Selling your car can be a stressful event. You need to know what paperwork to complete, whether to sell privately or to a dealer, and how to get the best possible price. We have combined all the information here for you to take the anxiety out of the transaction and keep you safe during the process.
Decide How You Want to Sell Your Car
You can sell your car privately or through a dealership. Chances are that you can get more through a private sale, whereas a dealer will look at the book value.
Another consideration is whether you want to use the old car as a trade-in on a newer vehicle or to sell it first, pay off the loan, and then put the remainder down on a new car. Although you can save money on sales tax by trading up, you will probably receive less for the vehicle you are selling than if you sold it in a separate deal.
There is also the option of an instant cash sale. Be honest about any problems so that the original offer stands.
Make a Good Impression
Although you cannot hide damage to a vehicle, you will get slightly more for a car that has had a valet, is clean inside and out, and has had the upholstery restored. You should at least try to repair things such as cracked windshields, dents, and scratches. Remove any bumper stickers. You shouldn’t spend more than a few hundred dollars on this.
Have the car tested and fix anything that causes it to fail. If the buyer does this test and the car doesn’t pass you could be in the uncomfortable position of being forced to take the car back and return any monies paid to you.
You will need the title deed, which will still be with the bank if the car is not paid up. A bill of sale is not necessarily required but will enforce the legality of any “as is” conditions. Make sure your emission checks are up to date.
The owner’s manual is normally handed over to the buyer as it contains all the car’s specs. If you have a warranty, this could increase the sales price. So will the service records if you have these.
Setting a selling price can be tricky. If you are in a hurry to sell, a lower price than the vehicle is worth will see it sold quickly. On the other hand, if you advertise for higher than what is reasonable, you may eventually get it sold but it will take far longer. Allow some room for negotiation as the buyer will also try to get you to drop the price.
A purchaser will want to test drive the car. You should be especially wary if you are selling a Ferrari or similar vehicle that will get a lot of interested buyers. In reality, they only want the chance to drive your car. To sell Ferrari models, a site like We Buy Exotics will give you a price in minutes without the hassle.
Avoid meeting potential buyers at your home. Agree to a neutral and safe meeting place. Take a copy of the person’s driver’s license and send it to a family member. Always accompany the driver and set a time and distance limit on the test drive so that you are not taken to an unsafe location.
The safest way to conclude your sale is at the buyer’s bank with a teller’s check.