Several ways to sell your car include a dealership trade or private sale. Whichever way you choose, you need to spiff up your ride to make it “showroom ready.” Replace bald tires, repair minor scratches, and clean the interior. These low-cost fixes will help buyers feel confident in the car’s condition and may even help you negotiate a better price.
Post your car for sale
Whether you sell car online through a dealership or list the vehicle for private sale on a website marketplace, it’s essential to have a realistic idea of what your car is worth. To get started, check prices for similar vehicles in your area at online dealer websites and local classified listings. Be sure to account for damage and other factors that may reduce the car’s value. Listing your car’s unique features and standard equipment is also a good idea. Posting multiple photos of your car will allow buyers to view the vehicle from all angles and see if it has any unique accessories or extras you may be selling. Make sure to take your photos in a well-lit location without any obstructions or shadows, and choose a background that highlights the vehicle’s colors and finishes. Remember that most buyers will want to negotiate when setting your price, so it’s a good idea to include some wiggle room in your asking price. A few hundred dollars is a reasonable amount to add as a buffer.
Get a quote
Once you post your listing, potential buyers will start to contact you. Be prepared to answer questions about the vehicle, and be ready to negotiate. Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true, and be bold and ask for a test drive or bring a friend along. Also, speak with any prospective buyer over the phone before agreeing to meet in person. Scammers often use fake email accounts, so talking on the phone can help weed out suspicious people. Some online car sites handle payment for you, which can offer some protection. However, they’ll usually take a cut of the sale, so it’s essential to understand all your options before you decide which one is right for you. Most people prefer to sell cars for cash, but if you’re uncomfortable with that, it’s possible to accept electronic payments. Alternatively, you could also accept a cashier’s check, which the issuing bank can verify before you hand over the keys.
Ask for a test drive
Unsurprisingly, a car sale can be stressful for both parties. That’s why you’ll want to be clear about your intentions from the start so that neither party gets upset down the line. For example, if a dealer asks you if you’re ready to buy during your test drive, say you’re considering multiple vehicles and would like to have time to consider your decision before agreeing. During the test drive, inspect the vehicle thoroughly and take notes to compare the car to others you’ve driven. Also, make sure you take the car on different types of roads and in various driving conditions. Try driving the car at night to get a feel for what it’ll be like living with the vehicle in day-to-day life. Some dealerships will allow you to test-drive a new car without the salesperson, which can be a great way to avoid distractions and get a more accurate sense of living with the vehicle. If the dealership you’re selling to doesn’t allow this, check with another nearby dealer to see if they will.
Meet the buyer
Whether you sell to an individual or a dealer, ensure the paperwork is in order. This includes the vehicle title, sometimes called a pink slip. You’ll need it for the sale to be official, and it will also help with taxes, insurance, and Department of Motor Vehicles records. You should also ensure the buyer is trustworthy before meeting them in person. Choosing a safe, public meeting place is essential for any high-value transaction. Also, be wary of any buyers who ask you to drive them to another location to exchange money or a check. This is often a scam to steal your personal information, which they can use to access your Google, Apple, and email accounts. It’s best to meet in a bank or other public place where you can verify cash withdrawals or funds on checks.
Sign the paperwork
Parting with your beloved car may be challenging, but selling it is all about the money. And if you’ve done your research, you can likely get more from the sale than simply trading it in with a dealer. After all, a car is an expensive investment, and you want to ensure you get the most out of it. That means taking high-quality, lots of pictures and writing an honest ad. It also helps to meet buyers in public places (or at least have a friend along). There are several ways to accept payment, including cash, certified check, or electronic transfer. If you’re selling to an individual, signing a sales contract or odometer statement by both parties is a good idea. You’ll also need to cancel your insurance on the vehicle once it is sold. Online dealerships can provide these documents depending on where you sell your car. This can be much easier than working with an individual buyer and lessens the chance of scams.