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» How to Sell a Car

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Selling your used car may not be fun, but knowing these tips will help you sell your car quickly and get a fair price.
Selling your used car may not be fun, but knowing these tips will help you sell your car quickly and get a fair price.
Maybe you have an extra car that’s just taking up space in your driveway.

Or you’ve decided to lease a car from here on out and don’t need a trade in.

Whatever your reason, you’ve got a used car that you need to unload.

It’s possible to sell your car with a minimum of fuss and trouble if you take the time to research and do it right.

You don’t need to be an automotive expert to sell a car; you just need to be well informed.

Once you think, “I need to sell my car,” then follow these simple steps to get it done right.

1. Get the Car Ready

You want to present the best product possible when you’re trying to sell a used car. You’ll be more likely to get offers if the car looks well cared for and in good condition.

Start off by cleaning the car out. Remove all of the junk, vacuum up the gunk on the floor, and give everything a thorough cleaning. Have the oil changed if it’s time. Check the air levels on the tires and top off all of the fluids.

Consider having a mechanic take a look at it and make any minor repairs. Run a car history report from a vendor like Carfax.com. Put all of the paperwork, including the mechanic’s evaluation if you get one, into a folder for prospective buyers to look at.

2. Set your Asking Price

When selling your car, you’ll need to know how much it’s worth. Kelley Blue Book is an easy way to do this. Asking price is also influenced by factors such as the season, the number of similar cars on the market, and your local market.

Look for similar cars for sale in your area. Note how many there are and how much they cost. The more competition you have, the lower your price will go. You want to be competitive. However, you also want to take into account how much you’re willing to negotiate.

Consider setting your asking price above your minimum and putting “OBO” (or best offer) or “negotiable” into your ads.

3. Advertise!

Now, it’s time to advertise that you have a car for sale. By all means, put signs in the windows and park the car where it can be seen from the road, but unless you live on a main thoroughfare, this probably isn’t going to be enough.

Consider newspaper or online ads to bring in buyers. Post on local bulletin boards or through local newsletters. Do all you can to get the word out to potential buyers.

4. Show the Car

When it’s time to show the car, be prepared and polite. You want your potential buyers to see that you’re trustworthy and easy to deal with. They will probably want to test drive the car if they are genuinely interested.

Make sure that they have a current driver’s license, and be prepared to ride with them to answer questions and help them find their way around. They may also want to have the car evaluated by a mechanic, although you might be able to avoid this request by having the mechanic’s evaluation mentioned in Step 1.

5. Complete the Sale

Once you’ve negotiated a sale price, it’s time to complete the transaction. There are a few key things that you need to do to protect yourself when selling a car.

Get your payment in a certified check or in cash. You are not legally protected if you take a personal check or if you make a verbal agreement to get paid in installments.

Before the buyer drives away, fill out a bill of sale and a release of liability. You can get both of these forms from the DMV; pick them up early in the process and keep them on hand.

Don’t forget to cancel your insurance too. Your state may have additional requirements; check them out in advance so you don’t get burnt.

Watch this video tutorial for some good tips on how to sell your used car on eBay:

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