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7 Easy Ways to Get More Money For Your Car – When You’re Ready to Sell!

Maybe you’re looking to sell your car for cash or are hoping to find the best trade in deal.

Whatever the reason, I’ve written this guide to help you get the fastest sale and the best price for your car.

Before you get going, you’ll want to know what your car is worth.

Do a quick a Google search for ‘free car valuation’ to get a free, up-to-date used car valuation in seconds by simply entering your car’s licence plate.

There are a number of sites out there on the web offering this service.

Once you know what it’s worth, you’ll be ready to sell.

Below I have outlined the top sites to sell a used car.

With the advantages and disadvantages. 

 AdvantagesDisadvantages
AutoTraderHas money back guarantee - no sale, no charge. Listings are syndicated on Kelley Blue Book. You will not get top dollar for your vehicle on AutoTrader.
Facebook MarketplaceGreat for selling locally. All ads are free and you can check out potential buyer profiles to see if they are legit.You may get a lot of people which are not serious about buying at all.
CraigslistAll listings are free. You can create an awesome photo-rich ad to sell your vehicle. Limited to a hyper-local area. May take longer to sell your car.
Cars.comFree and paid listing options. Your listing can be placed on other online properties of Cars.com. Site is designed more for buyers and not sellers. Higher-end used cars do better on Cars.com than cheaper ones.
eBay MotorsLocal listings are free. National listings are $60 and up. According to eBay Motors the majority of cars and trucks sell relatively quickly. Bids on vehicles are non-binding. So potential buyers can back out of the auction.
CarGurusAccording to CarGurus there are more than 20 million potential buyers every month. You get a free listing, but will be charges $99 when the vehicle sells. No matter the price. Probably will not get top dollar for your vehicle with CarGurus.
CarvanaYou never have to go anywhere. Carvana will pick up your vehicle at your location. Many users claim they get more for their vehicle with Carvana. Fees may apply. It is difficult to find out what Carvana charges. Best for used vehicles valued at 8,000 and up.
VroomCaters to sellers wanting to make a quick sale. Vroom will make an offer within 30 minutes. If you accept, they will come to you and pick up your vehicle. Charges $499 per vehicle for shipping.

Here’s my top tips for fast, pain-free ways to sell your car.

Get the Best Price with a Classified Ad

It’s easier than ever to sell your car quickly for a good price thanks to the rise of auto trading giants like AutoTrader.

The downside?

It’ll take a bit more effort than a trade in with a dealer – but, stats show that selling online privately through a classified website like the ones mentioned, can help you bring in up to 30% more cash than a trade-in.

So making an effort can be worth it – but you’ll have to sacrifice a lot of your personal time.

Top places to sell a used car for everyday people and the average value. Note: Illustrated above is the percentage of Kelly Blue Book’s value a vehicle owner would get from each of a popular car-selling website. The dealer is the worse option. Particularly if you are going to “trade-in” your old vehicle for a new one. The best options are Carvana, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. Each of them come with their own risk.

*Either sell to dealer or as a trade in.

Classified ads online are one of the most popular ways to advertise used cars for sale.

Find out which website is right for you – AutoTrader, eBay and Craigslist are some of the most popular.

This method can incur extra costs.

Some classified sites will charge you a flat fee for your ad for a set period.

Because it’s not the fastest way to sell, you could find yourself paying additional maintenance, road tax and insurance while you wait.  

So do check all fees.

Make a Quick Sale with an Online Buying Service

Classified ads are incredibly popular, but they won’t suit everyone.

Another great option is selling to an online car buying service.

These services will offer you a way to sell quickly with far less hassle.

Just do a search for ‘online car buying sites’ to find some instant car selling options.

Below I have included a list of sites offering car buying services where you can sell your vehicle too.

With the advantages and disadvantages of course. 

 ProsCons
TrueCarPulls prices from a network dealers. With transparency of deals it helps to lower costs.Once you advertise with TrueCar you will get spam calls and emails.
ShiftEvery car on Shift passes a mechanic inspection. Reduces the risk of selling from an independent buyer on Craigslist of Facebook. There is limited options for buyers to test drive. You may spend more time selling on Shift.
AutoTempestPulls results from CarsDirect, Craigslist, and Ebay. Can be convenient. Since AutoTempest pulls from many sites it can be confusing. The quality may be lacking since there is poor vetting of buyers and sellers.

You simply describe your vehicle, its condition and age and the site will generate an offer.

If you’re happy with the price they’re offering, you can organize for a company rep come and collect it or you may need to drop it off.

You’ll get paid the same day in many cases!

Many instant car buying websites will charge some admin fees and a transfer fee – be sure to ask about these upfront to avoid any nasty last minute surprises.

There are many companies offering this type of service (some that charge no fees), so be sure to use to compare car buyers wisely.

Sell on Craigslist

There are some free sites like Craigslist which may be a great option for selling your car.

A staggering sixty million people visit this site a month!

So you can feel comforted by the fact that you’ll have a large and varied audience.

Below I have included a few tips to help you sell on Craigslist.

Most of you already know this.

However, there are a couple of things which may help if you really want to sell it quick. 

Selling on Craigslist 
Meet the buyer/seller in-person, and preferably not alone.Always play it safe and have an extra person come along.
Poor language in the ad is a red flag. This can be a mass communication technique used by scammers.
Look for good, clear pictures.Post as many clear pictures as possible. This makes it look like you are legitimately selling a vehicle.
Know the price of the car.Have a ballpark price in mind. Don't try to sell for too much or too little. Anything else will scare legitimate buyers away.
Make sure to have paperwork in order. Too make everything go smooth have everything in order ready to sell.
Don't ask to wire money. Ask for cash or a cashiers check. The number one rule on Craigslist is to never wire money. This will scare buyers.

Motorway have some great tips on how to make the most of your ad (like taking great photos and highlighting some of the cars best features) as well as a step-by-step guide if you’re new to the world of selling on sites like Craigslist or Gumtree.

It isn’t the only free to sell option – there are other options to sell your car for free, so be sure to explore them with a quick Google search.

Keep it Low-Key and Sell Local

If the idea of hundreds of people viewing your ad and wanting to come and see your car fills you with dread, then you may want to take a more traditional route.

Local advertising continues to be a popular way to sell your car to folks in your area.

Used automobile for sale in a parking lot.

Note: One of the best ways to sell a used car locally is to place in a parking lot which allows you to showcase your vehicle. The obvious huge advantage is potential buyers get see your automobile. I would put the price with “Or Best Offer”, i.e. OBO. If you have someone calling you have a serious buyer. If you do not put the price, you may get less interest.

It’ll limit the amount of people who want to come for a viewing and though the pool will be smaller, you could make a quicker sale as your buyer will be close by.

Place an advert in your local paper and ask local bars and stores if they’re happy for you to put an ad in their window or on a bulletin board.

Don’t forget that simply offering it to friends and family can prove to be a pain-free and easy option for selling privately!

You can also try the old method of parking your car on a public road with a simple ‘for sale’ sign in the window.

But do make sure what you’re doing is legal before parking up!

Sell to a Local Dealer or Specialist

Look for a dealer or retailer that specializes in cars like the one you’re trying to sell.

For example, if you’re trying to sell your Audi, head to your local Audi dealership to see what they can offer.

Before you head to your local dealership you want to check comparable vehicles on Cars.com and AutoTrader to find out how much automobiles are selling in your area. About 80% of the price is what you may get. 

Remember to do your research and find out what your car is worth before heading into the dealership.

If the dealership offers you a price you’re happy with then be sure to sort it on the day – the offers they make are often in the moment and it can be hard to come back another day and try to haggle the same deal.

So take all of your documents with you so you can complete the sale there and then.

Sell for Scrap or Junk

This option is typically reserved for cars past the point of reselling.

If you’re wanting cash for an old car (worth less than $300), then you could get a good scrap price.

You’ll save a lot of pain and time with scrappage and will be able to get turnaround a quick sale.

The price can vary drastically.

It will depend on factors such as the car’s overall desirability, the salvageable parts of the vehicle and the buoyancy scrap metal market.

It’ll also depend on the weight of the car.

It’s easy to understand why this quick and hassle-free solution is a popular option for sellers.

Whatever the car’s condition, you’ll get a price based on its weight.

Google ‘scrap my car’ to see what your car might be worth.

And don’t forget that plenty of major car brands now offer scrappage and/or junk schemes for their vehicles.

Find out more about these schemes in Motorway’s car scrappage schemes guide.

If you are going to sell a junk car to a consumer there are laws you have to abide by.

I have outlined some below.

Lemon Laws 
State lemon lawsThe first thing you should do is research the lemon laws for the state where you plan to sell your vehicle to make sure that you are covered.
Private seller lawsIn many states if you sell more than 4 vehicles you are considered a dealer.
Mileage tampering lawsDon't mess with the odometer. If it doesn't work you have to say so on the title.
Price maximumsThe typical cost for selling junk cars is $700. Anything more than that and a buyer could use state lemon laws against you.
Trade-in with a Local Car Dealership

If you’re selling your current car because you’re looking for something newer or different, a trade-in could be a great option.

Most of the time, when you’re selling to a car dealer you can also get a trade-in deal (also called a part-exchange).

The most important part to using your vehicle as a trade-in is to negotiate the price separately

This involves trading in your old car in exchange for a new one, paying the remaining difference in cash or finance.

It can be a great solution as it takes the old car off your hands and saves you the time and effort of finding something new.

In order to make sure you are getting the best possible deal for your car, you need to understand the part exchange process.

Be wary that though it’s quick and convenient, it may not offer the best return as dealers will try and make as large a markup as possible.

Research the options available to you – we’ve mentioned plenty of them in this article, but it’s worth reading around each route for the best understanding of your pathways to a good car sale.

Sources

Kelly Blue Book

NADAguides

Edmunds

https://www.usa.gov/buy-a-car

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg enjoys writing articles to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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