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8 Steps to Selling Your Used Car

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As a driver, the time eventually comes for you to treat yourself in a very big way. One of the biggest treats you can get yourself is a new car. Once you make the decision to purchase a big, new vehicle, you’re probably super proud and excited, but it’s also a little bit bittersweet.

As thrilled as you may be at the vision of yourself behind the wheel of a fancy, baller car, you’re also probably feeling a sad sense of loyalty to your old trusty friend. This is especially true if it’s your first car.

If you’re looking to sell your car, you want to do right by it. There are a few tricks and tips to selling used car and these can be especially useful for first-time sellers who are just dipping their toe into the water.

These are the eight steps to selling your used car. Good luck.

Donald Duck counting money

1. Know your worth.

Yes, this car might feel priceless to you, but let’s be realistic. Is that 1998 Toyota Camry with 190,000 miles on it really worth $19k? Maybe to you because it’s full of memories, but the rest of us wouldn’t consider paying that much. Gather some opinions, maybe evaluate what your car’s pros and cons are, and make an informed financial decision. There are several resources, including AutoTrader and Kelley Blue Book, to make this easier.

bad car

2. Decide your method.

There are so many different places to advertise a car for sale. You could be old-fashioned and take out a newspaper ad or hang a ‘for sale’ sign in the window. If you’re feeling innovative, you can try Craigslist or an online message board. This is all a matter of convenience and what you think will be the most effective in getting your message out there.

having a hard time selling

3. Get your documents in order.

There’s a ton of paperwork that comes with being a car owner. Save yourself the hassle by making sure that your documents are in a secure place, but remember where exactly you put them. You’re going to need the title, the bill of sale, maintenance records, the release of liability, warranty documents, and as-is documentation. These will all be necessary in making an ethical, legal sale on record and could save you from any legal woes later on.


4. Clean up!

You want your car to look its best. It’s much more likely to sell for more if it’s clean, washed, and attractive to buyers. Do the mandatory washing and waxing, make sure to clean the rims and tires, vacuum the floors, and make sure the windows are totally clear. Any necessary adjustments should be made prior to the sale.

Spongebob cleaning

5. Take photos.

Not only will many potential buyers need to check out the photos before they purchase, you’ll also want these for your records. Just as you should know your own angles in real life, you should be mindful of taking pics from all angles of your car.

taking pictures

6. Create your ad.

Wherever you may be posting your advertisement, you’re going to need to work on creating an attractive, sale-worthy pitch. Make your asking price clear, as well as any potential qualities of the car. This includes mileage, make, model, year, and color.

coca cola

7. Pitch and negotiate your sale.

Nobody’s expecting you to be the next king or queen of your own car empire, but take the chance to flex your sales muscles. Evaluate what your buyer currently drives and what their needs are. Pitch the benefits of your vehicle and how it can work with them. You should be willing to hear their comments or concerns, including negotiating the asking price and discussing how to adjust to one another.


8. Say goodbye and lock down your deal!

You did it! You can accompany the buyer to the bank to get the money and from there will also need to complete a bill of sale. You must sign a few documents as well, including the title and the release of liability. If there’s a warranty or you have copies of maintenance records, provide those as well. You may also require transfer paperwork, so be ready to look into that. Once it’s official and you’ve handed over the keys, you’re all good to go! Enjoy your new car!

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Krista Doyle