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5 Tips for Selling Your Car

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When you have made the decision to sell your vehicle and buy something newer and perhaps nicer, you need to spruce up your car to ensure that you can get the highest possible amount to put towards your next vehicle purchase. Follow the tips below to make sure you get the most bang for your buck when selling your car.

Sell Your Car Yourself

When selling your car, your first instinct might be to head straight to the dealer. While this can be the easiest way, it usually means you will make less from the sale of your vehicle; some dealers will offer you a few hundred dollars for a car that will sell for thousands, while others will pay a somewhat reasonable amount but significantly less than you could get if you sell your car online or through a classified ad.

For example, a dealer might give you $5,000 up-front for your 2009 sedan, but if you remain patient and put forth the effort of selling individually, you could make more like $7,000.

car dealership sales

Wash Your Car

Don’t make the mistake of skipping the car wash. You may have a decent set of wheels, but if it’s full of trash and dog hair the buyer will have a misperception of the car’s actual and true value. A clean interior will look and smell better and also show the buyer that you have taken good car of your vehicle. At the very least, make sure you scrub down and vacuum your car and make the extra effort to wax it and make the hubcaps shine—you will find that this goes a long way in the long run.

Successful Car Wash Fundraiser Tips

Value Your Car

Make sure that you use the right guide when pricing your vehicle. A good online resource is Kelley Blue Book, while the NADA Guide is a guide used in determining retail prices by banks and dealers rather than a car’s actual worth. On the Kelley Blue Book site, you simply select the car’s options and your zip code and see a fair market value based on the car’s estimated condition.Used Car Prices Line of Colorful Car Lot Bumper

Documents You Need

Make sure you have all the paperwork you need before listing your car. Keep the title handy, and when you do sell the car, get two copies of the bill of sale—one for yourself and the other for the buyer. This paperwork is usually free at your local DMV, and it’s good documentation to have because it helps protect you from being liable if something happens or an accident occurs before the title transfer has been finalized. The paperwork also has an “as is” and “where is” clause which indicates that you have not made any promises or guarantees about the car’s condition and also that you have not included a warranty of any kind. It is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect the car’s condition for any mechanical problems or issues before purchasing.Car paperwork insruance registration identification documents


Never take a check as payment unless the buyer is someone you inherently trust. It is always best to ask for cash—if you feel uncomfortable having thousands of dollars on your person, have the buyer meet you at the bank when finalizing the sale.

Increase Trade-In Value for car tax credits

While the car selling process is something you probably want to get over and done with as soon as possible, rushing the process can cause you undue hassle. The last thing you want is to sell you car for less than it is worth—or, worse, to be scammed by the buyer. Stay smart and take your time, and you’ll find that selling your car isn’t as bad as you think it will be.