Selling a modified car in the UK


Ever since the first lockdown in the UK, the way people buy cars has changed. Previously, buying a car sight unseen online was a very rare and unusual way of buying a card. But with services such as Cinch, it’s becoming the new normal.

Platforms such as AutoTrader are starting to shift more towards remote buying, which is being dominated by dealerships more than ever. Put that together with Facebook Marketplace being the go-to place for individuals to sell used cars – and you’ve got an entirely different car buying landscape than you did five years ago.

All of this has had an impact on those trying to sell modified cars in the UK – making it increasingly difficult for owners to get their car in front of interested buyers. Listing a modified car on AutoTrader is next to useless, because it just gets lost within the thousands of adverts from dealerships. Listing on Facebook is no better, it’s full of timewasters and doesn’t provide useful search capabilities.

This means those that are looking to sell a modded car, need to be clever and follow 5 simple steps to ensure they get the best price for their car

Provide a detailed description

Listing your car with a description such as “handles like it’s on rails” or “pulls like a train” is not good enough. You need to list out all of your modifications, no matter how small they may be.

You also need to explain why you’ve done them. For example, if you’ve added an aftermarket exhaust – explain what it’s done. Has it given a more raspy tone? Or maybe it lets out the odd pop and bang.

Take high quality photos

This seems like an obvious one, but so many people fail to take decent photos of their car. Take your photos during the day, ensuring you get a photo for each side of the car. Be sure to take photos of any modifications where possible.

And for the love of god, wash it first!

List on specialised websites

As previously mentioned, sites like AutoTrader and Facebook can be a bit of a nightmare for modified cars. Instead, you should aim to list on specialised websites. For example, if you’re selling a modified JDM car, take a look at JDM car forums. Website such as Madlows provide a platform where enthusiasts can buy and sell modified cars.

Provide evidence of modifications

Not all modifications are visible. For example, a remap or forged engine parts. People are more likely to buy a car if there is proof of modifications. Even better would be if the invoice/receipt has the registration number of the car present.

Be sensible with pricing

As nice as it would be to get your money back on modifications, you won’t. When pricing your car, find several standard examples with similar mileage and age and add a sensible amount on top. For example if your only modification is a catback exhaust then you probably won’t get away with adding some on top. However, if you’ve got a forged engine and air suspension – you could easily get away adding a chunk of cash on top.

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