A Beginners Guide to Selling Your Car

If you have decided that it is time to move on from your current vehicle, whether you are buying a new one or just don’t need it anymore, there are many options to consider. You could trade it in, put it on a consignment lot, or loan it to a family member who may be in-between vehicles or other things. But if you’re like most people, you probably just want to sell it yourself.

That’s why searches like “how to sell my car” or “get the best deal on my car” are among the most common about automobiles. For this article, we will explore the best ways to get your car or truck ready to sell and how to get the most money for it. Here are the steps:

A Beginners Guide to Selling Your Car

What Documents Do I Need to Sell My Car? 

Selling a car requires a lot of paperwork. This is true whether it’s a dealership or an individual. However, for private sellers, not quite as much is necessary. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Car title 
  • Service records
  • Original sales paperwork
  • New agreement paperwork
  • Vehicle history report 

Steps to Prepare Your Car for Sale

Many people ask experts, “what do I need to do to the inside and outside of the vehicle to sell my car?” Here are a few simple tips for making it more appealing to possible buyers:

Interior Tips for Selling Your Car

  • Remove all debris and personal items. 
  • Shampoo the carpets and trunk
  • Clean dashboard, mirrors, front and rear windshields, and seats, and put a shine on all surface areas.

Exterior Tips for Selling Your Car

  • Remove all magnets and stickers. 
  • Repair any dings, dents, or scratches
  • Replace burned-out lights  
  • Fix windshield cracks and chips 
  • Consider replacing brakes if they’re worn down  
  • Consider replacing tires if worn down (if not, a simple rotate and balance will do) 

Determining a Fair Price

Many owners develop an emotional attachment to their vehicle over the years. While this is perfectly understandable, it doesn’t make the car worth more money. Here is how to determine its real value:

Tools for Deciding the Asking Price

  • Compare your vehicle to the same model with the same features and in a similar condition to yours (miles, trim level, etc.)
  • Get an evaluation from a mechanic.
  • Use various valuation tools like price guides.
  • Get a quote from a few different dealerships and wholesalers
  • Consider various outside market factors such as gas prices

Tips and Tricks for Advertising 

Tips for advertising suggestions also appear in many “sell my car” searches online. Here is a quick list of items potential buyers want to see about vehicles:

Information to Include in Your Listing

  • Brief description
  • Mileage
  • Interior and exterior condition (mention any scratches, dents, tears or fading in fabric, cracked or broken items, etc.)
  • Price
  • Accepted forms of payment
  • Lots of pictures

5. How to Negotiate the Best Price

While it would be nice always to get the asking price, it rarely happens. Here’s how to get the best deal you can when selling your car:

  • Decide your bottom line price 
  • Be realistic about that price and consider any reasonable offer
  • Bring all the paperwork 

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