6 Tips on Selling Your Car
Do you need to sell your car so you can upgrade to a vehicle that better fits your lifestyle? Maybe you landed your first job and want to reward yourself with a nicer car, or you’re starting a family and need to swap your convertible for a minivan. A vehicle change is going to prompt some insurance-related questions in the process, so you’ll want to do your homework before you get too far down the path of a new, or “new-to-you” vehicle. And while selling your used car can help to fund the purchase of a new vehicle, the process can take some time and effort. Follow these tips that may provide a “smoother ride” to selling your car.
1. Decide where to sell your car. The first question to ask: Where should you sell your used car? Options include:
- Selling on your own locally;
- Selling through an online car marketplace; or
- Selling your car to a dealer.
Each option has pros and cons, so choose based on what matters most to you. For example, selling on your own may take more time and legwork but may land you a better price. Some online car marketplaces require a fee to list your vehicle for sale, but that option may give you access to a larger number of potential buyers. Finally, selling to a dealer might lower the sale price but could put money in your pocket sooner.
2. Learn how to sell a used car in your state. Before you take action, brush up on the ins and outs of how to sell a car in order to help avoid making a mistake or skipping an important step.1
- First check with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state for a list of requirements for title transfer.
- Most states require that you and the buyer fill out a Bill of Sale as well as a “release of liability” form to protect you in case a crash occurs after the buyer drives away.
- For added protection, you might consider completing the sale at your local DMV office, so the buyer can apply for a title and get license plates before taking possession.
- Be sure to talk to your agent ahead of time about the best time to cancel the auto insurance policy on your previous car.
3. Research used car values. Knowing how much your car is worth is key, no matter where or how you plan to sell your vehicle.
- Look up the value of your used car and check local online classified ads to compare how much similar vehicles are selling for in your area.
- Start by gathering any paperwork that outlines specific features of your car, and by checking the odometer.
- Then enter details including the make, model, year, features and condition of your car into a used car valuation tool. The private party price is the amount you might get if you’re selling the car on your own, while the dealer trade-in or sale value is typically lower by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Knowing the value of your car will help you to set a price fairly or to confidently negotiate with a dealer.
4. Prep your used car for sale. Taking time to get your used car ready for[…]
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