What You Should Know Before Selling Your Car

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Roughly 88% of the American population owns a car. That number makes the USA the second largest car market in the world.

Considering that fact, if you’re in the market to sell your vehicle, odds say that there’s a buyer out there for you. After all, people are always looking for a new set of wheels to get them from point A to point B.



Unfortunately though, despite the perceived ease in which you may be able to part with your vehicle, car selling does come with some leg work that you’ll have to do in order to make sure that your transaction goes well.

To help you sell your car successfully, below, we outline 7 things that you need to know before selling your car.

1. What’s Your Plan?

You’re selling your car… What does that mean for you?

Do you have a new car waiting in the wings? Are you thinking of relying on ridesharing to get you around?



Make sure that you know what your transportation plan is and do everything you can to test your new means of getting around before getting rid of your vehicle.

We hear stories all the time of people that ditch their cars because they’re going to start taking ride-shares everywhere only to find that prices are much more exorbitant than what they had expected.

2. Know What You Car is Worth

Before selling your car, you’re going to want to have reasonable expectations of what you can get for it. The best way to develop an idea of your car’s value is to go to websites like Kelly Blue Book to see what their estimates are.

While Kelly Blue Book is a good resource, it doesn’t always get a car’s value 100% right. To further your search, see what cars like yours are actually selling for in your area by browsing dealership sites. Expect to sell your car for an amount that’s just below that.

3. Private Buyer or Dealership Sale?

You have two options when it comes to selling your car. You can either sell it to a dealership or you can sell it to an individual.

There are pros and cons with each option that you’ll want to consider.

For example, selling to a private party will likely net you more money. Unfortunately though, private party sales are more prone to dangerous outcomes.

On the other hand, dealership sales tend to go smoothly. Since they have more overhead though, they’ll offer you less than a private buyer might.

To get a good idea of what a dealership might offer you for your used car, head over to their used trucks, used motorcycles, etc. pages online and contact a representative through their contact form.

4. Where’s Your Paperwork?

You can’t sell your car if you can’t transfer its title and other important paperwork. So then, it stands to reason that you’re going to have to know where all of those documents are before you can part ways with your four-wheeled friend.

If your car isn’t paid off, your bank may still be holding its title. That could cause a slew of other issues that at very least may limit your ability to sell to private parties.

If your car is paid off, you should have all relevant documents in your possession. If you need a backup copy of something, go to the DMV.

5. Know Your Car’s Condition

Always strive to be as honest as possible when selling your vehicle. Know what’s working with your car and what isn’t and disclose that information to buyers to ensure that they’re able to understand what they’re buying before writing a check.

We’re not advocating that you hire an expert to give your car a diagnostics report. We’re just saying that you should disclose things that you know for a fact.

When you sell to a dealership, they’ll run their own vehicle health check so you disclosing problems is less important.

6. Understand How to Market

Knowing a little bit about marketing before selling your car can go a very long way if you’re going to be selling to a private party.

There are a number of low-cost ways that you can drum up attention for your vehicle. You can post images of it on Facebook, you could put up a free ad on Craigslist or you could even advertise in your local newspaper.

A well-executed marketing plan can increase the size of your buyer pool and help you to get top dollars for your vehicle.

7. Familiarize Yourself With Safety Basics

If there’s one thing that you should know before selling your car that trumps all other things it’s how to stay safe.

This isn’t so much of an issue when you’re selling to a dealer. When you’re selling to a private party though, car buying and selling can spell disaster for people partaking in the transaction.

Only meet buyers in public settings during the day. Always do all dealings while accompanied by a friend.

If you feel uneasy about a potential buyer, do not meet up with them.

You’re better safe than sorry.

Wrapping Up What You Should Know Before Selling Your Car

There are a number of things that you should know before selling your car. If you heed our advice above, you should have your bases covered and will likely enjoy a much smoother car selling experience!

We don’t need to tell you that there’s a lot to learn about cars. If you’re interested in understanding more about the car selling process, vehicle maintenance and more, check out additional automotive content on YouFixCars today!