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5 Essential Tips to Nailing the Process of Selling a Car

Are you looking to sell your car, but aren’t quite sure how to go about the process?

While trading your car in at the dealership is incredibly easy, it’s not going to get you the most bang for your buck. This is why selling your vehicle on your own is the way to go. 

But, how do you do it?

Check out this guide to discover the top tips to follow so you can nail the process of selling a car. 

1. Know the Market 

Just as you need to know the market when selling your home, so too do you need to know the market when selling your car. 

By having a good understanding of the market, you’ll be able to choose a fair price point for your car. Here are a few general things you should know about the current car market:

  • SUVs are currently in high demand 
  • For those who need basic inexpensive transportation, family sedans are always a hot ticket item
  • Sports cars and convertibles are seasonal, it’s best to wait until the summer when the weather is nicer
  • Collector cars tend to take more time to sell
  • Vans and trucks used for work tend to sell at a steady rate and command competitive prices

To get a better understanding of your local market, we recommend checking the classified ads, browsing Craigslist, and checking out dealership websites. These places will give you an idea of what price vehicles like yours are selling at. 

2. Choose a Competitive Price for Your Vehicle 

Once you’ve researched the local market, it’s time to put a price on your vehicle. 

The easiest way to pin down a price is to appraise your vehicle on Edmunds. Make sure you note the “private party” price, as this number is adjusted based on condition, mileage, features, and location. 

Also, make sure you leave a bit of wiggle room in your pricing by asking for more than you’d expect. Most buyers are going to try to talk you down a bit in the price. This way, when someone makes you a lower offer, it’ll be closer to the actual price you’d planned to sell it at. 

We recommend adding about $1,000-$1,500 to the price. 

3. Give Your Vehicle a Makeover 

No matter how sturdy and dependable your vehicle is, no one is going to want to buy it if it smells weird or if there’s trash laying all over the floor.

To make your vehicle more enticing to prospective buyers, you need to give it a makeover. Here are some things you need to do:

  • Wash and vacuum the car
  • If it’s in your budget, get the car detailed
  • Consider taking care of low-cost repairs yourself rather than selling as-is
  • Treat your tires with some tire gloss
  • Make sure your car is free from dings, dents, and scrapes
  • Clean the windows thoroughly as well as other mirrored surfaces 
  • Wipe down the wheel covers
  • Take care of routine services, like oil changes
  • Have a professional mechanic take a look at the car

You should also remove any personal items from the car. This way, when someone comes to test-drive the car, they’ll better be able to visualize themselves owning it. 

Additionally, you should order a vehicle history report. This is so you can prove that the car’s title is clean and that the number on your odometer is accurate. 

4. Advertise Your Vehicle 

When selling a vehicle, you also need to make sure that you advertise it in the right places. 

Here are some places where you can advertise your vehicle:

  • Online Classifieds:, Auto Trader, and other similar sites are great for casting a wide net, but they do come with an advertising fee 
  • Free Online Classifieds: You can also advertise on free classified sites lie Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist, but you’ll have to be extra diligent to avoid scams
  • Social Media: Spread the word on your social media platforms and ask contacts to spread the word to their followers 
  • Word-of-Mouth: Tell your friends, family members, and co-workers about the vehicle you’re selling

Also, don’t be afraid to do it the old-fashioned way by putting up a for sale sign inside your vehicle. A good number of cars still sell this way! 

5. Create an Enticing Ad 

It’s not just about where you advertise, it’s also about how you advertise. In order to sell your car swiftly, you need to create ads that are enticing to buyers. 

Here are some keywords you may want to sprinkle into your ads:

  • Firm: This communicates that you’re not willing to budge on your price
  • Asking Price: This communicates that you’re willing to negotiate a bit
  • OBO: Stands for “or best offer” and shows buyers you’re eager to sell and are quite willing to negotiate
  • Must Sell: If you’re leaving town and need to get rid of your car quickly, include this phrase in your ad

Also, make sure your ad includes as much information as possible about the vehicle. In addition to the make and model, you should also say how long you’ve owned the car, the mileage, the condition, and any other important information. 

Also, make sure to take plenty of high-quality pictures of the vehicle from different angles. You should take pictures of both the exterior and interior, and if the car has any dings or dents, make sure to capture these on camera as well. 

The Process of Selling a Car: Are You Ready to Sell?

Now that you’ve read about the process of selling a car, it’s time to sell your vehicle. Before you know it, you’ll have a big wad of cash in your hands thanks to your successful sale!

Be sure to check back in with our site for more car-related news and tips.