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Five Steps to Know Before You Sell Your Car


You love your car, but you can’t keep it forever. Whether your family has outgrown its ride or you’re just yearning for some snazzy new wheels, here are five steps to know before you sell.

#1 How to Set Your Price

Before you try to find a buyer, you need to determine how much money you want for your car. This should be based on a number of factors, including the make and model, the year, any damage or mechanical issues and any repairs or upgrades you’ve made.

The Kelley Blue Book value of your car is a good place to start. You can also look at local listings to see how much similar cars are going for in your area.

#2: How to Get the Word Out

To sell your car privately, you’ll need to advertise it. You can stick a sign in your car window, but that may not garner enough interest. To reach a wider audience, you’ll want to list your car. You can place an ad in the classifieds section of your local newspaper or PennySaver. There are also a variety of websites that let you advertise your car, including Craigslist.org.

#3: How to Safely Facilitate a Test Drive

It’s normal for an interested buyer to want to take the car for a test drive. Before handing over the keys, make sure the person has a valid license. Go over your insurance policy to see if it covers other drivers; if it doesn’t, make sure the potential buyer has insurance that will cover an accident if one occurs.

Some people let potential buyers go on test drives on their own. If you do this, take some extra precautions. Snap a picture of the person’s driver’s license and agree on the length and route of the test drive. Always arrange to meet somewhere safe.

#4 How to Get Paid

Once you find a buyer and agree upon a price, you’ll need to accept the payment. Some caution is necessary here, as scams are common.

Personal checks can bounce or be fraudulent, so you’re taking a big risk if you accept one. Cashier’s checks are better, but there’s still some risk.

Cash may seem like an easy option, but it also raises safety concerns. If you agree on a cash deal, consider meeting at your bank so the exchange can be made in a secure environment. This should make both parties feel better.

It’s also smart to meet at a bank if you’re planning to accept a cashier’s check. Go to the buyer’s bank when the buyer gets the check so you can verify that it’s legitimate.

Be very skeptical of any buyer who is willing to buy the car without seeing it or who concocts an excuse for paying more than the asking price. This is a red flag that you’re dealing with a scammer.

#5 How to Complete the Paperwork

Don’t forget about the paperwork. Otherwise, you might be left on the hook for any violations caused by the new owner. To make the transfer of the car official, you need to complete the buyer’s section on the title. You also need to submit a notice of transfer. Finally, you’ll need to notify your insurer to stop auto insurance on your old car. If you’ve purchased a new vehicle, ask your insurer for an auto insurance quote.