How To Sell An Old Car? – Steps By Steps Guide

Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Lori Pace

Sometimes, life is getting hard and you need an immediate cash, which forces you to sell your old car to priority other things. Or maybe you just got a new car? So, you can turn your car into cash quickly. You can sell it easily by advertising it on the right sites, pricing it strategically and sorting out the serious buyers from those who are just looking to make a quick buck.

This is how to reduce stress and maximize cash flow when you decide to sell your car privately rather than selling it to a dealer in the area or online.

However, for single mothers, please note that there are a lot of support you can take if you need a mean of transportation in the US. Either you can apply for a free car, or using public transportation, or sometimes, Lyft has programs for low-income families.

Steps To Take Of How To Sell And Old Car

Collect All The Paperworks Needed

Before you put your car up for sale, locate the following items.

  • Your Car’s Title – This is also known as the pink slip. It gives you legal rights to sell your car. However, don’t sign the contract yet.
  • Get A Vehicle History Report – To show potential buyers, order a Carfax report or an AutoCheck report. This report can answer many questions such as how many owners there are and whether there have been any accidents.

Talk to your lender. To arrange for the sale of your vehicle, contact the lender if you still owe money on the loan. Buyers will appreciate your ability to explain the process. You can visit the DMV online and to transfer ownership, check with the state’s department for motor vehicles. You can download and print many forms, including a bill-of-sale. Find out if the plates are included with the vehicle after it is sold.

Figure Out The Selling Price

It would be wrong to list a car valued at $4,200 at $5,100. Many people will limit search engine results to $5,000 so that they don’t see your ad. Some buyers might be put off by the psychological difference of $4,900 to $5,100.

Get A Backup Offer Online

Your car is only worth what you are willing to pay. Set a ceiling for negotiations by getting bids from local dealers or online from CarMax, Carvana and other large online car buyers. These offers are usually valid for seven days.

Dealerships will spend money to recondition your car and price it to make profits, so they will offer both. It’s nice to know that you have another option in case credible buyers aren’t available.

Give Your Car Curb Appeal

It is best to make your car look great. If a buyer comes to your car, they should take one look at it and say, “It looks great!” It doesn’t matter if you fix every scratch or dent, but it’s important to wash the car regularly and get rid of all the junk that has accumulated over time. For older, more expensive cars, a professional detail will be a good idea. The car will take longer to sell if the price is higher. Also, the shine of the detailing will fade after a few weeks.

You should pay particular attention to the details that a potential buyer will notice as she approaches the car and opens the door. As she takes a seat in the car, you want to see that positive effect continue.

Create Ads That Sell Old Car

Photos that are clear and well taken will help buyers feel more confident about your vehicle. They’ll also make it stand out from other cars for sale. For the best lighting, photograph your car in a sunny spot just after sunset. 

Create Ads That Sell Old Car
Have an appealing ads for your old car.

Take pictures from different angles of the car as you move around it. Take photos of the interior, including the driver’s seat, back and trunk. You can post advertisements for used cars for owners in many places. Each one serves a different audience.

  • Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace – They are free and available everywhere. Beware of scammers.
  • Autotrader: Prices start at $25 for a basic advertisement, but you can search the website from any part of the country. This tends to bring in serious buyers.
  • EBay Motors – You can either auction off your car, or purchase an inexpensive ad.
  • Websites specializing in rare cars: Look for club or collector websites. Or, consider an online auction at BringATrailer, Cars & Bids.

Most ads ask you to provide basic information about your car, such as the year, make, model and mileage. Don’t repeat these details in your ad. Don’t repeat those details in the ad. Instead, include additional information, such as add-ons, options and special details about your car, such as “clean title” (or “just passed smog”), but avoid using canned phrases like “AC blows cold!” and “highway miles only!”

Screen Callers Carefully

You can save time and hassles when selling your car on Craigslist or AutoTrader by screening potential buyers before you start interacting with them. You can save time and money by creating an email account separate from your Google Voice number to sell a private car.

You can expect many phone calls if you list a low price on a popular vehicle. You can let the calls go straight to voicemail, and then review them to decide who to call. Buyers who seem to be calling multiple listings should be avoided. They may be trying to “flip” used vehicles by buying them cheaply and then selling them at a profit. They will often try to convince you to negotiate or offer a low price before even seeing the car.

If you find a buyer that sounds legitimate, contact them again and ask for details about the car, including year, make, model and mileage. Talking with them can usually give you a good idea of their intentions to buy your car.

Set Up A Test Drive

Set Up A Test Drive

Find a place where you can meet them and show them your car. You can meet them at a coffee shop or mall. Take a friend along if you can. Many cities have created safe places for sellers and buyers to meet.

Let them take the car for a test drive but be prepared to go along, as they may not know the area or need directions. Do not try to sell your car. Instead, respond to their questions.

The buyer should pay for a mechanic to inspect the vehicle. You might need to reduce your price if they come back with a long list. You should only deal with urgent problems and not all of the items on the list.

How To Close The Deal When You Sell A Car?

The buyer may offer to take your car for a test drive. The buyer should make the first offer. If he asks you, “What is your best price?” then you can reply, “Well, I think that my asking price seems fair.” You can offer me a deal.

Slowly negotiate and make sure to repeat the numbers so there are no misunderstandings. Before you sign a deal, ensure that the buyer is ready to pay in cash or by cashier’s cheque. You might have to close the deal at the bank if you owe any money on the loan.

You will sign, date and provide a bill to the buyer. To prove that you don’t own the car anymore, many states will require you to file a “release form of liability”. After you have completed these steps, it is time to cancel your auto insurance policy and maybe start searching for a new car.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!