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How To Sell A Car

A practical guide on the steps to take before selling your vehicle.

After using your car for a while, you may decide to find a new owner for it. You have the option of selling it to an individual or a professional. Some agents, dealers, mechanics and brokers also offer vehicle trade-ins. In this case, you can supplement a given amount to the sale price of the car in order to buy another one, new or used. Several options are therefore available to you when you want to sell your car. To carry out the operation, you will first need to take a few steps which are detailed in this article.

Table of Contents

Vehicle price estimate

Before announcing the sale of your car, you must know its value. Price estimation allows you to take advantage of the transaction. This operation requires knowledge of the automotive market. To know the price of your automobile, you must evaluate its rating, which will depend mainly on its age. If the car is less than 10 years old, the rating is usually accurate and is defined by exact age, model, overall condition, options, mileage, maintenance, etc.

Note that there are two types of automotive ratings, namely: Argus rating and consumer rating. The Argus rating is taken as a reference by vehicle sales professionals and insurers. Widely used for the purchase and sale of cars, it is not always advantageous for individuals. As for the general public rating, it can be assessed by the individual himself via platforms designed for this purpose. Many professionals have sites on which the estimation of the automobile rating is done quickly.

By making this choice, you will have to provide information about your vehicle in the given fields. To make a sale at the best price, make an estimate of your car online on a reliable and known site. This type of service is generally free and without obligation.

If your vehicle is more than 10 years old, its rating will be very low, which will severely impact its price. In this case, the ideal is to use an agent or a mechanic who offers car trade-ins. This professional will be able to take into account the market trend to give a trade-in price as close as possible to the real value of the vehicle. Whatever the age of your car, get help from an automotive professional to estimate its price.

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Verification of the car registration certificate

Commonly called a “grey card”, the registration certificate corresponds to the identity document of a vehicle. It is therefore one of the essential documents to carry out an automobile sale. To conclude such a transaction, you must give the buyer the crossed-out registration certificate or the detachable coupon of the part.

As a reminder, vehicle registration cards issued since 2004 in European Union member countries have a detachable part or coupon. If you have such a grey card, you will have to write the name, first name and address of the buyer on the coupon and give it to him. The purchaser will then be able to circulate for one month before taking possession of the new grey card created in his name.

However, if you have an old registration certificate, you must cross it out, add the words “sold on (date)” and sign it. Before the day of the sale, make sure that your car’s grey card is up to date. For example, if you changed your address recently, this information should be on the document.

A vehicle can only be sold by the holder of the grey card who is the legally recognized owner. If there are several co-owners, all must sign the registration certificate for the sale.

The realization of the technical control

The technical inspection is essential when the car to be sold is at least 4 years old. The operation must be done in an approved centre and date back to 6 months at the most, at the time of the sale. The technical control report is one of the documents that you will have to provide to the buyer.

If the result of the technical inspection is negative, a counter-visit will be necessary within 2 months of the first inspection. The deficiencies noted during the first visit will then be evaluated. When the first technical inspection is not conclusive, you can repair the vehicle at your own expense and then pass the second inspection.

Thus, at the appropriate time, you will give the buyer the minutes of each technical visit. The second possibility that presents itself to you is to sell the car despite the defects detected. If you choose this option, you must sell the car within 2 months of the first visit. The price of your vehicle will be evaluated according to this data. The buyer will have to carry out the second technical inspection himself.

On the other hand, if you decide to sell your car over 4 years old to a professional with a Siret number, you may not complete this formality. The same applies if your vehicle belongs to the category of those benefiting from the exemption from technical inspection. These include, among others, cars without a licence, vintage cars registered for the first time before 1960 and having a GVW (total authorized laden weight) of 3.5 tonnes at most, etc.



The declaration of transfer of the vehicle

Among the steps to take before selling a car, we have the declaration of transfer which allows you to obtain the transfer code. To do this, go to the ANTS website (Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés). You will need to go through France Connect or your ANTS user account. You must use the “Sell or give away my vehicle” procedure on the site.

You will need some basic information about the future owner such as name, surname, date of birth, etc. On the site, the ceria form No. 15776 (transfer certificate) and the certificate of administrative status are displayed. You will have to download them and then print them. Take note of the transfer code which should appear on the screen. You will need it to complete various procedures on the ANTS website.

In addition, this will be used by the buyer to request the registration certificate in his name. To close the transfer declaration procedure, you will have to enter the date and time of the sale, the mileage and the address of the purchaser. If this operation is no longer possible in the prefectures, digital points are still installed there. You can visit these places to take advantage of the available material and benefit from the assistance of digital mediators.

Agents approved by the Ministry of the Interior are able to declare the transfer of your vehicle for you. If you intend to sell your automobile to a professional, then you can consider this option. The service provider will need the 5-digit confidential code that was given to you when obtaining your registration certificate. You will also have to provide him with the necessary information and documents and he will take care of the process.

Obtaining a certificate of administrative status
You must give the buyer a certificate of administrative status formerly called a certificate of non-pledge. This document is issued by the Ministry of the Interior and provides important information about the vehicle. It allows the buyer to ensure that the car is not pledged for a loan and that any fines have all been paid.

The certificate of administrative status can be obtained on the ANTS website when declaring the assignment. If you are unable to obtain it, this would mean that the Public Treasury opposes the transfer of your registration certificate, a priori, for non-payment of the fine. You will then have to regulate the situation before selling your car.

You can make the history of your car known to the future new owner. The Ministry of the Interior offers the HistoVec online service free of charge. This allows you to know everything about the administrative situation and the technical control of the vehicles. You can share with the potential buyer the link to the report on your vehicle. This will be a way of demonstrating transparency, which will reassure the future buyer.


Completing and signing the declaration of transfer form with the buyer

To make the transaction official, you must complete the transfer declaration form (ceria no. 15776) that you will have downloaded and printed beforehand. The document is provided in two copies, one of which is intended for the seller and the other for the buyer. It is the seller who is responsible for filling out the two copies of the form.

In the box called “certificate of sale”, each of the two parties must affix their signature. In the event that you acquired the automobile on the second-hand market, you must enter the mention “not guaranteed” after the mileage written on the declaration of the transfer form.

After these steps, you can conclude the sale of your car. As a reminder, the documents and information that must be provided to the buyer are:

the grey card,
the certificate of administrative status dated less than 15 days,
the technical inspection report obtained at most 6 months ago,
the transfer code,
copy 2 of the transfer declaration form.

For reasons of transparency, you can add the link to the HistoVec report, the vehicle maintenance log, etc. Remember to cancel your car insurance as soon as the transfer of the vehicle is effective. To do this, inform your insurer in advance of the date of the sale.


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