What to do when trading in a car and some important safety tips for selling your car privately.
The best way to sell a car is to comprehensively prepare the car for the sale long in advance. This is the key to getting it sold as quick as possible and to getting the best possible price. Preparing your car for sale on the market will cost you some time and money, but the attention will significantly benefit the selling process. These preparation tips should be followed regardless of whether you'll be selling to a private party or a dealership. If you've looked after your car throughout owning it, the process shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Whatever the case, here's everything you'll need to ensure is done to answer the question 'what do I need to do when selling my car?'.
The above steps on how to prepare a car for sale are not the only things to do before selling your car. While the car itself is certainly important, the admin side of things is just as crucial:
Whether you bought your car brand new from a dealership or second-hand from a private seller, your car should have come with a service booklet that, hopefully, was up-to-date. Hopefully, you also kept it up-to-date by keeping up with the recommended service intervals. You can check up on whether these intervals were correctly adhered to by reading more about a car maintenance and service schedule here. But, if you've lost your service booklet, try contacting the service centers you used and request that they send you the maintenance slips.
You will also need to gather important documents prior to selling your car. This includes the vehicle's title and registration, to begin with. If you're trading your car in through a dealership, the paperwork will usually be compiled for you. But, if you are selling your car privately, you need to check with the DMV in your state to find out precisely which documents are required and obtain a Bill of Sale form, which may even be available online. Remember to confirm that the form includes the statement declaring the car is being "sold as-is" since you aren't providing a warranty. Take note of what else your state laws require, as some may require a disclosure about mileage, liability release forms, and title transfers.
Once you've done all the legwork regarding maintenance, care, cleaning, and readying paperwork, the advertising of your vehicle comes next. Whether you want to sell your car as quick as possible, or are willing to take some time finding the right new owner, a good advert is imperative. Tips for when you want to sell your car online include:
Unfortunately, there are a seemingly infinite number of scammers out there trying all sorts of nefarious strategies to part unsuspecting innocents from their hard-earned money. And, unfortunately, the automotive market is full of them. Because of this, it's important to remain vigilant and a little skeptical of every potential buyer that enquires about your vehicle. Here are some important tips for selling your car privately:
Trading in your car is perhaps the quickest way to get rid of it, but you will be getting far less money from a dealership than what you could from a private sale. Be upfront about it's condition and offer it at a reasonable price.
Instead of asking 'should I fix the car before selling it', ask whether or not fixing the car will guarantee a sale. The question is also a moral one; if you're going to sell a car with serious or minor issues, you should be honest and share those details with potential buyers.
A detailing should always be considered unless you've taken such good care of your car that there are absolutely no scuffs or scratches to be seen. A car that looks well taken care of will be much more desirable to potential buyers, so if you're wondering how to get your car ready to sell, don't skimp over this step.
In the US, dealerships usually handle most of the work; you'll likely only need all the required paperwork for the car you're looking to trade-in, while the dealership itself will source its own detailing, cleaning, and repair services.