10 Steps To Sell Your Old Car

Are you getting a new set of wheels and you have an old car you need to get rid of? If so, here’s a simple ten step guide we have designed to assist you through the entire process.

Step 1: Know the General Market

The kind of car that you currently have will generate a certain amount of demand. Is this demand strong or weak? The answer to this depends on many factors, for example:

  • Family sedans are in constant demand year round by people needing basic, inexpensive transportation.
  • The demand for convertibles and sports cars tends to be seasonal. Warm, sunny weather will bring out the buyers for these models and winter weather, the reverse.
  • Trucks and vans, used for work, are steady sellers and command good prices.
  • Collector cars can be rare items but will take longer to sell. The upside is that they can have unexpectedly high value if you find the right buyer.

Step 2: Price Your Car Competitively

A good way to judge the value of your car is to survey on-line classified ads (Ebay, Craigslist, etc.) and see what “real” prices they are selling for. Alternatively, on-line appraisal tools like the Edmunds Appraisal tool can be useful.

Note: when you price your vehicle, be sure to leave a little wiggle room in your asking price. In other words, ask for slightly more money than you are actually willing to accept. If you want to get $12,000 for the car, you should list the car at $13,500. The you can take a lower offer and still receive a good price.

Step 3: Curb Appeal

When people come to look at your car, most make up their minds to buy it or not within the first minute or so. This is based on their “first impression” of the car. So, you want this first impression to be very positive. Here’s a few tips.

  • Wash and vacuum the car thoroughly
  • Make sure your car is mechanically sound
  • Get out all the junk from the inside of the car
  • Wipe the brake dust off the wheel covers
  • Treat the tires with a tire gloss product
  • Clean the windows and all the mirrors
  • Wipe down the dashboard (use Armor-All if you can)
  • Have all your maintenance records ready

Step 4: Where to Advertise

Here are the main markets for advertising used cars:

  • Websites:com and Craigslist.com are the two biggest places
  • Social media: Use Facebook and Twitter to let your friends circle know you are selling your car. This costs nothing and is highly effective
  • Word of mouth: Tell your friends, co-workers and family
  • For sale sign: If you live in a well-trafficked area, a “For Sale” sign in the car window can be a great way to sell it.

Step 5: Create Ads That Sell

  • Besides the price, your ad should also include the year, make, model, trim level and options of the car along with the mileage, color and condition. Give the reader all the information needed.
  • Take a lot of pictures with your cell phone and post as many as the platform allows. Studies show that the more pictures you include, the higher the price the car will sell for.

Step 6: Showing Your Car

Keep in mind that when you sell your car, people will also be evaluating you too. Potential buyers will always wonder if there are any hidden surprises so put them at ease and answer their questions openly.

You might feel uncomfortable about having buyers come to your house to see the car. If this is the case, arrange to show the car at a park or shopping center near your home.

Some buyers will want to take the car to a mechanic to have it inspected. This is a reasonable request and you should be ready for it.

Step 7: Negotiations

Buyers will almost always want to offer you less than your asking price on a car. Here’s a few things you may hear.

“Would you accept…?” This is a nice pleasant way to negotiate a lower price on a car. The buyer has thought it over and is making a reasonable offer. Generally, the seller comes back with a counter offer.

“What’s your best price?” This is a direct way to probe the seller to find out how much they will come down on their asking price. If you get this from a prospective buyer, don’t give it away.

“Take it or leave it.” This buyer is being hardnosed and is looking to get the car for a rock bottom price. If you feel that their offer is unreasonable, simply remark that “I can’t sell the car for that price.” They may return tomorrow ready to pay your price.

Note: If you post your car online ad you might get people trying to negotiate via e-mail. Be careful how you answer this because the number that you settle on becomes the new price before they have seen the car. A good response to this is to respond with “Come see the car first and then we can discuss the price.”

Step 8: Handling Complications

In some cases, you might reach an agreement with a buyer that is contingent on performing repair work on the car. If you state clearly in your ads that the car is being sold “as is,” you can refer to this statement when it’s time to close the deal.

Some advice from https://www.wyattjohnsonkia.com/, a Kia dealer in Clarksville, TN. Remember, the older the car, the more a mechanic is likely to find. At some point, you have to draw the line. After all, a used car — particularly an old one — isn’t expected to be perfect.

Step 9: Finalize the Sale

Rules governing the sale of motor vehicles vary from state to state. Make sure you check with the department of motor vehicles (DMV) in your state, and keep in mind that much of the information is now available on DMV Web sites.

Don’t forget to contact your insurance agent to cancel your policy on the vehicle you have sold (or transfer the coverage to your new car).

Step 10: After the Sale

In most states, the condition of a used car for sale is considered “as is” and no warranty is provided or implied. Therefore, if the car breaks down after you have sold it, you are under no obligation to refund the buyer’s money or pay to have it repaired. If you have sold a car to someone who took it for inspection at a garage and the mechanic found nothing wrong with it, you have done all you can to protect yourself and the buyer.

In Summary

When done correctly, selling a used car can be a win-win situation. You have turned your used car into cash and provided reliable transportation for the next owner. Focus on the benefits to both parties and you are likely to have a smooth and profitable experience.