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How To Sell My Car: A Complete Guide

How To Sell My Car: A Complete Guide

It could be because you need to upgrade or you’re hard-pressed for cash, but you’ve been thinking, ‘I need to sell my car.’ The only hindrance may be not knowing where to begin. Worry not, you’re not alone. Selling your first car can be both confusing and challenging if you don’t have any guidance.  Fortunately, the process isn’t that difficult, and you too can sell your car quickly. This guide will help you understand the process and how it can work for your benefit.

1. Preparing For The Sale

Even though selling your car isn’t a complicated process, it’s not possible to just wake up one day and sell it without any preparations. To make the process smooth, this is what you need to know before selling a car.

  • The current market: It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the current market. Peruse the listings in your area and find the price range of comparable cars within your locality. This is to help you put a reasonable estimate price on your car and keep manageable expectations.
  • Required Paperwork: You should know the documents needed in the sale and organize them properly before you can start the sale process, these include documents from your lender if you’re still repaying a car loan. Other important documents can be found at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to transfer vehicle ownership.
  • License plates: At the DMV, check what you need to do with your license plates as the regulations vary from state to state.
  • The car’s history: You need to have your vehicle’s history report as this answers many questions that prospective buyers may have. With this report, you won’t keep explaining the number of accidents the car has been involved in every time you talk to a potential buyer.

2. Determine And Set An Asking Price

Having studied the market, you’re now in a position to set a smart asking price. There are online sites where you can get an estimated value as well. The local ads for similar cars in your local area can also help you put the appropriate estimate asking price. Consider setting your price slightly higher than your car’s market value to leave some room for negotiations.

3. Spruce Up Your Car’s Looks

To attract the best buyers for your car, you need to make it appealing to that target group. If there are a few apparent fixes, such as dents or chipped paint, you can fix them before you buyers start viewing it. You don’t necessarily need to repair everything, just ensure that the car looks good enough to attract a good price. Clean the car thoroughly, and remove any items or junk that may still be in it. Pay attention to the details that a buyer is likely to check when they come for a viewing. 

 How To Sell My Car: A Complete Guide

4. Create Eye-Catching Ads

Ads should include photos taken from various angles for the interiors and the exterior, the trunk, engine, tires, and the odometer to show mileage. There are many places to place your ads for your used car. Each of them tends to serve a different audience, such as Craigslist, where you have to be careful, or you’ll get scammed.

Your ads should describe the vehicle clearly.

5. Screen The Callers

After you’ve advertised your car, expect to receive numerous calls. Before you start engaging the potential buyers, screen them. To avoid a situation where strangers have your private email address or phone number, create an email for the sale. Also, consider getting a phone number to use only to receive calls regarding the sale of your car. You can let the calls go to voice mail initially. When you listen and find a buyer who sounds genuinely interested, engage them and answer their questions about the vehicle. 

6. Set Up A Test Drive

To ensure your safety, organize to meet potential buyers in a safe place and if possible, have someone else with you. Allow them to test the car in your presence so that you can answer any further questions they might have. Your presence is also for safety as a person might drive away with your car if you let them test drive alone. 

7. Make A Sale

Hopefully, after the test drive the buyer will be interested in your car. Most buyers will want to close the deal at the lowest possible price, with this in mind, expect to receive offers that are way lower than your asking price. If their offer is too low and they aren’t willing to pay higher, don’t feel pressured to close the deal. When you negotiate and agree on a price, you can now complete the sale.


Selling your car doesn’t have to be complicated. You can turn your car into cash successfully and hassle-free by pricing it reasonably, grooming it, advertising in the right places and in the right way, and responding quickly to buyers’ queries.