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- Selling a car at a dealership often means missing out on some of your car’s value. You could get more by selling your car to a private individual online.
- To sell a car online, start by looking up your car’s value on a site like Kelley Blue Book and setting a realistic price.
- Then, make a complete listing that includes all the information you have about the car, and include lots of high-quality photos.
- Make sure you know the laws around how to sell a car in your state, and once it’s out of your name, contact your car insurance company to make sure your car insurance policy has been updated.
- Check out our partner Savvy — a free tool that lets you compare car insurance quotes in minutes »
Selling a car at a dealership might be easy, but it’s likely you won’t get your car’s full value as a trade-in. Dealers have to make a profit and put money into re-conditioning your car to sell, so it’s not uncommon for a trade-in to be valued at less than the car is actually worth.
Selling your car on your own online is a great way to get a little bit more for your car. While it takes a little bit more work, it could help you get several hundred more dollars to put towards your next car.
If you’re considering selling your car online, here’s how to do it.
How to sell a car online
Do your research, and set a reasonable price expectation
Your car might mean a lot to you, but it may not be worth as much as you expect. Luckily, there are many tools online that can help you understand your car’s value.
Kelley Blue Book is a favorite of auto professionals, and is often used to determine the value of cars. Put in your car’s information on KBB’s site, and you’ll get a range of prices that are reasonable for your car.
You’ll need to know all the details of your car, from engine to interior details. Make sure to put them in accurately, as sometimes even small details will affect the car’s value.
Make a transparent listing
There are several different online platforms where you can sell your car, including Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or even your local newspaper’s website. Choose the one that works best for you, and make a detailed listing that includes all the details you’d want to know about your car if you were buying it. Be honest about any accidents you’ve had with it, or any mechanical issues going on.
A little cleaning will go a long way, too. You’ll want to take lots of photos both inside and out, so make sure your car is looking good before making a listing.
Know the rules on how to sell a car in your state, and have the title in hand
Every state has different rules on selling a car, and the laws generally revolve around getting the car transferred from your name into a buyer’s name.
You’re going to need to have the title if you don’t already — if your car is still financed, you’ll need to contact the bank to see how you can pay off your loan. If you’ve lost your title, your local department of motor vehicles can generally make you a new title for a fee.
Do your research on how to sell a car in your state before you start the process of selling the car and meeting buyers. You may need to make a bill of sale or have something notarized in the process, and it can help speed up the process if you have a plan.
Once you’ve sold your car, don’t forget to take it off your car insurance
When the car is officially out of your name, don’t forget about your car insurance. If you’re planning on replacing the car, you might want to call your company and replace it on your policy, or drop that car from the policy altogether.
However, it may not be worth cancelling your policy altogether if you’re planning to buy a new car soon. Car insurance often is cheaper after you have had six months of consecutive coverage, and cancelling a policy in full would break that streak.
Contact your insurance company to see what the options are for cancelling or replacing a car on your policy.
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