How to write the perfect used car advert

The only chance you’ve got to get people interested in buying your car is the sales pitch you create in its advert. That’s why the text has to be informative – vague statements are just a waste of space. Make every word count – don’t waste the reader’s time with statements such as ‘no time wasters’ or ‘lovely driver’ because they’re meaningless. What you do need to include are: 

  • The exact make, model and specification of the car. That means its engine, trim and bodystyle are in there, such as ‘Ford Fiesta 1.4 petrol five-door hatch’.
  • Now there are two plate changes a year, it’s essential you include both the year and registration letter, such as 2008/58-plate.
  • Don’t use the manufacturer’s colour name as it won’t mean much to the reader. Say whether it’s a light, mid or dark colour, then say what the basic hue is. Also state if it’s metallic.
  • State the exact mileage – don’t just say whether it’s low or high.
  • Say exactly how much tax is left – and the same goes for the MoT. Also state if there’s a full service history – and whether or not the work has been carried out by a main dealer.
  • Say how many owners the car has had – unless that will work against it because it’s had dozens of them.
  • Name the key features that your car has, such as air conditioning, alloy wheels, sat-nav and so on – whether they’re standard-fit items or optional extras.
  • Make sure you put a price – don’t just say ‘open to offers’. See more about this on the next page; Setting the price.

The ideal template:

2009 (59-reg) Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SXi, finished in yellow with grey cloth interior. Five-speed manual gearbox. One private owner, garaged from new, 37,000 miles. Full dealer service history, taxed and MoTed until October 2014. Unmarked interior, excellent exterior apart from a scrape on the front bumper. Factory-fitted extras include DAB radio, rear parking sensors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Selling due to new company car, asking £4,200 ONO. 01234 567890 or 07777 777777.