Tips for Selling a Car

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
April 28, 2017

A white car parked in a parking lot.There are several ways you can sell or get rid of your used car.

You could:

  • Sell your car via private party (sell your car yourself)
  • Sell your car to a dealership

  • Trade in your car at a dealership, and use the funds toward a new car
  • Donate your car or give to a family member or friend
Here are some tips for selling your car yourself so you get more bang for the buck and are safe.
  • You need to know the value of your car. You can reference for an idea, however this will not be your selling price.

  • Compare similar cars as your car to the ones that are on sale on Craigslist to get an idea of how much to list your car.

  • Take clear photos of your car however, you do not to emphasize too much on flaws, as many know it is a used car. I do not like to post the VIN# or license plate of the car, for safely reasons on the internet.

  • When you post your ad online, like on Craigslist, answer all the typical questions many would have. For instance:
    • Model and year of the car
    • Condition of the car (clean title/salvage), mileage
    • Any problems (if something does not work due to wear/tear, etc it is important to be honest)

    • If you are the original owner, that will boost the sale up. But if the car had less than 3 owners, I would mention that, or if you had the car for a long time
    • If you have all maintenance paperwork that would be useful. If you did any recent upgrades to the car, that is always nice to add in
    • Brief reason why you are selling your car

  • Once you determine a price, it is important to list a little higher than what you want because people negotiate! For instance, you know your car is worth at least $9,000 and you know you'll be happy with that price. I would post the car for $9,850. Generally people will lower the price down and it'll be a win/win situation. If the car does not sell within the week - you could change photos up or list lower a little.

  • Always meet up in a well lit area, near people. Do not fall for any scams that people will promise to pay if you ship the car and do not meet up after dark. Always bring someone with you if you can.

  • Make sure seller/buy fills out the forms properly, take a photo for proof and the buyer's drivers license just in case. You could write up a bill of sale if necessary for proof.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

More Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

September 12, 2006

If you sell a car to a private party, make sure to transfer the title. If you don't do this, and the car ends up on the side of the road or in a ditch, you will have to pay for any fines or impound feeds associated with the vehicle.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

3 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 8, 2004

I am getting ready to sell my car. It runs ok. Does anyone have any car selling tips? Should I go get it detailed? Should I get a used car assessment of some sort or is that just a waste of money. What should I watch out for?



By (Guest Post)
May 10, 20040 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check out Edmunds on the internet. It lists prices for cars based on options, mileage, etc. It also tells the trade in and retail values. You could show this to prospective buyers to show them your pricing guide.


There are some other web sites too that you could probably find by doing a search.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Terri H. (Guest Post)
May 10, 20040 found this helpful
Best Answer

Be sure to get everything out of your trunk, glovebox, and console. If your car needs a good vacuuming, do it. If it needs a bath, do it. No one will want to buy one looking trashy. You wouldn't want to buy one looking filthy. Have it looking like you'd like to buy one looking. Be sure you have the title to the car to give to the new owners & you have to sign it. Also, I'm not sure on each state's license plate rules. In our state, we keep our plates, to put on a new car we'll be purchasing after the old car is sold. If we're not purchasing a new car, we turn the old plates back in at the DMV. Check to see what the rules are in your state. Also, keep your insurance on your car, till after you sell it, then cancel it. You might be able to get a refund back from the insurance company.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By (Guest Post)
May 14, 20040 found this helpful
Best Answer

We've sold several cars outright and have "never" paid to have them detailed! Do this yourself - you can give it a good cleaning and hose it under the hood. Put big "For Sale" signs in the front and back windows - recommend poster board so that they can easily be moved when driving it. Be sure and make your phone number big so people can easily see it! What we've done was make a list of what all the car had on it as well as parts that were recently replaced and taped it on the back window behind the driver's seat so people can see what year it is, engine size, transmission info., recent work done to it, etc.


We have often parked it in a vacant parking lot near busy intersections and got some great results that way! Be careful that no signs prohibit you from parking there and that the businesses are closed. It may take a few months to sell it, so having patience is also important. BTW, we never had any luck putting an ad in the paper.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question
In This Page
Consumer Advice Cars Selling a CarFebruary 10, 2013
Summer Ideas!
Back to School Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-07-19 21:13:53 in 3 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.