Selling something as major as an automobile can be a little stressful. Whether you’re planning to sell your car and use more public transportation in an effort to conserve the environment or planning to get rid of a second family car because you need the extra cash, you want to make sure that you walk away knowing that you got the most you could out of the deal. While I personally have no desire to sell my car right now, mostly because it’s completely paid off and I can’t afford to take on another payment at this time, maybe someday in the future I’ll be in the position to do so. When I do, I’ll be using these tips to help make sure I get a fair price for it.

Tips for Selling Your Car

  • Find your target audience.Don’t try to sell your minivan to a single, 20-year-old college student, or a two-door sports car to a family of four. Families are typically looking for sedans or something roomy, while younger people (or guys going through midlife crisis’, according to television) prefer something a little more trendy. Make sure you advertise in a newspaper or online service that gets noticed by your target audience.
  • Set a reasonable price, but go higher than what you actually want.The value of your car is based on many factors, including age, mileage, make, model, year, and so on. Look up the Blue Book value to determine the fairest price. Go a little lower than that value to be more competitive, but a little higher than what you actually want so you have room to negotiate. People love to haggle!
  • Pretty it up! If you’re trying to sell your house, you’re not going to show it to people with clothes littered all over your bedroom floor, hair in the bathroom drain, and a giant stain on the carpet, right? So why would you show your car to prospective buyers when it looks like a sty? Wash the outside, vacuum the inside, and wipe down the dashboard so it looks nice and pretty.
  • Weed out the loons. It seems like the moment you put something online for sale, all the crazy people and scammers come out. Be sure to weed out those who sounds fishy and only meet possible buyers in a well-lit, well-traveled location.
  • Know the law. This is probably the most important tip of all, so don’t skip it. Make sure you look up the laws for selling a vehicle in your area and follow them carefully. Get a “release of liability” from your state’s DMV if possible. That way, if the buyer drives off and smashes into someone five minutes after buying your car, you’re not responsible.