Steps to Selling Your Used Car

Are you ready to sell your current car, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you are wanting to buy a brand-new car you’ve been wanting for a while, or perhaps you are looking to switch over to biking or public transportation to do your part to help the planet. But whatever the reason is, you need to figure out how to sell your used car and make the most money that you can out of it.

Selling your car doesn’t have to be a stressful process if you know how to price it well, advertise it correctly, and determine which potential buyers are reliable. Here are six steps that can help you do just that:


  • Gather Important Documents


You can’t just sell your car by exchanging the keys for cash. You need to have all the proper paperwork gathered and ready to transfer over to the new owner. The most important piece of paper you need to locate is your car’s title of ownership. This gives you the legal right to ownership of the car and the right to sell the car. With your car’s title, you will need to make sure you don’t owe any more money on the vehicle through a lien from an auto loan or from a registration loan.


  • Pick Your Asking Price


You will then want to determine what the asking price will be for your car. You can get the current estimated value for your car on a site like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. Plus, you can consult what other used cars similar to yours are selling for online right now. Always set the asking price a little bit over the market value so that there is room for negotiation without you losing out on money. Also decide your absolute minimum price that you want for it and do not go below it. If you want $5000 for it, price it for $5500 or even $6000 so that you know you have space to get the value you want. 


  • Improve the Aesthetic


You don’t have to give your used car an entire overhaul at the mechanic to give it more value. Just by washing, vacuuming, and giving it a little bit of an overall aesthetic boost, you can make potential buyers go, ‘wow it looks so nice.’ This will help them feel positively towards the car and willing to pay the asking price. 


  • Advertise Winningly


When you are posting the car for sale online on sites like Craigslist, Autotrader, eBay Motors, or otherwise, always include a bunch of photos. Make sure you take them with good lighting and from many different angles. Nice pictures make all the difference!


  • Plan Out Test Drives


If you are meeting with a potential buyer for a test drive, make sure that it is a safe, public place like a mall or a grocery store. Even consider bringing a friend along. When they take the test drive go along with them so you can answer their questions as you go.


  • Handle the Closing


If the potential buyer started negotiating after the test drive, then go along with it as that usually means they are really interested. Always let the buyer make the first offer instead of being tricked into offering “your best price”. Take your time with negotiating and before agreeing on a deal, ensure that they will either be paying in cash or a cashier’s check. Avoid accepting a personal check, and if you do, bring the buyer along to their bank to cash it before signing the title or giving the keys over. Once the payment is secured, you will then sign and date the title and hand over a bill of sale. Don’t forget to cancel your auto insurance after finalizing the sale of your car!

Tom Brown
Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.