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How to Sell?

How to Sell a Used Car? [Get Instant Quotes]

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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Quick Answer:

When selling a used car, it’s important to follow certain steps for a safe transaction process, such as setting a fair price, advertising effectively, and signing a bill of sale.

If your used car has high mileage or body damage, selling it online through companies like Peddle, Wheelzy, or CarBrain is the best choice for quick and efficient transactions.

Alternatively, if you have more time and are willing to put in the effort, selling the car privately can potentially lead to greater profits.

Key Takeaways:

  • Select the Best Selling Method: evaluate the options for selling your used car, such as through online platforms like Peddle, Wheelzy, and CarBrain for a quick and easy process or selling privately for potentially higher profits.
  • Determine the Right Price: utilize tools like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds for online valuation and compare with similar listings on platforms like CarGurus or Autotrader to set a competitive and fair price.
  • Get a Vehicle Inspection: a comprehensive vehicle inspection is recommended to assess the car’s condition thoroughly. This not only boosts buyer confidence but can also justify a higher resale value.
  • Effective Advertising: advertise on multiple platforms for broader exposure. Ensure the advertisement is detailed and transparent, including information about the car’s history, condition, and maintenance records.

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How to Sell a Used Car?

1. Choose the Best Way to Sell Your Used Car

Deciding the best way to sell your used car involves considering factors like safety, potential profit and convenience.

Selling Your Used Car Privately

Selling your car privately typically demands more effort and carries higher risks compared to other methods.

Although the process takes 52 days on average this method often results in a higher selling price.

The best platform to sell your car privately is CarGurus. The company offers a secure seller and buyer communication platform, has a seller protection policy and has a 4.1/5 rating on Trustpilot.

ProsPotential for highest profitMore control over the sale process
ConsRequires a lot of time and effortPotential safety risksHigh risk of scams

Selling Your Used Car Online

Online platforms such as Peddle, Wheelzy, and CarBrain provide a straightforward, fast, and secure method for selling your car.

These services buy a wide range of vehicles, including used, damaged, non-running, and even junk cars.

The entire process can be completed in as little as 48 hours. Online car-buying companies typically handle all the necessary paperwork and offer the convenience of picking up your car directly from your driveway at no extra cost.

ProsQuick and easy processCan sell any carPlatform handles car pickup
ConsLower profit than selling privatelyNo negotiations

Selling Your Car to a Dealership

Selling your car to a dealership is a convenient choice, providing a swift and straightforward transaction.

This method often results in a lower selling price compared to a private sale and requires you to invest time in searching for a dealer who offers the best deal and negotiating the car’s price.

Typically, the process of selling to a dealership can take about 5 to 7 days.

ProsRather quick processLess paperwork hassleGuaranteed payment
ConsLower profitLimited negotiation powerHidden fees

2. Price Your Used Car

To determine the selling price of your car, especially when selling used car privately, three effective methods are available:

  • Online valuation tools: Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds that compile various market data
  • Online listings: compare similar used cars on platforms like CarGurus or Autotrader.
  • Online quotes: companies like Peddle and Wheelzy provide a baseline for the car’s quick-sale value within minutes.

Each of these methods will give you a perspective on your car’s worth, taking into account factors like make, model, year, condition, and market demand.

how to price a car to sell

3. Get Vehicle Inspection

Getting a vehicle inspection when selling your used car is highly recommended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the car’s condition, including mechanical, safety, and appearance aspects such as tires, frame, suspension, brakes, and more.

Buyers are increasingly skeptical about purchasing used cars, so an inspection report can significantly boost their confidence. It assures them that the car is in good condition and has been professionally evaluated.

Moreover, a detailed inspection report demonstrating the car’s maintenance history and condition can justify a higher resale value.

4. Advertise Used Car Effectively

To effectively market your used car for sale, consider advertising on various platforms to reach a wider audience.

Your advertisement should be comprehensive and honest, including key information such as the car’s make, model, year, mileage, condition, unique attributes, and price.

Be transparent about the car’s history, condition and maintenance, highlighting the available documentation and service records.

Ensure your contact details are readily available and respond quickly to inquiries from prospective buyers to establish a positive foundation for any sales negotiations.

Best platforms to sell your used car privately:

Best platforms to sell your used car online:

best place to sell car online free

5. Sign a Bill of Sale

You should sign a bill of sale when you sell a used car, even if it is not required by law in your state.

A bill of sale is a legal document that transfers ownership of the car from you to the buyer and protects you from liability for any accidents or other problems that occur after the sale.

Moreover, clearly state in the bill of sale that you are selling the car “as is.” This means that you are selling the car in its current condition, with all known and unknown defects. The buyer is assuming all responsibility for the car’s condition once the sale is complete.

What Paperwork is Required to Sell Used Car?

The necessary documents to sell a car privately can differ by state. Across the United States, a Certificate of Title is universally required.

Additionally, based on your location, you may need to sign and notarize a bill of sale, complete a VIN inspection, and present a valid emissions test report.

To affirm your vehicle’s worth and assure potential buyers about its maintenance, it is advised to conduct a VIN check, compile all service records, and include the owner’s manual in your paperwork.

How Long Does it Take to Sell a Used Car?

Typically, selling a car privately takes about 52 days on average. The time it takes to sell a used car is influenced by factors like the car’s age, mileage, make, model, and condition.

In comparison, selling a car to a local dealership usually takes around 5 to 7 days. Alternatively, using online car-buying services like Peddle, Wheelzy, and CarBrain can expedite the process, completing the sale in as little as 48 hours.

How to Sell Used Car Safely?

To sell a used car safely, screen potential buyers by asking for their name, contact number, and address. Be wary of individuals who shy away from face-to-face or phone interactions or those reluctant to divulge their personal details, as these could be red flags.

As a seller, safeguard yourself by choosing a reliable payment method, executing a bill of sale, and notifying the DMV of the transaction, which releases you from any future liabilities.

Can You Sell a Used Car with an Expired Registration?

Even though, in some states, selling a car with an expired registration is permitted, buyers often hesitate to purchase these vehicles, potentially leading them to request a reduced price.

In states where a valid registration is mandatory for the seller to transfer the title, consider selling to online car-buying companies like Peddle.

Can You Sell a Used Car Without a Title?

Selling a used car without a Title is illegal in the United States.

However, in certain states, for vehicles that are over 15 years old, a bill of sale may be used instead of a title. This allows buyers to register the vehicle at the DMV without needing the original title.

At What Mileage Should You Sell Used Car?

It is best to sell a car before it reaches 100,000 or 200,000 miles. Beyond these mileage thresholds, the car becomes more challenging to sell due to potentially costly repairs and wear and tear.

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Michael Becker


About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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