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How to sell a car in Singapore

So your car is nearing the end of its Certificate of Entitlement (COE) lifespan, or you are itching for an upgrade to a better class. You have two options — either sell your car to a used car dealership or direct to the end consumer by listing it for sale on an online portal.

If you are in a hurry and want a fuss-free experience, selling your car to a dealership is your best bet.

However, to maximise the returns and get the highest price for your car, consider cutting out the middleman. These days, there are just so many online platforms and tools to help you sell your car on your own. Here’s what you need to know to go about doing it.

Sell a car via online portals

There are quite a few reliable online portals where you can list your car. These include:

  • sgCarMart: Biggest online car mart with the largest database of used and new passenger and commercial vehicles for sale.

  • STCars: Offers free basic ad listings, with options to pay for premium service for sales, rental and leasing of commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars.

  • online auto concierge platform offering car sales and rental, free car valuation, export and scrapping services, car insurance quotes and COE renewal.

  • Carousell Motors: Offers a wide range of automotive products like passenger cars and commercial vehicles for sale. You can deal with buyers directly and maybe get a higher selling price.

  • The DBS Car Marketplace: Sale of cars, loan, car evaluation, roadside assistance, accessories and insurance renewal.

  • Carsome SG: Facilities the entire car selling process from vehicle inspection to delivery. Also takes care of administrative work.

To list your car, you will need to have the following information on hand:

  1. Licence plate number (platforms can also use this information to look up your original registration date, COE category, COE expiry, Open Market Value, Additional Registration Fee and Quota Premium paid)

  2. Selling price

  3. Car model

  4. Registration date and COE expiry date

  5. Mileage

  6. Well taken photos of your vehicle from various angles

  7. Any special modifications or special features of your car

  8. Condition: Include information on how often your car is maintained and serviced and the date of its last servicing. Include receipts and service records if possible for proof.

You can easily check your car’s details through the OneMotoring website. Simply log into Digital Services with your Singpass, navigate to the “Vehicle Hub”, and then “Enquire and print vehicle registration details”.

Steps to take to list, sell, and hand over your car

Setting the right price is key to making a sale. Set it too high and you could go for months without any interest from buyers; set it too low and you could be at a disadvantage.

So prior to listing, do your research by searching your car’s model, condition, age and years left on the COE on the various online portals listed above in (a). Try to get a good gauge of your car’s acceptable price range, then set your price a little higher — so you have a bit of a buffer in case buyers bargain.

If the price is right, you should be receiving queries from interested buyers in the next few weeks. Invite them down to your home or a mutually agreed venue to inspect the car and do a test drive along a quieter route with fewer cars.

Buying a car is a big purchase, so to put your buyer at ease, consider engaging a pre-purchase car inspection service at an authorised service centre. Having an objective professional opinion of the condition of your car could help smoothen the selling process and prevent any misunderstandings.

Also, before any test drive, do make sure to get your buyers to sign an indemnity form so that you won’t be liable for any potential damage caused during the test drive.

Step 3 – Get a deposit and sign a contract

When both parties have agreed on an acceptable price for the car, it’s time to close the deal and lock your buyer in with a sales agreement contract. Seal the deal with a deposit of any amount agreed upon by you and the buyer. You can issue a receipt for the deposit.

The contract makes it clear that the buyer has to bear all fees and levies imposed by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) directly associated with the car’s ownership transfer. The buyer also has to purchase a motor insurance policy for the car which is valid as of the date of ownership transfer and for not less than the full period of valid road tax.

Do note that if you breach the agreement, you will have to repay the buyer twice the amount of deposit he/she gave you; while the buyer stands to lose his deposit if he/she backs out of the deal.

You will have to settle any outstanding car loan you have on your car before you can transfer its ownership to another party.

If you are paying off your loan before it matures, you can expect to pay an early settlement fee, which will be a percentage of your loan.

If you do not have enough cash on hand to repay the loan, there are some ways to get the funds. For example, you could opt to refinance your car loan by getting another loan to pay off your existing one, or transfer your loan to your credit card.

Step 5 – Transferring car ownership to your buyer

There’s no need to head down to the LTA Customer Service Centre to transfer your car ownership, unless you are selling your car to a foreigner who does not have a Singpass.

Otherwise, all you have to do is access Digital Services on the OneMotoring website.

Once there, fill in the form with your details, as well as your buyer’s identification number, name, mobile number and email address. Once you click submit, the buyer will receive an SMS notification asking him/her to confirm the transfer. He/she will then have to log onto the OneMotoring website to accept the request and pay the $25 transfer fee.

Et voila! Right now, all that’s left is for the buyer to transfer you the balance of the purchase price and for the car key to exchange hands.

Remember to sign a handover form to make the handover official.

When is the best time to sell a car?

If you are not in urgent need of money, you might be wondering when is the best time to sell your car.

In its first three years of age, a new car depreciates at a very high rate in its first three years of age, so it is not advisable to sell it during this period.

An important indicator to look at in the Singapore context is the PARF (Preferential Additional Registration Fee) rebate you receive when you sell your car. The PARF rebate is a sum of money the LTA will give to you based on your car’s scrap value when you deregister and/or scrap it.

Once your car hits its 5th year, it is a good time to sell as its PARF rebate remains at a steady 75%. After the 5th year, the PARF rebate drops by 5% every year.

All ready to sell your car?

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