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5 min read published February 27, 2023

Written by Allison Martin Written by

Allison Martin’s career began more than 10 years prior to that as a digital content strategist. She’s been published in numerous prestigious financial publications such as The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-studied information that break down complex topics into manageable bites.

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The demand for second-hand cars is high due to the . Though that shortage is easing and could be over by the end of in the coming year, many auto producers continue to produce less vehicles than they normally would. This means that dealers have smaller amounts of inventory. However, it’s a good thing in the event that you happen to be selling your used car because you’re likely to have plenty of potential buyers. Before you place an ad online you must follow a few basic steps you should follow to get top dollar for your vehicle. 8 steps to sell your old car an asset as important as a car, you’ll want to get the highest price you can. Invest in cleaning your car before listing it for sale. Take time to find the right sales price and know how to negotiate effectively. 1. Pick the method you prefer for selling your automobile. There are three ways to sell your car: 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. However, the downside is that you will not get as much value for the vehicle as with a private sale. Private sale: You’ll generally get more for your ride in the event that you decide to sell it on your own. However, you will have to work hard to find the perfect buyer and agree on a specific price for the sale. Dealerships: Many dealers will give you a free unconditional cash offer for your vehicle. It’s quick and easy and you’ll be given a set period to decide whether you want to redeem the offer. Car buying websites like Shift and AutoNation guarantee to offer you a price for your car in just a few minutes. You’ll provide some required information regarding the car’s model, make, model, color and mileage. Additionally, you’ll need to upload pictures. These companies offer cash in a short time for the vehicle you own, but they typically charge service charges which can eat into your earnings. 2. Gather the necessary documents You cannot sell your car to a private or dealer party unless you’ve got the following documents: Paperwork from the original transaction of selling the car. The vehicle’s title. Any service records available. If you’re lacking any of these documents wait until you have them on hand to be able to sell your car. If you don’t, you’ll face complications when trying to finalize the transaction. It’s also a good idea to have the documentation for emissions tests available if you live in a state where these tests are mandatory. In addition, if warranties still are in effect for vehicles, having the paperwork available is essential. You could even get more money for a car that is covered by warranties. 3. Make sure your car is ready for sale When you’ve made a decision on how you want to market your vehicle and gathered the necessary documentation, now is the time to get it ready for the market. It is ideal to spruce up the interior and exterior of the vehicle to shine in the eyes of prospective buyers. Have your car professionally cleaned or spend time cleaning and shampooing the carpets, washing the mirrors as well as washing the exterior. applying wax, if needed, and making your tires shine. Also, take your vehicle to the mechanic for an oil replacement. If your brakes or your tires are getting close to the expiration date it is moment to replace them. It is recommended that the mechanic change out any lights that are burned out or windshield wipers that don’t perform as they should. Plan to fix damaged windshields, scratches, or dents. Bankrate tip

The process of cleaning your car and making key cosmetic fixes is like staging a home for sale. The way your car looks matters and will help fetch an increase in price. Most people do not want to buy a car peppered with scrapes or dents or a messy interior.

4. Determine the best price for your sale. If you plan to sell your old car to a private party , . An amount that is too high may make potential buyers turn away, and selling for a low price can mean you’ll get less than you’re entitled to. Therefore, it is important to conduct your own research to ensure that the price of the car is right and leave a bit of wiggle room for negotiations. There are many tools to calculate . Utilize to use the ” ” feature in Kelley Blue Book or refer to Edmunds to get an idea of the value of your car. Or you can use Autotrader or browse classified ads to look for similar listings within your area. 5. Make sure to inform everyone in your network that you’re selling your vehicle and ask for them to spread the word. You can also make a post on social media or advertise on sites with an auction for used cars- such as Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book or — or in local newspapers. When creating the ad include photos that showcase various angles of the vehicle’s exterior, interior and what it’s like underneath the hood. The ad should also state the year, model and year of the vehicle, its current condition, the asking price and acceptable forms of payment. Include things that help it stick out, such as an extended warranty, a high fuel efficiency rating or heated seats, and why you want to sell the car. 6. Come ready to negotiate To be prepared for negotiation, regardless of whether selling privately or to a dealer, take your car to a few dealers and obtain offers. Utilize this information along with what you’ve learned by researching your car’s value through websites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to guide your negotiations with potential buyers. You’ll want to come to the table with the lowest price that you can accept in your mind, and then be ready to respond. Begin the conversation by letting the potential buyer throw out a number. If the figure works, it’s up to you to decide if you want to seek out more or move forward with the sale. However, if you think the figure is too low, counter with a slightly higher amount that is greater than the minimum you are willing to pay. Be prepared to leave in the event that you are unable to agree on a fair price with the other side. 7. Make sure you are safe and knowledgeable regarding the sale. Security is of paramount importance when it comes to arranging the sale of your car by a private party. The seller may want to pay in cash. S suggest they use a contactless payment processor, such as PayPal instead. A cashier’s cheque is another option. The check will be cleared since the money is immediately withdrawn from the buyer’s bank account when the check is issued. If the potential buyer wants to drive the car before committing to purchase the car, make contact with your insurer to ensure that you will be protected in case that you are involved in an accident. Additionally, choose a well-populated region and agree on the route before it starts. You may also want to take a companion with you for extra safety. 8. The sale is official final, you’ve found the perfect buyer and you’re eager to finalize the sale. But before it’s a done deal, you need to visit the DMV in your area (Department of Motor Vehicles) together with the buyer to transfer the title of the car to the new owner. Be aware that this process looks different in every state. Certain states may require evidence of an inspection that has been passed or to call the tax assessor’s office in the county you reside in. The rules for your state by visiting . Next steps , whether you’re trying to earn some extra cash or swap your car for a brand new one, these suggestions can help you earn top value for your vehicle. But, a private sale is likely your best method to make the most of your profits. Make sure you get several valuations prior to listing your ride in order to ensure the price is right and is sold in a short amount of time.


Written by

Allison Martin’s career began more than 10 years ago as a digital content strategist. Since then, she’s been published in several leading financial media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, MoneyTalksNews , Investopedia, Experian and

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into digestible chunks.

Auto loans editor

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