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Sell your car faster


Put the power of to work for you.

How to Create an Effective Car Ad

Once you’ve gathered all the information you need to make your advertisement, you’re ready to learn how to make your ad stand out from the crowd and get potential buyers to come for a test drive.

Details of your Ad

As far as details go, you’re required to enter your car’s year, make, model, body style, mileage and price.
If the car features options list upgrades or after-market extras, be sure to list them. These sorts of items might include enhancements like leather upholstery, mag wheels, upgraded audio equipment, engine performance parts or safety features (like a reversing camera, for example).
Entering more detail about what your car features could also give you more qualified leads. You car will have a better chance of matching buyer searches and people will pay more.
The latest Nielsen study into ad effectiveness through, suggests that one in four enquires leads to a sale through the Autotrader website. That’s proof positive that good listings get much higher views and ultimately a firm enquiry. Having detailed listings will help you stand out from a crowd.

Writing your Ad   

This is where you focus on your car’s unique selling points. A few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Helpful selling points
  • Define forms of payment

Do you accept cheques, credit card or Eftpos?
Let people know up front what you will and won’t accept.

  • Disclose prior maintenance

A well maintained vehicle is a sought after vehicle. Give the prospective buyer added peace of mind by letting them know you took diligent care of the car. It’s even better if you have a file of maintenance records to back this up.

  • Disclose issues that require attention

Don’t wait to see if prospective buyers find a problem they’ll figure out you would have known about all along. Honesty can help avoid souring the deal, or having a disgruntled buyer back on your doorstep unsatisfied with what they’ve been sold.

  • Put them in the car

Create an ad that the buyer will relate to. It can make the difference between a quick profitable sale and just getting rid of a car. We know people are usually looking for low mileage cars that are fairly new, kept clean and have few owners.

If your car is really fuel-efficient, be sure to mention it: fuel efficient vehicles are in demand. If the car has always been garaged since you’ve owned it, let buyers know. They’ll be interested if they can see it’s been looked after.

  • Mention modifications

If you’ve added features to a car that aren’t part of its standard options, be sure to mention this in your description. For example, if you’ve added a new stereo, an alarm or special tyres, you may attract buyers searching for those particular extras. They might have dreams of fitting similar kit themselves, so if you’ve already done the job for them, they’ll be very interested in your car.

  • Give warranty information

If the car is still under warranty, list what type of coverage your car has had and for how long.

  • Price terms

Be sure to mention if your price is firm, negotiable or must sell.

  • Photos

Photos help buyers become familiar with the car so they develop a connection with it. You can add a single photo or up to ten. But don’t just limit yourself to exterior shots; interior shots are a must as they help buyers see the car’s overall condition.
Be sure to post quality photos; take pictures of the car once it has been cleaned inside and out. Make sure they’re not blurry and never take at night with just the back spot light for illumination.
If you can, wait until you have a cloudy day to take your photos, so there’s not too much glare. Remember, your car is the star of your photo shoot
Good photo coverage gives prospective buyers a comprehensive idea of what your car is like: that means if they call, they’re keen.

Ad enhancements

One of the best things you can do to help sell your car is to make it stand out. There are a number of choices:

  • Graphic tiles

These colour graphics help your listing stand out on the Search Results page. You can select points such as price negotiable, high performance, GPS, garaged, efficient fuel use or one owner.

  • Unique Numbers

This is a special service offered by that enables you to be alerted to any missed calls. This gives you a chance to follow up on any missed enquiry from a hot prospect.

And now that you know what to do, here’s what NOT to do

  • Don’t list your car for two different prices in two different places. If buyers see the difference they may be mistrustful of you.
  • Post only clear, comprehensive, quality photos. If you don’t have appealing photos, your ad will get buried.
  • Don’t overprice your car and then expect it to sell the next day. If the price is too high, the phone won’t ring.
  • Don’t change your price every couple of days. Buyers will think you’re not serious or your ad is not legitimate.
  • Buyers go online and watch ads over a period of time. Don’t panic if you don’t get any bites in the first few hours after listing your car.
  • Don’t neglect your car’s unique options. Extras like GPS, air bags or outstanding fuel efficiency are all important.



Auto Trader New Zealand