Renault Love cars? Looking for a new source of income? Then car trading may be the ideal option for you. While it sounds difficult, it doesn’t need to be. Provided you have an eye for a decent motor, and a little bit of extra space on your driveway, the process is relatively straightforward.

Whether it’s the start of a new full-time career or something you do on a casual basis, these are the steps you need to take.

Step 1: Do your research

It pays to do your homework, especially when you are first starting out. You need to work out what type of car you want to sell; who your target demographic will be; who your competition is; and how much your chosen brand of car is selling for. You won’t be the only car trader out there, so by committing to research, you can focus your efforts in getting to know as much as you can for the benefit of prospective car buyers, and it will give you the tools to beat your rivals in the car trading business.

Step 2: Plan your budget

To become a car trader, you need to purchase at least one car! That’s obvious, but as with any business, you do need to make a profit. So within your business plan, consider the hidden costs in buying a car. So, as well as buying the vehicle, you also need to factor in car traders insurance (such as I4MT), repair costs (especially if you are buying something cheaply), trade plates, and advertising costs. Don’t blow your budget, and take the necessary precautions to ensure you aren’t buying something that will cost you too much more later.

Step 3: Buy a car

Auction houses, second-hand car dealers, and car selling websites are the common methods, but you should shop around until you get the best deal possible. Always have the car serviced before buying (you don’t want to be responsible for any defects when selling it yourself), and take it for a test drive. You should basically do all the things you normally would when buying a car for yourself, but remembering that you are partly responsible for the people who are then going to buy the car from you. In short, don’t buy a death trap, as your car trading business will end as soon as it has begun if your reputation goes down the pan.

Step 4: Prepare yourself for selling

When you have bought the car, you should do all you can to increase its value, such as making it look younger than it actually is aesthetically and by adding the appropriate modifications. Remember, however, that you are trying to make a profit, so don’t go overboard, unless you have the budget to do so. Then, as you are setting yourself up in business, you need to set yourself up as a sole trader with the HMRC. Once you are ready to go legally, and the car has been made ready for the resale, you are good to go for the sale.

Step 5. Sell your car

Once you have made the car shine, adhered to the Consumer Rights Act, and got the necessary paperwork in order - MOT certificates, service documents, V5C papers - you are ready to sell the vehicle. Advertise online at one of the many car listing websites and locally in the media, and await your first offer. When meeting the prospective buyer, ensure you don’t lower your offer too much when haggling, take them for a test drive, and on signing the contract, update the relevant paperwork. When the car is finally off the drive, you have done it, your first trade has been completed and you can pat yourself on the back. Your car trading business has finally hit the road!


While we have made the whole process sound easy, there will still be a few bumps in the road. You may have issues with the buyer; the car may not be up to scratch when you have bought it, and you may have to wait awhile before the car actually sells. But such is business - there will be highs and lows! Still, you can seek advice from others, and learn from the experience as you go along. In time, with careful planning and plenty of patience, you should become au fait with the car trade business, and hopefully become very successful in the process.

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