5 Best Ways to Sell a Car

Best Way To Sell a Car Quick Tips

  • The best way to sell a car depends on your preference for convenience and speed or getting the highest sale price.
  • Be honest about the vehicle’s condition, service history, and any potential repairs, especially if the buyer is someone you know.
  • Parking the car displaying a “for sale” sign is good if you can wait for the best price, but that’s probably not the best place to sell a car fast.

When selling a vehicle, there’s more than one way to tackle the sale. Gone are the days of buying an inch-long text block in the local paper’s classified section. The internet has transformed car sales into a multi-dimensional universe.

Even so, there are other ways, and the one you choose will have much to do with your circumstances. For example, if you’re selling a 12-year-old Honda Civic, you might choose a different sales venue than you would if you were trying to unload a mint condition 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II. Either way, you’ll want to establish the car’s Kelley Blue Book value as a baseline.

Check out these best ways to sell a car:

1. Word of Mouth

This can be one of the easiest ways to sell a car or truck. Bring the car to work, drive your kids to school, and park it at your gym festooned with neatly printed for-sale signs. Ask around at work, school, church, or wherever feels appropriate to see if anyone wants to buy a car. The plus side of this scenario is that you won’t have to deal with unknown people and flakes you could encounter by throwing a listing up in an online marketplace.

But make sure the car is in tip-top condition if you intend to sell this way. Address any safety recalls and take care of needed repairs to the vehicle. You don’t want someone you work with coming back to you a couple of weeks later with complaints about the car. If there are mechanical problems, or the interior smells like 3-year-old corn chips and gym socks, ensure you’re upfront about everything before you complete the sale. Also, be aware that selling a car to someone you know often subjects it to “bro deal” pricing. In other words, you may not get the total market value. But a familiar sale also minimizes exposure to people you might not want to know.

2. Instant Cash Offer

Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer is a great, hassle-free way to sell a car or truck. You provide some basic details about the vehicle — VIN, mileage, features, etc. — write a description, and add photos. Based on the information you submit, you will receive a cash offer from participating dealerships, and there’s no obligation. It pays to be straightforward, realistic, and as detailed as possible in your vehicle description. A dealer may not share your rosy assessment of it — within reason, of course — and may offer a lower price when you bring the vehicle in for payment and transfer of ownership papers. But you’re not locked into the sale until you sign over your car title. You can walk away from the deal anytime.

3. Trade In Your Vehicle

If you expect to buy another car anyway, find out what your dealer will offer for the vehicle you need to get rid of. The adage, “It never hurts to ask,” applies here. You may not think you have much they’ll be interested in, but you never know. Trade-ins reduce the hassle you’re likely to face selling the car on the open market. You’ll get one-stop shopping on a trade-in instead of phone calls, missed appointments, working with strangers, and dealing with paperwork in multiple locations. Sell your old car, get a new car — it’s as simple as that. The downside is that you won’t get nearly as much on a trade-in as you would in a private sale. But if convenience is your top priority, trading it in for another car is for you. Again, Kelley Blue Book values will also give you an idea of your vehicle’s trade-in worth before you step onto the showroom floor.

4. Sell Your Car to a Dealership

Like Instant Cash Offer, you can also try your luck by taking your vehicle to an independent dealership or the used car department at a new car dealership. It might be a good idea to call in first to see if the dealership will be interested in your vehicle’s year, make, and model. Like the trade-in, you’re not likely to get as much from a dealership as you would in a private sale, but dealerships are better equipped to handle a car if you’re still paying off your auto loan.

5. Sell Your Car Privately

Selling your car privately, or peer-to-peer, is another popular method because you can make the most money from the transaction. Of course, you could park your car — for sale sign prominently displayed — on a service road where many other people park cars they’re trying to unload. But the internet makes it easy for private sales if you’re trying to maximize your sale price on the open market. Various websites are available for selling cars, so it depends on the age of the vehicle. If you’re selling a well-worn but functional commuter car, you can always ask your neighbors on Nextdoor or your local Facebook Marketplace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *