How to advertise your car with a great classified car ad

Get the best price for your car and sell it quickly in the classifieds, with our guide to writing a great ad

online car ad

When you’re searching for your next car, there are few things more frustrating than a terrible classified ad. So if you want to attract the most potential buyers, it makes sense to get your ad just right. Follow our tips to crafting the perfect classified sales pitch, and you’ll have the best chance of standing out in the crowd.

The worst offence when writing a car ad to post online is not bothering to include any meaningful details, but there are other traps for sellers to fall into, too. Incorrect details, not enough pictures and clichés like ‘first to see will buy’ can all put potential punters off. And don’t get us started on those sellers who try to be funny with their pictures or text, they might get a few social media shares, but serious car buyers will run a mile.

How to buy a used car: the ultimate guide

If you keep your car ad simple, informative and clear you won't go far wrong. Basically, you should follow the advice below. Good luck!

Classified advert

Classified car ads: essential info

The first objective with a car ad is to make sure buyers are clear what you’re selling. So get the details right. 

You should always try to include the following...

  • Make, model, engine size (and name), plus trim level.
  • The number plate year identifier
  • Date of last MoT/remaining months of MoT
  • Last service date and service history
  • Colour and type of paint finish
  • Standard equipment/option highlights
  • Where the car can be viewed
  • Your contact telephone numbers
  • The asking price

Classified car ads: post the best pictures

Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d R-Sport - static

Buyers naturally want a good look around your car, so while it makes sense to present it at its best, adding detail photos of scratches or dents will work in your favour too:

  • Take lots of pictures, covering all the angles
  • Find a clear location, with space around the car
  • Pick a sunny day so your car looks bright
  • Wash your car, but don’t photograph it wet
  • Take close ups for wheel and tyre condition
  • Include images of the dashboard, front and rear seats
  • Photograph under the bonnet and inside the boot
  • Include details shots - instruments, stereo, spare wheel/tools
  • Take pictures of any damage
  • Add a link to more images on Flickr or Instagram if necessary

Classified car ads: polish your sales pitch


Now you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to concentrate on polishing up the sales pitch. The description is your chance to achieve a number of important goals. As well as filling in the background about your car’s specification, condition and history, you can further reassure buyers by describing what it’s like to drive, and point out other benefits like the great fuel economy, sporty handling or refined cruising ability. Buyers like to know why a car is being sold, too.

Try to keep your points clear and concise, and avoid clichés or motor trade jargon like ‘good runner’ or ‘first to see will buy’ – use the space to tell potential owners something else about the car instead. Don’t forget to include info on any known faults either, as unpleasant surprises when buyers come to view could make you seem untrustworthy.

Classified car ads: good communication is key

After you’ve written a terrific ad for your car, and posted a dozen great pictures. don’t throw away all the good work by sounding grumpy on the telephone or being short with people in emails. Be patient, communicative, helpful and understanding when dealing with responses to your ad, because if you can make a potential new owner like you, it’s going to be much easier to make them love your car!

What are your top tips for composing a classified car ad? Let us know in the comments section below...


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