There are a number of reasons that you might decide that it’s time to sell your car. For instance, your car may not be driving like it once did, you might want to upgrade to something newer, or it could simply be time for a change. In any of these cases, you may find yourself thinking “I want to sell my car.” While coming to the decision to sell your vehicle might be easy, knowing how to sell your car for the most money possible is a bit more difficult.
From online dealers to private buyers, there are many possibilities when considering how to sell your car. Some sellers are unconcerned about the price and just think, “I want to sell my car quick!” If that’s the case for you, there are plenty of buyers who would be happy to purchase your used car at a low price.
But if you want the most money possible, it will take some time and effort. Let’s explore several effective approaches for getting the maximum amount possible.
How to Sell Your Car to Major Digital Retailers
National online car retailers like Carvana, Vroom, CarMax, and Shift have been growing in recent years. These companies are publicly traded and focused heavily on growth. Because of this, digital retailers are always purchasing more vehicles in order to continuously expand their inventory.
While many of the used cars available through online dealerships are purchased at auction, buying from private sellers like you allows these companies to avoid the fees and additional costs associated with auctions. Since they are saving money by purchasing directly from you, they are likely to offer you a good amount of money for your used car.
If you are wondering how to sell your car for the highest price possible, it is important to compare quotes from all of the major digital retailers. Also, the ease with which you can get quotes from these large online dealers means that a small investment of time could result in a higher payment for your vehicle.
There is a possibility that finding the right private seller could bring in more than a digital retailer, but it will certainly take a lot more work on your part. If you want the most money possible, but you are also thinking “I want to sell my car quick,” then the convenience and price point of a major online retailer might be the right choice for you.
If you decide on this option, you will not need to invest time or money cleaning and preparing your used car for the sale. Online dealers will recondition your car without it affecting your estimate.
While many of these retailers have convenient storefronts for dropping off your car, Carvana and Vroom go as far as to send a flatbed truck to your home to collect your car. In terms of both convenience and competitive pricing, these companies are a great option for many sellers.
Get Quotes from Your Local Car Dealers
When sellers think, “I want to sell my car,” local auto dealerships usually come to mind first. Car dealerships can be a good option, depending on what you hope to get out of the exchange.
If what you are after is convenience, a local auto dealer might be the right choice for you. Simply call ahead to the dealership, make an appointment to get an estimate on your car, and take the required paperwork with you in order to complete the sale.
Despite the convenience, you shouldn’t expect to receive a particularly high price from a dealership. Actually, a dealer is likely to offer much less than either national online retailers or private party buyers. The primary advantage of local dealerships is the convenience.
So, unless you are mostly concerned with the ease of your sales experience, there are much better approaches for how to sell your car.
How to Sell Your Car to a Private Buyer
If you are willing to invest the time and effort to find the highest sales price for your vehicle, you should search for a private buyer. But this option requires a lot more work than selling to a local dealership or an online retailer.
For instance, this decision will require you to clean and detail your car before advertising it. Your used car should look as attractive as possible, so that you can raise your asking price to the highest possible amount.
You will also need to take photographs of your car to entice buyers and list it on many different sales websites. So, while private buyers may give you more for your car, this sales method will mean much more work for you.
Car History and Inspections for Serious Buyers
Regardless of which option you choose, there are a few commonalities that you should expect when selling a used vehicle.
- CarFax – All serious buyers will want to view a detailed vehicle history for the car. This helps them determine if your car is a good investment. Be sure to have this ready, whether you are contacting an online retailer, visiting a local dealer, or finding a private buyer.
- Pre-Purchase Inspection – While there is no single common checklist for making sure that a vehicle is worth buying, most serious consumers will want to conduct a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) of your car. Depending on how you choose to sell the car, the PPI may be more or less thorough.
When considering how to sell your car, be prepared to accommodate a PPI and have a vehicle history ready for potential purchasers to review.
What Do I Need to Sell My Car?
After you collect quotes and decide how to sell your car, you still may be unclear about all the information and items that you need to gather in order to complete the sale. You might wonder, “exactly what do I need to sell my car?”
The following items will be useful in making your sales experience as smooth as possible:
- A driver’s license or other official identification
- The vehicle’s title
- The vehicle’s registration
- Ten-day loan payoff (if you have a loan on the vehicle)
- All sets of keys for the vehicle (at least two)
- All maintenance and vehicle service records
When the sale is final, be sure to remove any personal items from the car. If you choose to sell to a private buyer, you may have searched the vehicle thoroughly before the day of the sale. However, if you are using a more convenient option, it is easy to forget your important items in the car when you sell it!
If you have decided it is time to sell your vehicle, you likely will need to balance convenience against price. Consider the issues discussed above when deciding which sales method is right for you.