Car salesperson

vehicle sales executive
Retail and customer services

Career outlook for car salesperson

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would sell people new and used cars, van or motorbikes by showing the vehicle to customers. You’d explain its technical features so they can understand why the car would be right for them.

You’d also talk to them about how much it will cost and try to agree a price which persuades them to buy and makes you a profit.

You could work for a dealership, where the cars are all new and made by one manufacturer or for a smaller dealer where you’d sell a variety of used cars.

You’d keep the showroom, the forecourt and vehicles clean and tidy for the customers.

You would:

  • Chat to customers about what they need and explain the features of different vehicles
  • Advise which vehicle would suit the customer best
  • Arrange a test drive
  • Negotiate a price, including any ‘trade-in’ value for a customer’s old car
  • Work out how they will pay, including taking cash or arranging a car loan
  • Tell them about extra accessories or the after-sales service you offer
  • Fill in the paperwork
  • Do a pre-delivery inspection

You’d need to keep up to date with stock lists and place orders for new cars from manufacturers and might select and buy used cars.

You also tell existing and potential customers about new vehicles and deals.

In large dealerships, you may be part of a team and specialise in one area of selling. In smaller garages, you may be involved in all areas of the job.

You and your team may have to meet sales targets.

Working conditions


You’ll usually work a 40 to 45 hours a week, on a rota between 8am and 8pm, including most weekends and bank holidays.Overtime is likely around the 'new licence plate' times of year if you’re selling new cars.


You’ll normally work in a showroom and office and spend some of your time showing customers around cars on the forecourt.


You may take people for test-drives and will need a full driving licence to do this.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Attention to detail
  • Managing resources
  • Self esteem
  • Negotiating

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Most employers value a good general education at SCQF levels 4 to 6.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths

You will also need

A full driving licence

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate your employability skills, retail and customer care skills and an interest in cars such as

  • Skills for Work Retailing (SCQF level 5)