rather straightforward – simply contact the bank or loan institution to pay off your loan. Note that there may be additional fees for early loan repayment.

Otherwise, there are several ways you can settle your outstanding vehicle loan. For instance, you can refinance your car loan i.e. secure another loan to pay your existing loan off, or transfer the loan to your credit card (subject to the credit card provider and your credit limit).

6. Apply for a transfer of vehicle ownership via the OneMotoring website

You’ll need to initiate the transfer of your car’s ownership. This can all be done online via the OneMotoring website – super simple!

Key in your details as well as the buyer’s identification number, name, mobile number and email address. Once you’ve completed this portion, the buyer will be prompted via SMS to confirm the transfer.

If the buyer is not eligible for SingPass (i.e. they’re a foreigner), both you and the buyer will have to go to the LTA Customer Service Centre to complete the application in person. Bring along your identification documents, and remind the buyer to do so too.

At this point, the buyer will pay you the balance of the purchase price.

7. Hand over the keys

Time to say goodbye to your ride – it’s time to hand over the car keys to its new owner.
Both parties should also sign a vehicle handover form, just so the entire transaction is accurately recorded in writing.

Sold!

And that’s it!

For easy reference, here are all the templates of the documents you’ll need to complete the sale:

  1. Test drive indemnity form: For buyer to fill up before test driving your car
  2. Payment receipt: Written acknowledge after buyer foots the deposit
  3. Sales and Purchase agreement: To prepare along with payment receipt
  4. Vehicle handover form: To officiate the handing over of your car to the buyer

Now that you’ve got a better idea of how to sell your car to a direct buyer, perhaps it’s time to see how other sellers are doing it on Carousell, or start listing your car for sale too?

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