What qualifications do you need to be a car salesman?

What qualifications do you need to be a car salesman? You don’t require any qualifications to become a car salesman or sales executive in the UK. Lots of managing directors, sales managers and used car dealers also have very few academic qualifications.

You will however need a willingness to learn on the job and exceptional people skills are a requirement if you are going to be successful. Some businesses will like to see applicants that have GCSEs or the equivalent as the job does require a good grasp of maths and english. The ability to think fast and on your feet is also a required skill. A good car knowledge and an understanding of mechanics would also be an advantage, but it isn’t essential.


Most training is mostly given informally on the shop floor, often by shadowing an experienced salesman for a few weeks. Franchised dealers typically provide product immersion courses for both new and experienced sales staff. This normally involves a three or five-day course covering basic salesmanship and product knowledge and history and future plans for the brand. Some franchised dealers have been looking at offer apprenticeships for salesman in recent years, but this is still a relatively new concept.


You will typically be asked to work a five day week including every Saturday, you may have to cover some Sundays if the business is open seven day a week. Bank holidays my also be a requirement. The hours for a sale executive are typically 8:30 – 6:00. But you may find you’ll have to have to commit to longer hours if you want to be successful.

How much will you earn

According to TotalJobs, the average car salesman earns £32,500 per year, but the range of income is massive. With some earning as little as £19,000, and the best making £47,500. Most will earn a basic wage of circa £1000 per week with the rest being made up via commission.

What benefits will you receive

In most cases you will get the use of a car and the garage will cover the running cost including petrol and insurance. Few garages offer medical or dental as part of the job. But the bigger franchised groups will offer a pension scheme.

Is being a sales executive a good job?

For the right person selling cars can be a great job and offers a great opportunity to earn good money without needing lots or any qualifications. You will get work in a clean and fun environment, meet lots of interesting people and develop lots of transferrable skills. You can also move up the ranks to become a business or sales manager as you gain experience.


Selling cars is not for everyone and you will need to put in a lot of effort and time if you want to achieve great thing. Car sales can become absorbing as it takes up a lot of time and energy, meaning you miss out of social events and family activities.

Also selling cars on commission means you are only as good as you last month and need to be highly focused and committed to performing every month if you want to make good money. This in turn means stress levels can be very high indeed, especially at the beginning when you are finding you feet.

Training is good at the beginning, but after that it’s up to you to figure out what works best for you and develop your own sales skills.

I might also consider a different profession if you are strong economically, a lawyer or accountant will make more money for less effort in most cases and the longterm carrier opportunities are better.

But in the most part car sales is a highly enjoyable profession, that’s fun and rewarding both mentally and financially.