Offloading Your Wheels: Everything You Need to Know About Selling a Car Privately

Selling a Car Privately

There are over 268 million registered vehicles covering the USA’s roads. If that number tells you anything it’s that cars are in very high demand in this country.

Given that fact, you might think that it would be simple to offload your used vehicle. While lining up a buyer can be easy in some cases, making sure that you line up the right buyer and that your car sells for the most money possible is another matter entirely.

To help make your selling a car privately experience as safe and as valuable as possible, below, our team has compiled a list of simple steps that you can take to maximize your transaction.

1. Come Up With a Fair Price

Nothing hampers the selling a car privately process as much as sellers coming up with unrealistic prices.

An unrealistic price will make it so that it takes a very long time to potentially offload your vehicle. Bad prices also tend to attract scammers that are looking to offer too good to be true deals to sellers.

To make sure that your vehicle’s price pulls in serious buyers, use websites like KBB or Truecar to help you gauge what cars of similar make and condition are selling for in your area. You’re welcome to price your car on the high-end of the range that you’re presented with to encourage negotiation or on the low-end to encourage a quick sale.

2. Make Your Vehicle Shine

One of the most common selling a used car tips that you’ll run into online is to make sure that your car is the best version of itself. By that, we mean you should give your car a good wash before taking pictures of it and putting it up for sale.

A lot of used car owners think that it’s a good idea to make minor repairs to their vehicle like switching out scratched rims or getting a small dent repaired on a bad bumper before selling. In our opinion, you should avoid those types of repairs.

They’re often more trouble and money than they end up being worth when it comes to your sale price.

3. Advertise Your Car

With your vehicle shining like new, snap some pictures of it and start advertising it online. Popular platforms for advertising used cars include KBB, Craigslist, and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc).

The more pictures you can share of your vehicle and the clearer those pictures are, the more likely that the buyers you attract will know exactly what they’re getting themselves into which means less wasted time showing your vehicle to people that are going to decline the sale.

Always be honest when advertising. If you lie about your car, your buyer will find out when they see it and you’ll just end up wasting everyone’s time.

4. Screen Potential Buyers Carefully

When your car’s ad is up online, you’re going to start getting a lot of emails with people supposedly wanting to do business with you. You should not grant an audience to every single person that sends you an email.

Before letting anybody know where you live and/or where to meet, ask them to talk to you over the phone.

On the call, ask questions like if they have financing secured and if they’re from around the area. Also, ask when they’d be available to meet to test drive the car.

If you like what you hear, you can set up a time and place to meet for your test drive. If you don’t like what you hear, you’re welcome to let the person on the other end of the line know that you won’t be selling to them or you can tell them that you’ll email them later with your decision.

5. Meet Up and Test Drive

For your meet up, make sure that you pick a public place during daylight hours where you and your potential buyer can inspect the car and drive it around. Have a pre-determined test drive route in mind that’s populated and short.

Always let family members know what you’re doing so they can notify authorities if you don’t give them a call within a specific time frame. Furthermore, ask to see the buyer’s license before they take your car out.

If something doesn’t check out, be prepared to safely walk away from the transaction with a friend.

6. Be Prepared to Accept Payment and Hand Over Documents

If everything goes according to plan, you’ll be accepting payment and handing over your car’s ownership documents.

Make sure that you know what ownership documents you’ll need to complete a sale in your state. Also, know how your buyer will be paying you ahead of time to make sure that you have proper payment precautions in place.

For example, if receiving cash, make sure that you have a way to determine if bills are fake.

Wrapping Up Everything You Need to Know About Selling a Car Privately

Selling a car privately can be an intimidating process. If you follow our tips above, we’re confident that you’ll be able to pull in a fair amount of money while also keeping yourself safe.

As a final note, if you can avoid giving buyers your personal address, that’s always preferable so you can walk away from your transaction without worrying about what personal information of yours is out there.

For more information on selling a car privately and related car buying and maintenance tips, check out additional content on today!