Should I Sell My Car to A Dealer Or 2nd Hand Buyer?

How much will I get if I scrap my car? If you are thinking of parting ways with your current car then you will have to decide between selling it directly to a 2nd hand buyer or a scrap car dealer. Yet, the difference between selling to the two different parties is not as simple as a price comparison. Instead, several other factors are involved when picking between them.

As a Rule of Thumb…

You can expect to get higher offers for your car from direct buyers. This is due to both a natural process of having a larger market to sell your car to and also the lack of recognised administrative cost incurred. However, that is not to say that indirect costs won’t be incurred under this method. In fact, in sometimes, the indirect costs erode the incremental price gains under direct buyers as compared to car agents.


An obvious benefit that car agents provide is a reduction in time that you have to spend on selling your car. Direct agents take care of all administrative and paper work, while getting back to you in a couple of days with a reasonable quote. As such, engaging car agents makes perfect sense when you are in a rush to get rid of your vehicle in a short period of time. 

Conversely, if you decide to sell on the open market to another direct buyer, then there is no guarantee how long the search will take. Depending on the demand from the market, you may have to spend sufficient time finding the right offer for your car.


In line with the reduction of time, car agents also reduce all hassle associated for the car sale process. Since the dealer will take care of all administrative work, your only essential task is to sign on the dotted line and to hand over your car keys. 

The opposite is true for an owner-to-owner transaction. Without the help of the dealer, you will have to be in charge of all tasks, ranging from marketing to price negotiation, from transferring insurance to vehicle ownership. These processes require no shortage in paper work and knowledge, hence they can be very time consuming. 

Profits Earned

Generally, a car agent will charge a management fee around $2000 to cover the cost of all business related tasks while pocketing a margin on top of that. As such, you stand to profit more from selling to a direct buyer with the caveat having to incur all additional indirect expenses. 

These are the main factors involved when choosing whether to sell your car directly to another buyer or to go through a scrap car agent. If your only objective is to get the most out of the exchange, then these three main factors should be sufficient for your consideration. 


As a mechanical engineer turned blogger, Charlie provides readers with a technical, yet accessible look into the world of automotive engineering and design. His insightful posts make complex car technologies understandable.