Everything you need to know before selling a damaged car

Selling a damaged car can be a difficult task even for the most experienced sellers out there. However, with the right information and the right tips you can turn this experience into an opportunity to get the maximum value out of your vehicle. In this article we will show you everything you need to know to sell your car fast and hassle-free. 

Find a buyer for your damaged car

When you have a damaged car in your garage and want to get rid of it as soon as possible, the first thing you should do is to find a buyer for it. Technology has allowed drivers to sell their ride even in the most difficult times, such as during the Coronavirus pandemic. The internet offers a lot of alternatives for sellers and the list of websites is long, including Facebook, Craigslist, eBay and online professional junk car buyers that offer instant quotes. These platforms are known for their free advertisement services and wide geographical range, allowing the seller to announce their vehicle for buyers located not only in their area but also in other states. 

Now if you’re in a hurry and would rather sell your damaged car to a local buyer, there are plenty of choices such as local junkyards and used car retailers, such as CarMax, which is the largest used car retailer in the US right now. CarMax allows you to sell a damaged car in less than one hour and pays you the same day of the transaction, which can be quite motivating if you need the money right away. A completely fast and hassle-free alternative in case you plan on getting rid of your damaged vehicle within a short period of time. 

How to prepare your car for sale

You already know where to find buyers for your damaged vehicle so the next step is to prepare it for the future owner. The first thing that any seller of a damaged car should have in mind is to know the total value of the vehicle. Once you understand how much it is worth you can announce your vehicle for sale and highlight the advantages of it, always making sure to be completely honest about the flaws too. Here are some tips to prepare your vehicle before announcing it for sale. 

1 – Fix whatever you can

This is a tip that works best for vehicles that aren’t completely damaged. In case it’s still in good shape, make sure to repair your vehicle by yourself. Do whatever you can to diminish the damage and it will help you find a buyer even faster. 

2 – Clean it up! 

Yes, as simple as it seems, people don’t always wash their vehicle before putting it for sale, which contributes to a decrease in value and even interest from prospective buyers. To avoid losing proposals and to ensure you will sell your damaged car in no time, make sure to clean it up from the inside out. Wash the floor mats, remove all the dust, clean the door openings and work extra hard on the tires. Details matter so try to be as perfectionist as possible and you might even get a few extra bucks for your car. 

3 – A picture is worth a thousand words (and dollars)

After cleaning and repairing your damaged vehicle it’s time to photograph it. Make sure to cover the best parts of your car and the pictures will attract more people interested in buying it. Add the pictures to your online ads and write descriptions about your car’s advantages and disadvantages, always focusing on the qualities rather than flaws. 

4 – Get the word out

Let people know you’re selling your damaged car. Create an online ad and inform the used car dealers in your area. Remember that a well written ad with pictures on it will make sure people get in touch and thus, you will definitely sell your car faster and for a fair price. 

Reassure the buyer by having the right paperwork

In order to reassure the prospective buyer that your vehicle is worth buying, make sure to gather the right paperwork and that means getting a clean title, a bill of sale, warranty documents, maintenance records and everything else possible. Gathering paperwork can be a little stressful but it will guarantee a positive outcome and you will sell your damaged car for the right price in no time.

Be open to negotiate 

Whether you decide to sell your damaged car to a junkyard or to an online buyer, always be open to negotiate. Set a final price for your vehicle and be flexible to lower it a little in case the private buyer makes a counter offer. Remember to price it a slightly higher than what you’re willing to accept. That way it will be easier to give a discount and you will both be happy in the end. 

Complete the sale

After negotiating the final price and selling your damaged car, it’s time to complete the sale. Have in mind that depending on the state you’re located there will be need for a bill of sale so start working on that. Furthermore, ensure to complete the title transfer and provide the new owner with all the documentation required.

Will Hopstetter
Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.