What is the Best Way to Sell a Car?

April 27, 2022

What is the Best Way to Sell a Car?

When demand is high for used cars, prices for those cars might rise, too. Car owners might see the rising prices of used cars and contemplate selling an older vehicle that they don’t need. Many car owners elect to sell their car when they’re ready to purchase a new model.

What is the best way to sell a car? There are three options for car owners when they want to get rid of their old vehicle:

  • Sell the car to a dealership
  • Trade-in the vehicle to a dealership
  • Sell the car privately
  • Sell the car to an online company
  • Sell the car to a scrap yard

How to Sell My Car Fast

Some car owners want to sell their car as quickly as possible. They might need the cash to pay off medical expenses or other personal expenses. Some car owners just don’t want that old car lingering in their garage or driveway.

The quickest way to sell a car also might be the option that offers the least amount of hassle. Selling the car to a dealership might be the fastest way to sell a vehicle.

Before offering up an older car to a dealership, though, car owners should:

  • Research the car’s value
  • Pay off any outstanding loan amounts on the vehicle
  • Locate the title
  • Clean their car (inside and out!)

Car owners can research their vehicle’s value using Kelley Blue Book. The site offers two options for valuing a vehicle; the resale value and the trade-in value. When selling the vehicle to a dealership, car owners will want to research the trade-in value.

Dealerships want to make a profit, and, while selling a car to a dealership might be the quickest option, it also might result in less money for the owner. Since car dealerships want to make money on their purchase, they need to consider their own profit margin when negotiating a price.

KBB will show car owners the price they might expect to receive from a dealership for their vehicle. Car owners will then need to figure out how much money they owe on their vehicle to a lender. Before a dealership will finalize the deal, they may stipulate that the car owner pays all or a portion of the outstanding loan balance.

Car owners also will need to find their car’s title. A car sale needs to include the title to the vehicle. If the owner cannot find the title, they might need to research the process of replacing the new title. This is usually done through the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

When car owners are interested in selling their car to a dealership, they should thoroughly clean the vehicle inside and out. They may even consider having the car detailed. The vehicle’s condition affects the value; make the vehicle presentable.

Best Way to Sell a Car

What is the Best Way to Sell My Car?

Selling a vehicle to the dealership is one of the quickest ways to sell a car, especially when the owner has all their paperwork in order and has paid off the vehicle. The best way to sell a vehicle to maximize profit, though, is by selling privately.

A private sale, however, may take more time and effort.  If there is an outstanding loan balance for the vehicle, the car owner should contact their lender to determine how they can sell the vehicle.

Car owners will need to clean up their vehicle and make any necessary repairs before listing the vehicle. In addition, car owners should research the resale value of their vehicle on KBB. This is different from the trade-in value, and it’s typically higher.

Car owners will need to answer questions about their vehicle’s condition. They also need to select any upgraded features for their vehicle and include data on the vehicle’s mileage.

Order a vehicle report to present to buyers, too. Car owners also need to consider how they wish to advertise their vehicle.

When selling privately, car owners need to be aware of potential scammers. Be safe when meeting with buyers. Only meet buyers in public places and be sure to arrange a secure payment option; meet at a bank to complete a transaction or insist on using reputable payment options like Zelle, PayPal and Venmo.

Best Way to Sell a Car

How to Sell an Old Car

Some cars are classic and collectible. Selling an old car might mean that the car owner needs to target a niche buyer. Other cars might simply be older with a large number on the odometer.

The best way to sell an old car depends on the owner’s preferences and perhaps how fast they need to make the sale. Again, selling a vehicle to a car dealership might be the easiest option. However a private sale typically nets a higher profit for the seller.

Car owners need to weigh the options. Some owners don’t want to manage a private sale, but others prefer to sell privately if it means they yield a higher profit.

Best Way to Sell a Car When Buying a New Car

Some car owners need to sell their old car to have money for a down payment on a new option. What is the best way to sell a car when buying a new car?

Many car buyers opt to use their old car for a trade-in at the dealership. This is another way to sell the vehicle to the dealership except the money for the old car is simply deducted from the sale price of the new vehicle.

Before offering up an older vehicle as a trade-in, car owners should research the trade-in value of the vehicle via KBB. When buyers have an idea about the value of their vehicle, they can negotiate with the dealership if they think they are offered a low figure for their trade-in. Buyers who don’t know the trade-in value of their vehicle might be at a serious disadvantage at the dealership.

Selling a Car to an Online Car Company

Companies like Carvana also buy cars. These companies might be another easy option for car owners who want to sell their car quickly.

Selling a car to an online car company might allow car buyers to receive a sale quote quickly. The sale process also could be more simplistic.

Car owners who are interested in pursuing a quick sale can get a quote from Carvana by entering their license plate or VIN information and the state in which they live. If the offer seems low, car owners could try selling through a dealership or just handling the sale privately.

Best Way to Sell a Car

Selling Extremely Old Cars to a Scrap Yard

Some cars are simply not worth much. Maybe they have been sitting idle for years. Perhaps they are broken beyond repair. In this case, a dealership might not want the vehicle and a private seller definitely would have no use for it.

What are the options for a car owner when their car isn’t running? Donating the car to a charity could be an option. The donation could be tax deductible. However, before offering up a car to charity, a car owner should check to see if the car has to be in working condition.

Some scrap yards could buy the car for scrap metal and/or parts. While they won’t offer much for a vehicle, this is a way for the car owner to get the vehicle off their hands.

Selling a car to a junkyard will still require that the car owner sign over the title. In addition, a junk yard won’t be an option if the vehicle isn’t paid off.

If car owners don’t agree with the price offered at one scrap yard, they might visit others to see if they can get a better price for their vehicle. Car owners, though, might simply just want to get rid of the vehicle for any price.

How much can a car owner expect to receive when selling their old vehicle to a scrap yard or junkyard? The offer could vary, but some offer a few hundred dollars for a vehicle. Car owners might even be able to get a quote for their old car.

What is the Best Way to Sell a Car?

The best way to sell a car isn’t the same for all car owners. Selling a car to a dealership, though, might be the quickest way to sell the vehicle. A private sale might ensure that the owner gets the most from that sale.

Car owners who are still paying off their vehicle might have a more complicated sale. They will need to contact their lender before selling privately, and some dealerships might require them to pay off the loan in full or partially.

Using the car for a trade-in also can be a low-stress way of handling a vehicle sale. When using the vehicle as a trade-in, the car owner won’t receive a payment from the dealership. Instead, the trade-in offer will be used to offset the price of the new vehicle.

Car owners who have a very old car that isn’t running or that simply costs too much to fix might consider selling it to a scrap yard. This could be the best option when the car won’t be an acceptable trade-in because of its poor condition. Scrap yards might offer a few hundred dollars for a vehicle, but the price varies.

The best way to sell a car might depend on the condition of the car, the needs of the car owner and how fast the car owner needs the cash.