Trading cars from home in the UK

Trading vehicles from home can be a worthwhile investment. There are specific things you should watch out for if you decide that this is a venture you’d like to take part in. Within this article we will go through the basics of motor trading, what to look out for, what to avoid, and how to get through to the final process.

One of the key things to keep in mind when selling cars is to be honest and upfront with the condition and documents of any cars you decide to sell. If there is anything wrong with the car after you have sold it on, as the seller you may be liable.

If you are starting up your part-time trading business it is a good time to make sure you are covered properly by a Motor Trade Insurance or Part Time Motor Trade Insurance policy that allows you to drive your stock, personal and business related vehicles under the same cover.

Look out for cars that sell well

It’s all well and good buying cars that seem to be a good deal, but do they sell? Knowing your market is one of the key points of being a car trader. Popularity of cars changes frequently and knowing what car is selling well and when, is what will benefit your trade the most. Don’t waste time idling over cars that you don’t know the market for just because they’re cheap.

It is essential that you do some market research before you set out to purchase a vehicle. Find out what types of cars are currently selling, and for how much, then you can set out to seek cars below that price level.

Buy Cheap, Sell Cheap

Don’t expect a diamond in the rough. Most car traders may buy cheap and then sell on for a small margin of profit, typically earning anything in the region of £400. This allows sellers to shift their stock for quick and easy sales. When looking to purchase your cars, you will have to first research how much they sell for, and what your purchasing budget is – you can then go on to car selling sites and maybe even locate cars at auction houses.

Watch out for dents or repairs that may be needed before buying

Purchasing and selling a car cheaply is perfect until you are faced with the unexpected bump in the road known as repairs. Knowing the true condition that the car is in can be valuable information that may protect you from potential losses on your investment. If you find the car you have purchased is in a bad condition you may find yourself paying more than what the car is worth in repairs.

Make sure the car has a recent MOT and proof is given

Along with knowing what condition the car is in, you need proof that the car is road worthy through an up-to-date MOT. This is something that is important to know before you make a purchase. Should you purchase a car without an up-to-date MOT, you may be extremely unlucky in finding that the purchased car is not road worthy and rendered useless until amendments are made – if they can be made.

Knowing if the car has passed an MOT test saves a lot of hassle when it comes to the resale of the car, as proof that a car is considered by professionals to be road worthy may often make or break a deal to potential buyers.

Alternatively, if you can do the repairs yourself and even get the car through an MOT, then you might be able to save some money here, adding further profit to your sale.

What pricing to go for?

Setting a budget can often depend on how much the car you are looking at sells for. From this information you can set your own budget and how much you’d like your profit margin to potentially be.

If you do your research before you make any commitments with purchasing a car, it may save you from any future losses. This means that you are more able to make an informed decision on which cars and how much profit each type of car can pull in from the value stated.

Keep in mind that there may still be some losses, as the market fluctuates frequently and popular cars shift from model to model each year.


Overall there are a few main points to keep in mind when you are starting your motor trade business.

  • Condition of any vehicle before purchase
  • Keeping up to date with the market
  • Budget and profit margins for each vehicle type
  • Any car documents (MOT & V5C)
  • Motor Trade insurance also covers you to trade vehicles from home