Trading your car in at a dealership when it’s time to buy a new one is the easiest way to rid yourself of a vehicle you no longer want or need. However, selling your car on your own means you’ll get more money. It’s especially easy to sell your car to another person for cash if you have the clean title in-hand.
Experts say you could get at least 20% more for your car if you sell it yourself. So, if a dealership offers you $5,000 for your trade, it could be worth an extra $1,000 to sell it on your own.
Here’s how to get the job done quickly and pocket the extra money:
- Make sure your car is in the best possible condition.
Even if the check engine light is on only because you didn’t tighten the gas cap enough last time you filled up, getting the alert cleared (and the light turned off) will help you sell the car with less hassle.
Get the oil changed, check tire pressure, and take care of small repairs like a broken tie-rod or scratches in the vehicle’s clear coat. Potential owners want to understand that you’ve diligently maintained the car, so take care of necessary repairs and maintenance before you advertise the car for sale.
Clearcoat scratches are easy to fix permanently with the Quixx Paint Scratch Remover kit. Using plastic deformation technology, the patented compound in the kit causes clear coat to flow back into the scratch, erasing the damage.
For deeper scratches, stop future damage by sealing the scratch with the Quixx Paint Repair Pen. The ultra-fine tip and genuine clear coat block UV rays, moisture, and oxygen from creeping under the edges of the scratch.
- Take multiple high-quality photos and post to more than one platform
An ad with a couple of blurry photos isn’t going to work as well as one with clear photos taken in good lighting that show every angle of your car; inside and out.
If you can make the vehicle look better by fixing small scratches and scuffs, do so before you take pictures for the ad. Of course, make sure the vehicle is washed and waxed. Take care of details like removing brake dust from the hubcaps, cleaning the inside of the windows, wiping down the dashboard, and removing all personal items from the car’s interior.
Choose at least two online selling portals. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Both Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace offer a free way to sell vehicles.
- Check your car’s private party value on Kelley Blue Book and NADA
Most people aren’t familiar with appropriate price ranges for various vehicles. Go through the easy questionnaire on both of these sites to get your vehicle’s private party value range. Take a screenshot and post it with your ad to help justify your price to potential buyers. For the best results, position your price mid-range.
Be sure to include your vehicle’s year, mileage, trim level, and specific features in the ad. Don’t leave car shoppers with questions. Offering information freely helps build trust.
Research maintenance costs a bit, and if you have a vehicle with a reputation for being easy on the wallet, say so in the ad. According to YourMechanic.com, Toyotas are one of the least-expensive vehicles to maintain over a 10-year time period. BMWs cost the most to keep on the road. Maintenance costs for domestic brands like Dodge and Ford fall in the middle ranges.
“Luxury imports from Germany, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, along with domestic luxury brand Cadillac, are the most expensive. A Toyota is about $10,000 less expensive over 10 years, just in terms of maintenance.” -YourMechanic.com
Both products are widely available at big-box retail stores, auto parts stores, and online.