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How to sell your used car in 8 steps Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial choices by offering interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare information for free to help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers including, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The offers that appear on this site are from companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on this website, for example, for example, the order in which they appear within the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. However, this compensation will affect the content we publish or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not include the vast array of companies or financial deals that could be available to you.
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5 min read published 27 February 2023
Written by Allison Martin Written by
Allison Martin’s work began over 10 years ago as a digital media strategist. She’s been published in several leading financial publications, including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.
Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers gain the confidence to control their finances with concise, well-studied and well-researched content that breaks down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.
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The demand for second-hand cars is high due to a . Though that shortage is easing and may even be over by the end of this year, many auto producers continue to produce less vehicles than they normally do. This means that dealers have smaller amounts of inventory. This is good news, if you happen to be selling a used car because you’re likely to be able to find many potential buyers. But before you post an ad on the internet there are a few guidelines to follow to get top dollar for your car. 8 steps to selling your used car When selling an asset as significant as a car you’ll want to negotiate the best price possible. Clean your car before listing it for sale. Take the time to determine the best sales price and know how to negotiate efficiently. 1. Choose which way to sell your car There are three options to sell your vehicle. Sell it to a third party: only is it possible to buy a car from the dealership . It’s convenient since you don’t need to promote the vehicle to potential buyers. The downside is you probably will not receive as much from your vehicle like you’d from a private sale. Private sale: You’ll typically receive more in the event that you decide to sell it yourself. But, you’ll need to research to find the ideal buyer and negotiate a fair sale price. Dealerships: Many dealers offer a no-cost and no-obligation cash deal for your car. It’s quick and easy and you’ll get an agreed-upon time frame to decide whether or not to accept it. Car buying websites like Shift and AutoNation will make an offer on your car in just a few minutes. You’ll need to provide certain details regarding the car’s model, colour, model, make and mileage. You’ll also need to upload pictures. These companies will pay you cash fast for your vehicle, but they usually charge service fees which eat away at your profit. 2. Take the required documents aren’t able to sell your vehicle to a private or dealer event unless you have these documents on hand: Paperwork from the original sale of the vehicle. The vehicle’s title. Any service records available. If you’re not able to find one of these documents, ensure you have them on hand to be able to sell your car. In the event that you do not, you may face complications when trying to complete the sale. It’s also recommended to have documentation from the emissions test accessible if you reside in a state where emissions tests are mandatory. In addition, if warranties still remain on the vehicle, having this paperwork on hand is also important. You may even fetch more money for a car which is still protected by warranty. 3. Get your car ready for auction When you’ve made a decision on how you want to sell your car and gathered the necessary documents, you’re now ready to get it ready for the market. It is ideal to spruce up the exterior and interior of the car to give it a shine prospective buyers. Get your car professionally detailed or spend some time vacuuming and shampooing your carpets, washing the mirrors and exteriors, applying wax, if needed, and making your tires shine. Also, take your vehicle in for an oil change. If your tires or brakes are nearing the final stage of their service it is time to get them replaced. It is recommended that the mechanic replace any burnt-out light bulbs and windshield wipers that don’t function properly. Also, plan to repair cracked windshields, scratches, or scratches. Bankrate tip
Cleaning your car’s exterior and making important cosmetic repairs is similar to staging your home to sell. The appearance of your car is important and can help you get an increase in price. Most people do not want to buy a car peppered with scrapes or dents or an unclean interior.
4. Set the right sales price If you are planning to sell your used car to a private party , . An amount that is too high can make potential buyers turn away, and selling at a price that is too low could result in you receiving less than you should. So, you want to be sure you price the car right with a bit of wiggle room for negotiations. You can use several tools to determine . Use your ” ” feature in Kelley Blue Book or refer to Edmunds to find out what your car’s worth. You can also use Autotrader or look up classified ads to search for similar listings within your area. 5. Get the word out Tell everyone in your network that you’re selling your vehicle. Ask them to spread the word. You can also share your news on social media, or post ads on websites that have a used car marketplace — such as Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book or Cars.com or in local newspapers. When creating your advertisement make sure to include images that show multiple angles of the car’s exterior, interior and how it appears under the car’s hood. The ad should also state the year, year of manufacture and model of the vehicle as well as its current condition along with the asking price and acceptable payment options. Also, include the features that stick out, such as an extended warranty, a high fuel efficiency rating or heated seats and the reason you wish to sell the vehicle. 6. Be prepared to negotiate. make sure you are prepared to negotiate, no matter if you’re selling privately or through a dealership, take your car to several dealers and get offers. Utilize this information along with what you’ve found when in your research of the value of your car’s through websites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to inform your negotiations with prospective buyers. You’ll need to go to the table with the most affordable price that you can accept in the back of your mind, and then be ready to counteroffer. Start the conversation off with letting the prospective buyer offer a number. If the figure works, it’s up to you to decide whether to ask for more or move forward with the sale. However, if you think the figure isn’t enough, you can try to counter with a price point above the amount you’re willing to accept. The most important thing is to be ready to walk away when you can’t reach a fair deal with the other side. 7. Be cautious and secure about the sale Security is of paramount importance when arranging selling your vehicle through a private gathering. The seller may want to make payment in cash. S uggest that they use the contactless payment processor like PayPal, instead. Cashier’s checks are another viable option. The check is guaranteed to clear because the funds are immediately withdrawn out of the purchaser’s bank account when the check is signed. If the buyer is interested to test drive the vehicle before committing to purchase your car, call your insurer to ensure that you will be covered in the event in the event of an accident. Additionally, choose a well-populated location and agree to the route before it starts. You may also want to bring someone else with for added security. 8. Make the sale official At finally, you have discovered the ideal buyer and you’re eager to finalize the sale. However, before you can conclude the deal, you must visit the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) together with the buyer to transfer the vehicle’s title over to the next owner. Remember that this procedure is different in each state. Certain states may require evidence of passing the inspection or you should contact the tax assessor’s office in the county you reside in. You can check out the regulations for your state by visiting . Next steps , whether you’re trying to earn more cash or trade your car out for a brand new one, these guidelines can help you earn top dollar for your ride. A private sale is probably the best option to maximize your profit. Be sure to get several valuations prior to listing your ride in order to ensure the price is right and that it sells quickly.
Allison Martin’s career started over 10 years ago as a digital media strategist, and she’s since been featured in a variety of top financial outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and Credit.com.
Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites.
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