Skip to main content

Selling your car can be a hectic endeavor, so some hiccups in the process might happen. Also, with all the various storage compartments — and nooks and crannies in vehicles, it’s understandable if you might leave something behind when you hand over the keys to a new owner. However, some people left behind some inexplicably weird things in their car when they sold it, such as a baby and a dog. 

Forgetting items when selling a car is very common 

Dog sits in vehicle, showing weird things people left behind in car when sell it, such as baby and dog
Dog in car | Anvesh via Unsplash

Webuyanycar, an online car-buying service in the United Kingdom, revealed items that previous owners left behind when they sell their vehicles. The company is similar to CarMax in the United States. 

Branch managers at Webuyanycar reported an average of five forgotten items per week for each location, as detailed by HullLive. With over 500 branches throughout the U.K., that equates to nearly 130,000 forgotten items in total each year. Some of the most common items left behind include wallets, shopping bags, spare change, dash cams, charging cables, and child car seats. 

“Having bought more than three million cars over the years, it’s really no surprise our team comes across a few misplaced or forgotten items in cars,” said Richard Evans, the head of technical services for Webuyanycar. 

A baby and a dog are extreme examples of items left behind in vehicles

Sleeping baby in vehicle, showing weird things people left behind in car when sell it, such as baby and dog
Baby in car | Miki Yoshihito via Wikimedia Commons

While Webuyanycar employees are used to finding forgotten items in vehicles, sometimes, they find things that are truly shocking. One of the most extreme examples is a baby left behind in a car in Glasgow, Scotland. This happened because both the mother and father thought that the other had taken the baby out of the vehicle they sold. Fortunately, though, the branch manager in Glasgow happily babysat the tot until the distraught parents returned.

The other extreme incident was a forgotten dog. A Webuyanycar branch manager in Newcastle, England, was surprised to find the fluffy canine in a car. However, the pet owner quickly collected his dog not long after leaving it behind. 

Other weird things that previous owners forgot to take with them

Along with the baby and dog, there are many other weird things that previous owners forgot to take with them when selling their cars to Webuyanycar:

  • “Lucky” hard-boiled egg
  • Rat
  • £2,000 (around $2,400) and keys to a tavern
  • Photo of a llama
  • Bottle of ketchup
  • Suitcase of fancy dress costumes
  • Loose cat litter
  • Bible
  • Children’s toys
  • uPVC window
  • Wheelchair
  • Athlete’s foot cream
  • Christmas presents under the spare tire
  • Single Wellington boot
  • Champagne
  • Bicycle
  • Kebab

Tips to get your car ready to sell (and not forget items)

It’s a good idea to put a little extra effort into getting your car ready to sell. Not only will this minimize any hassles (including forgetting items), but it also helps improve the resale value. 

At the very least, clean your vehicle. This includes clearing out any personal items (and trash), as well as washing, vacuuming, and waxing. You should also wash the windows and mirrors — and polish the dashboard. Additionally, it’s important to look under the hood — and wipe away grime and remove debris, per AARP. Furthermore, you might want to consider getting your car professionally washed and detailed. 

If it’s worth the cost of improving the resale value, you can get any necessary repairs completed for your vehicle. The general rule is to only get the repairs if they are less than 10% of the car’s value.

As far as not leaving items behind, the key thing is to avoid removing belongings from your vehicle in a big rush. Don’t do it at the last minute. When you’re rushed, you’re likely to be less clear-headed, resulting in forgetting items. It’s ideal to give yourself at least a day before selling your car to remove your belongings. Also, right before you sell it, do one final sweep to “double-check” to ensure there are no forgotten items.

While it’s rare to leave behind a baby or a dog when selling a car, it can be easy to forget things like paperwork, a wallet, money, or a phone. Also, to avoid identity theft, be sure to erase your personal data.