Tips to Selling Your Car

Selling a car privately is challenging and exhausting, but it’s worth the effort if you get a good deal out of it. If you want to sell your car quickly, you should know the following tips. Read on!

Secure All Required Documents 

Before talking to any potential buyer, collect your car’s paperwork. Secure the following documents: 

  • Car Title: selling your car for cash today often requires you have the car title (though you can definitely find buyers that won’t ask for one). Keep it handy and in a safe place. 
  • Service Records: keep documents that prove regular upkeep. Collect receipts of regular oil changes. If you don’t have them, contact your dealer, oil change center, or regular mechanic for summary statements of your visits. 
  • Original Sales Paperwork: knowing the year, make, and model of your car isn’t enough. The original sales paperwork can tell potential buyers more attractive features of the car, and these can bump up your car’s resale value. 
  • Vehicle History Report: be ready to answer any questions about the history of your car. Secure a vehicle history report to be accurate on all details. 

Set an Asking Price 

To set an asking price, look up the price of similar cars in your area via local ads. Consumer Reports is a good place to start. Set your price slightly higher than the current market value but still at a reasonable level. Doing this gives you some wiggle room in terms of price negotiation. 

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Depersonalize the Vehicle 

If you’ve added personal touches to the car, it’s time to remove them. This goes beyond cleaning the car — get rid of things like bumper stickers to make your vehicle look neutral.

This way, potential buyers can more easily picture themselves driving the vehicle. This increases your chance of selling the vehicle. 

Create Ads 

Take good photos of the car and use them in creating ads that sell. Great photographs will make your vehicle stand out from other used car resellers. When taking pictures, park in a nice location and take shots from various angles and positions. Take photos of the car’s interior, back seat, and trunk. 

You can post the pictures on many sites and marketplaces, such as: 

  • Craigslist 
  • Facebook Marketplace 
  • eBay Motors

Provide all the necessary details of the car, such as year, make, model, price, and mileage. Also, provide additional information like add-ons, options, and other special details about the car. 

Screen Buyers Thoroughly 

Screen buyers even before interacting with them. Create a dedicated email account for selling your car privately. If you’re receiving a lot of calls for your car, let them go to voicemail and take your time to review them before deciding who to contact. 

Be wary of callers who flip used cars or those who buy cheap used cars and resell them at a higher price. Once you’ve selected a potential buyer, talk to them — this usually gives you a sense of whether or not they’re a legitimate buyer. 

Test Drive the Car 

When you’re ready to meet the buyer in person, arrange a meeting at a safe place to show them the vehicle. Local coffee shops or malls are good. If you want, ask a friend to accompany you. Then, let the potential buyer test-drive the car. Ride along with them so you can respond to any of their questions — don’t be too sale-sy while doing so. 

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Many buyers often want to take the car to a mechanic of their choosing to inspect it. Let the buyer pay for this inspection. Go with them, and address any problems that require immediate action. 

After that, you can close the deal — make sure to start with your asking price, and then negotiate a good deal from there.


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