Learn the best ways to quickly and safely sell your car. The goal is to make the process easy and maximize the amount you keep.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Table of contents
1. Sell your car online
Thanks to technology, you can easily sell your car online. The following are four of the best sites to use to list your car for sale:
- Carvana will give you an offer in 2 minutes. If you agree, they’ll come to pick up your car. After an on-site review, they’ll cut you a check.
- TRED gives you a place to list your car and connects you with many buyers. Plus, TRED does the majority of the work and coordinates the entire process. You’re responsible for listing your car, coordinating test drives, and accepting an offer.
- Vroom will give you an instant price after you provide details about your car. If you accept the offer, they’ll pick up your car for no charge and send you the payment.
- Shift gives you an online estimate and if you approve, they’ll visit you to inspect your car. If everything checks out, you’ll get paid on the spot and they’ll process all DMV paperwork.
As long as you agree with the offer, selling your car online is a breeze. You don’t have to think about processing all of the paperwork, trusting a buyer, and negotiating a price.
2. Dealership or CarMax
Another quick and easy way to sell your car is to a dealership. Many dealerships will buy your car without buying a car from them.
If you’re planning to get a new car, using it as a trade-in is also a great method.
The downside of selling it to a dealer is that you’ll most likely get offered the lowest price possible. However, they’ll take care of the paperwork, which makes it convenient.
If there’s a CarMax location near you, go to them instead of another dealership because the offers are typically higher.
Selling your car to CarMax is efficient. You’ll schedule an appointment for an appraisal.
After the appraisal, you’ll get an offer that’s good for seven days. If you accept the offer, you’ll get paid the same day.
3. Facebook Marketplace
Selling your car through Facebook Marketplace allows you to screen each person. It’s also free to use, and Facebook doesn’t charge fees. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, this is a great option.
If you choose to sell your car through Facebook, use the following tips to ensure you have a good experience:
- Clean the interior and exterior of your car.
- Take great photos by making sure your car is in focus and well-lit.
- Go to a shop to get a pre-purchase inspection.
- Set-up a test drive and meet in a public place.
- Make sure the buyer pays with cash or a cashier’s check. Verify the funds at your financial institution.
When you’re selling your car through Facebook Marketplace, do your best to screen potential buyers with questions that’ll help you find serious buyers.
4. Advertise your car
Advertise your car with Craigslist, Autotrader, CarGurus, or Cars.com. Typically, you can run ads for a month or more for less than $100.
You can reach a lot of people that live in your area with ads, which can lead to many interested buyers. Be sure to incorporate the cost of ads into the sale price.
5. For sale sign
The classic for sale sign is a great way for people to see your car. Make sure you park the car in a place that gets a lot of traffic, and you put the sign in a position that’s easy to spot.
Keep the details minimal by including the year, make, model, and mileage. Also, give potential buyers a way to contact you, such as an email address or phone number.
Frequently asked questions
To avoid getting scammed, verify the funds with your financial institution before transferring the title of the car. It’s important to document everything and meet in a public place. Also, don’t click on links in emails or texts.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), cars are considered capital assets. That means the money you get from selling your car will be a capital gain or a capital loss that you must report.
Before you start the process of selling your car, you’ll need the maintenance records, vehicle records, warranty information, odometer disclosure, bill of sale, and the title if you own it free and clear.
Yes, the proceeds will pay off the loan, and the remaining amount will be for you. Whether you sell the car to a dealer or private party, the loan will need to be paid off before the lender releases the title.
There are many ways to sell your car. Selling your car privately or using an online method will most likely allow you to get a better price than taking it to a dealership. If you aren’t able to sell your car, you can donate it, too.
Featured image courtesy of Canva.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of More Money More Choices, which he launched to help you take control of your finances and build your dream life. Before More Money More Choices, David worked in leadership positions in the finance industry.