Car selling options: A 101 guide
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With rising COE prices, people are selling their cars to make a quick buck. With three methods available, we weigh the pros and cons and evaluate which might be right for you.

Category: Car Selling Advice

With COE prices reaching new heights at time of writing, now might be an ideal time to either sell off or downsize your current vehicle. But, you could be a novice to car selling and are unsure of the available methods to trade-in/sell your car. This is exactly why this 101 guide has been prepared, to help find suitable options that help you sell your car with an ease of mind. For a more in-depth and updated piece, please refer to our 102 Guide.

Here are your options:

You get more freedom to play around with the way your advertisements look if you choose online platforms such as

Option 1: Owner to Owner

Direct selling typically fetches you a higher selling price than any other methods. Anyone familiar with e-commerce site should be familiar with a direct owner sale. The seller, which is you, sells the vehicle, to an interested buyer. Simple and easy.

There are two main forms of media that sellers here utilise to get the job done. One is through print while the other is the Internet.

I'm sure all of us are familiar with the bulky Classifieds CATS section bundled with The Straits Times everyday. This is what we refer to as print. Among other things, it contains several pages of car listings from different sellers categorised by manufacturers. The Straits Times has a circulation of 365,800 copies and a readership of 1.43 million. However, not everyone who picks up the newspaper goes for the classifieds section. Target audience is typically the group of readers who aren't familiar with the Internet.

Online media, on the other hand, offers easier access for consumers. According to a poll conducted by Nielsen, Singaporeans spend the most amount of time on the Internet in South-East Asia. On average, 25 hours a week is spent surfing the internet, and about 80% of Singaporeans go online daily.

You might want to check out sgCarMart Connect, which provides a one-stop vehicle transaction service, if you're a first timer

One of the differences between print and online media is the cost for advertising and media space. An advertisement on The Straits Times classifieds costs a minimum of $36 per day on weekends. The money you pay gets you four lines of text - definitely not enough to provide all the details required for a buyer.

On the other hand, online classifieds, example, charges $68 until it's sold with a full dedicated page - sufficient space for even the smallest of details. With online advertisements, you get more freedom to advertise your sale with attractive pictures that shows your car at its best and detailed descriptions that would enhance your vehicle's selling price. As people increasingly get connected through their gadgets whether at work, in transit or at home, chances of sealing a deal through online advertisements has improved exponentially in recent years.

We provide transactional services for direct buyer and seller deals. All paperwork done by us so you don't have to! FREE for all cars listed on sgCarMart.

One problem with direct selling is the large amount of paper work needed after sealing the deal. There will be multiple trips to banks and insurance companies even before the ownership transfer can be done.

Since 26 November 2018, LTA has digitalised the vehicle ownership transfer process. While it will potentially improve convenience by removing the need to head down to LTA to complete the paperwork, you need to understand the new process so as to proceed without any hiccups along the way.

If you are a first timer and unsure with the paperwork procedures, consider engaging in a one-stop vehicle transaction service. An example of such a company is sgCarMart Connect.

It assists car buyers and sellers in their transaction process. Its services include insurance sourcing, car loans and legal documentation.
They even offer a cash rebate of up to $500 from the banks the loan is financed from. sgCarMart Connect is able to provide a hassle-free and worry-free experience for both sellers and buyers.

Option 2: Owner to Car Dealer

Selling to a dealer is relatively hassle-free. A trip down to your dealer, some negotiations and a few phone calls thereafter, your vehicle is sold. Dealers handle all the documentation of the sale and provide you with the payment.

Be cautious when signing any document with a used car dealer. They are very experienced in the complex field of motor trade, and always insist on all verbal agreements to be written down. Also do not rush with the sale. Snoop around, and check with a few dealers on the selling price before confirming your sale.

Consider selling your vehicle through Quotz, which provides eBay-like auction services

For some, whom are not really good hunters, the trip down to the dealers and negotiations can often turn out to be negative. Consider auctioning your vehicle and have the dealers come to you instead. With the hunter becoming the hunted, you save a lot of time and energy from tiring negotiations from visiting every dealer.

sgCarMart Quotz helps car sellers get the most attractive car sale price from a network of over 500 used car dealers. Cars go through a 188-point inspection before being listed on an open bidding system. The highest offer will be ready within an hour and the seller gets to choose whether to accept the offer. If it is accepted, the seller gets paid immediately, and the car can be handed over in two weeks' time.

The service comes with a $100 guarantee that it will provide an unmatchable highest dealer offer available in the market. Quotz is a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings & and has successfully transacted over 15,000 cars.

Why sell for less? Quotz guarantees the highest selling price for your car in the market or get $100 free!
Get cash immediately. Handover after two weeks!

Option 3: Selling via consignment

Consigning your vehicle is allowing a dealer to sell the vehicle on your behalf, but retaining legal ownership of the vehicle until it is sold. 

In a consignment scheme, you authorise a consignment agent to market your car and make the sale on your behalf. If a sale goes through, simply pay the agent a fee and everyone is happy. Depending on the agent's modus operandi, you can either leave your car with them or continue driving the car as they source for a buyer.

The benefits of consigning your car is that you get to decide on your car's asking price while the agent handles troublesome aspects of the sale, such as enquiries and documentation when the sale is done.

Once a buyer is found, the consignment agent usually takes a cut from the sale of the vehicle, ranging from a flat fee of $500 to one percent of the final selling price, depending on the consignment agreement.

To sum it up:
  • Selling direct gets you the best price, but when selling directly to a buyer, beware of paper work, unless either party is well aware of the procedures involved in selling a vehicle owner to owner.
  • When going through a dealer, take your time, be reasonable but do not hesitate to negotiate for the best deals that put both you the seller and the dealer on common ground.
  • Try auctioning if dealers do not give you the best of deals. It saves time by letting the dealers come to you.
  • Keep the option of selling your vehicle through consignment. With the option of keeping ownership of your vehicle while looking for a deal, you'd still benefit if something doesn't work out or you change your decision halfway.
Here are some related articles that might interest you 

Rule of 78 for car loans: Everything you need to know 

Selling your car: Avoid these mistakes when selling to a dealer

How to get dealers to buy your car at a high price

Car selling options: A 102 guide

Car Consignment - How it works and other options

*This article was updated on 15th March 2021.

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