Car boot sales: declutter your life and pick up some bargains

Car boot sale

Car boot saleCar boot sales are still going strong, despite the advent of eBay and Freecycling. Do you need to persuade your children to clear out their toys or bedrooms? Well, just mention a car boot sale, produce a big plastic bag or box, and you’ll be amazed at the speed of which it gets filled.


Alternatively, if you’re at a loss for what to do on a Sunday and fancy a cheap afternoon out, head to your nearest car boot sale. It’s one of those activities where there really is something for all the family!

Car boot sale basics

  • Find out where your nearest Car Boot is by checking on
  • Most car boot sales are free to buyers. Some may ask for a donation, and others a small entry fee (20p to £1)
  • The entry fee for sellers is usually £5-£7 for a car, and £8 – £12 for a van. No need to book in advance, just turn up on the day.

Seven tips for stress-free car-booting

1. Get there on time

If you’re selling, load up the car the night before and leave time when you get there for queuing to get a spot, unpacking and displaying your wares.

If you’re buying, get there in good time too! The early bird definitely gets the worm at car boot sales. (In fact, most of the buying is done by the sellers who start trading before the car boot opens to the public.)

2. The more adults the better

Especially if you’re both selling and buying you need at least two adults so you can take turns to stay with the car, and take the children around.

3. Selling with children

Let them know that not everything might sell, and that the prices are going to be quite low. They won’t be millionaires by the end of the day!

4. Buying with children

Give your children a budget, and stick to it. Remember you can buy a lot more at a car boot sale than at the shops; £2-£3 can get a lot of books and toys.

Encourage them not to buy the first thing they see, but to look around.

Remember, if your aim is to declutter your life, you have to be firm about those ten teddies for a pound!

5. Electrical items

If you’re selling something that needs a battery, bring some along to demonstrate that it works. Likewise, if you’re buying something, you’ll have to trust that it works, or try and persuade the buyer to demonstrate that it’s not broken.

6. Keep them close

Be strict about young children staying with you. Some car boots are enormous, and there are lots of goodies to catch small eyes. It’s easy to lose sight of the children.

7.  Start small

If you have a younger family, try a small car boot sale out first, and get them used to the idea. A large car boot can be quiet overwhelming.