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What's the Best Way to Sell a Used Car? 2 Options to Consider

What's the Best Way to Sell a Used Car? 2 Options to Consider

It’s the eternal question, when you’re trying to sell your car do you head for the dealership, or do you try to sell it yourself? What about another way entirely? Both options have their positives and negatives, which is why in this article we’re going to be diving into both to help you decide which is the best way to sell a used car for your personal situation.


The used car market is experiencing demand like never before, used cars are being bought from buyers all over the world and if you want to sell your used car, we have the tips that will make the process simpler for you.


Important Paperwork


This may sound like a “no brainer” but we need to cover it. Are you legally able to sell your used car? If there is an active lien against the car, that has to be paid before anything else can move forward.


For most people, their used car was paid off a long time ago. You would have received a lien release from the lender that financed the purchase of the car. If you cannot find the document, just give the lender a call and they can email/fax it over to you.


When you have dealt with the lien documentation, the next thing you will need to get is the service record of the vehicle. Prospective buyers want to know if the car was properly maintained.


There is going to be normal wear and tear, which is to be expected with a used car, but you should be able to show that regular maintenance was performed and have the paperwork to back it up.


If you do not have this paperwork, it will reduce the amount of money you can get for your used car so do your level best to have it available.


Protecting Yourself from Scammers


There are some pretty sophisticated scams being conducted online and if you are not careful, you could easily fall victim. If you advertise on social media, don’t be surprised if you all of sudden receive a message from someone very interested, so interested they are going to send you a payment for the car sight unseen.


What makes this offer fantastic is they are willing to pay the asking price and send a check via courier to you right away. This motivated buyer is away “on business” but will have their associate stop by and pick up the car once you receive the check.


The check arrives as promised and you deposit it into your account, then the friend shows up to get the car. So far everything seems above board, it is only a few weeks later you realize that the check was either completely fake or drawn on a closed account of a dead person. Check fraud is rampant and with the pandemic, we are unable to meet people in person so we place a considerable amount of trust the person giving the check is honest.


Private Sale


When you sell a car privately you’re committing to a lot of work, that’s the first thing you need to understand. It’s not just a matter of handing over the keys and receiving a stack of cash, there’s a lot of preparation and a lot of effort that goes into a car sale. 


You’re going to have to set up an online listing, get the car into good enough condition to show and test drive, you’re going to have to get several different documents ready to make the sale legal like a bill of sale, you’re going to have to screen potential buyers, some of which will definitely just waste your time. To top it off the process can take time, it could be months before you ever actually make the sale.


So why do all of this work? It’s because when you sell a car privately you get to set the price, which means you’ll end up with more money in pocket than you would get from a dealership, especially since a dealership is more likely to offer credit than cash.




When you trade into a dealership the process is entirely different, it’s significantly less work as the burden of all of that work is on the dealer, the process will also be significantly factor, and can all be over in a day if you accept the dealers initial offer.


The trade off is of course that you’re going to get less money for your car, and moreover you aren’t going to get money for the car, you’re going to get credit.


When you trade in a car to a dealership, instead of paying you for the car, they take the value of the car and use it as credit towards your next car. For example if your trade in car is worth $5000 and a new car you want is worth $15000 then a trade in would reduce that price to $10000.


How to Decide


Which method you choose really depends on what your plan is for the next car. If you’re looking to buy a new car then a trade in is the logical step, if you’re looking to buy a used car, or aren’t looking to replace the car at all, then selling privately is the better option.


The Safest Way to Sell Your Used Car


We have just scratched the surface on some of the things you will need to contend with when selling your used car. Instead of dealing with all of the hassles that come with selling a used car on your own, why not turn to the experts for help.


Head over to your local car dealership and sell your used car to them. They buy and sell cars all the time so you know they are interested. The dealership is also able to pay you on the spot for the car, so if you need cash fast, then your local car dealership is the best place to go when trying to sell a used car.


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Categories: sell your car