Sales, Marketing and Communications

Car Salesperson

Car salespersons sell new and used cars, and possibly vans and motorbikes.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Car Salesperson do?

As a car salesperson, or motor vehicle salesperson, you would sell new and used cars, and possibly vans and motorbikes.


Work activities

As a car salesperson, your duties will vary with the type and size of the showroom. You may work for a dealership, where new cars are all from one manufacturer, or for a smaller dealer where you would sell a variety of makes and models.

In this job you will typically:

  • discuss customers' needs and the features of different vehicles
  • advise which vehicles would best suit the customer
  • arrange test-drives
  • negotiate the sale price, including any ‘trade-in’ value for a customer’s old car
  • work out finance, including cash and car loans
  • highlight extra products such as accessories or after-sales service
  • complete paperwork and pre-delivery inspections
  • update stock lists, place orders for new cars from manufacturers and buy in used cars
  • keep existing and potential customers informed about new vehicles and deals
  • keep the showroom and vehicles clean and tidy.

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


Key skills and interests

To become a car salesperson, you would need:

  • a polite and professional approach
  • self-confidence and an outgoing personality
  • good negotiating skills and a persuasive manner
  • a positive attitude to customer care
  • the ability to explain technical information to people who aren’t experts
  • good maths skills for working out costs.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would usually work a standard number of hours, although you would be required work shifts as car dealerships generally open 7 days a week.


You would normally work in a showroom and office and spend some of your time showing customers around cars. You may take people for test drives and would need a full drivers’ licence to do this.


How to become an Car Salesperson?

Entry Level Education

Some employers may look for maths and english but you don’t usually need formal qualifications.

You would be expected to have previous sales experience, although some employers place more importance on your confidence, personality, ability to persuade people, and your knowledge of cars and the motor industry. They may test your ability to ‘close a sale’ as part of the interview.

You can also become a car salesperson through a traineeship in Automotive Sales. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior school certificate or equivalent.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of retail salespersons, including car salespersons, is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment of retail salespersons has traditionally grown with the overall economy, and this trend is expected to continue. Population growth will increase retail sales and therefore demand for these workers.


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