How to Sell Your Car Online

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

There comes a point in every vehicle’s life when the amount of money you need to put into it is more than the car itself is worth.

Of course, you might decide to try and sell your car before it reaches this point.

Whether your car is only a few years old or has been kicking around for 30 years, there are some tactics you can use to make sure that you sell your car in a way that is convenient and profitable to you.

Let’s check out some car selling tips to make sure that you sell your car as fast as you want and for as much as you want.

How to Determine Your Car’s Value

One of the first tips for selling a used car is determining how much your car is worth. This will take a little bit of research.

Use Tools Available Online

It can be easy to overestimate the value of your used car if your car has emotional significance to you or if you’re not familiar with the ways that cars can depreciate. Luckily, there are ways that you can objectively discover the fair market value of your vehicle.

There are a number of different websites where you can get free estimates or compare your car to other listings. Even if you’re planning on selling your car online, you might be able to take your car someplace to get an appraisal in person.

Consider Trading It In

Trading in your car is not an excuse to not learn about the true value of your car. You always want to be making sure you’re getting the best deal that you can.

It’s important to understand what happens if the car you’re trading and hasn’t been fully paid off. Make sure you understand your obligation in your existing car loan before trading in your vehicle for a new one.

Do a Self-Assessment

There are a number of things that can impact the fair market value of the car. If you haven’t kept up with scheduled maintenance, the car needs new tires or breaks, you haven’t resolved the recall, or other issues like that, the value can be negatively impacted.

You might consider doing some of the necessary repairs before selling your car online. The return on investment might be worth it.

Choose Where You Will List Your Car

There are a number of different options when you’re selling your car online. You’ll have to decide where you want to sell your car before listing.

Sell to a Cash Buyer

If you want to get rid of your car as fast as possible with as little hassle as possible, you might consider selling your vehicle online for cash. You can get a simple instant cash offer online and, if you accept the offer, the vehicle will be picked up at no cost to you.

You can learn more about selling your car for cash here.

Online Dealers

There are quite a few different online car dealer sites that can help you to find buyers for your vehicle. Typically, this type of site involves fees, but it can help you to gain more exposure to more potential buyers in more places.

Depending on which car selling sites you use, they might help to take care of some of the hassles for you. With other sites, you might be more on your own.

Online Ads

You could also post ads online through various classified sites and social media sites. If you go this route, you might not reach as many potential buyers, but it is a free way to advertise your vehicle. 

Bidding Sites

If your primary interest is to sell your car quickly, a bidding service could be a good option. There are certainly some drawbacks, though. You might not end up getting as much for your car as you want, and there might also be fees involved for using the service.

Build Your Car Ad

Once you decide where you’re selling your car online, you can start creating your ad. The quality of your ad can help you to bring in more high-quality offers.

If you aren’t selling your car to a cash buyer, taking the time to write an informative ad is one of the most important tips for selling your car.

You want your ad to have plenty of photos so that the buyer understands the condition of the car ahead of time. Make sure that you clean the car first and park it in a nice-looking location for the photos.

You’ll want to include photos of the whole car as well as the engine, the odometer, wheels and tires, front and back grills, scratches or dents, and carpets and upholstery.

When you are writing your listing, obviously you’ll want to list the features of your car. Beyond that, though, you’ll want to highlight anything special about the car and also anticipate any buyer question that will likely come up.

Car Selling Tips and Tricks: How to Finalize the Price and Accept the Offer

Now that your car is online and for sale, it’s time to start dealing with potential buyers and negotiating the price that you are going to be selling your car for.

Screen Buyers

One of the benefits of using official online services is that it can take some pressure off you. Some of the sites let you name your price and see if anyone is interested. Others will contact you with offers and you can simply accept or not.

If you are managing the negotiation part of the process on your own, however, the following tips on selling a car can help to make sure that you got the best price you can.

First of all, you’ll want to communicate clearly and promptly. Respond in a timely manner to interested buyers and be clear about what your expectations are. If buyers need to make payments or seek financing to purchase your car, you likely don’t want to sell to them.

Secondly, you want to be prepared to negotiate the price. This might mean that you need to include references to your maintenance records and explain why you’re asking price is what it is. Before you enter a negotiation, you’ll want to decide what your minimum price is.

Meet the Buyer in Person

Depending on which service you are using to sell your car online, it’s possible that you will end up meeting the buyer in person in order to complete the transaction. You want to be extra careful in this type of scenario, as there are some inherent dangers in meeting a stranger in-person that you’ve only met online.

Firstly, you won’t want to meet the buyer alone. You also want to meet them in a public place that is highly visible. you can take a photograph of the driver’s license of the buyer, too.

If you feel comfortable, you can go along with the buyer on a test drive. To be safe, make sure that there is another person with you.

It is common for buyers to ask to have the car inspected by a mechanic before purchasing. You might want to think about whether or not you would want to go along with the buyer during this step in the process.

You’ll also want to think about what kind of payment you will accept for your vehicle. With things like a money order or a cashier’s check, you can know for certain that the transaction won’t fall through. For other people, a digital payment, check, or cash might be a comfortable means of completing the transaction.

Once both parties have agreed on the price and the money has been transferred, you can hand over all of the documents that your state’s DMV requires.

What to Do After the Sale

You want to take your plates after you sell the car and bring them back to your DMV if that is required in your state. There also might be a “release of liability” form that you have to fill out. You want to do this right after the sale.

The rules about the transfer of ownership are different in different states. You’ll want to look into what the laws are where you live.

Car Selling Tips: Skip the Hassle and Let Us Buy Your Junk Car for Cash!

Are you looking to sell your car fast? Selling your car can be a real hassle I can take a long time. These cars selling tips to be helpful if you’ve got time to spare, but if speed is your priority, you might want to sell your car for cash.

Click here to get a free cash offer on your junk car today!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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