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How to Sell Your Car

So, you’re considering selling your car, but you have no idea where to start. Whether selling an old or new vehicle, it can be a complicated process. Rather than be panicked about the prospect of selling a car, learn how to do it right and make the process a little easier with the following steps.

Determine the Vehicle’s Worth

The vehicle’s worth helps you decide if it would be a profitable sale or not. To find out exactly how much your car is worth, try using resources like, NADA Guides, or Kelly Blue Book. If your car isn’t worth as much as you thought, consider trading the vehicle in instead.

Gather the Paperwork

Rather than wait until the last second, gather the paperwork ahead of time to make the process far easier in the long run. It’s best to be able to finalize the transaction once you’ve decided to sell. While the requirements for each state can vary, you’ll likely need at least the following to finalize the sale.

The title: You’ll have to sign over the title to the new owner.

Maintenance records: Keeping up with scheduled maintenance can increase a vehicle’s value. A copy of your records can be found at your dealership or mechanic.

Bill of sale: A bill of sale documents the terms and conditions in case of a dispute and releases you from some liability.

Release of liability: This form prevents car owners from being liable for damages after the vehicle is sold. If required, this form can be submitted to your state DMV.

Warranty or as-is documents: If the car is under warranty, you’ll want to provide these documents to the new owner. If there are no warranties, make it clear and include it in the bill of sale. This clarifies that the new owner assumes responsibility for damages or repairs after the sale.

Prepare the Car for Buyers

A clean vehicle tends to make the best impression. Before taking any pictures, detail the interior and the exterior of the vehicle. Wash and wax exterior, clean tires and rims, wash or replace floor mats, vacuum interior, and wash windows inside and out.

Take Pictures

Once the car is properly detailed, take plenty of photographs. This helps attract buyers and ensures the state of the vehicle before it’s sold. Take multiple shots from multiple angles and choose the best shots that include the exterior (front, rear, sides), interior (all seats, trunk, carpets, dashboard), wheels, and engine.


Find a place that will properly advertise the vehicle like an online classifieds service. In the advertisement, include a detailed, accurate description to attract more buyers. Be sure to include asking price, mileage, condition, accident or damage history, modifications or upgrades, recent repairs, VIN number, and previous owners.

Focus on Serious Inquiries

After posting the ad, prepare to respond to incoming inquires. Only arrange test drives for serious buyers. Before setting an appointment with someone, ask for a full name, clarify acceptable forms of payment, and determine the buyer’s location. Do not agree to monthly payments because it’s not reliable or safe.

Prepare a Sales Pitch

If a buyer makes the effort to look at the car, make your sales pitch while he or she looks. A test drive is the best time to inform the buyer of why your vehicle is the better purchase. Pitch the car’s benefits and size up the potential buyer in this time.

Negotiate the Price

If the price is up for negotiation, don’t be afraid to haggle if you don’t like the buyer’s price. When you negotiate, it’s good to have a higher starting price to have room to negotiate. Have an acceptable price range in mind before talking with a buyer.

Complete the Bill of Sale

Once you agree on a price, finalize the sale. When the payment is completed, provide the previously mentioned paperwork. In your copies, try to block out any personal information to avoid identity theft and, most importantly, don’t forget the keys and to remove the vehicle from your insurance.

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