When our cars wear out, it can sometimes seem like a chore figuring out what to do with them. Are they worth repairing, or is this car done for good? If it’s worth selling, how much should you expect to get from it, and how do you even sell it in the first place?
Trying to figure out how to sell a car can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of ways to sell a car depending on what you’re needing from the transaction. Read on to explore some of the options available to you.
1. To a Friend
One of the easiest ways to get cash for cars you don’t need anymore is to sell it to a friend. This can work well if you’re more interested in getting rid of the car than you are making money off it. It can also be a good way to pass off a well-loved car to someone learning to drive or who needs an inexpensive ride.
However, there is some truth to the idea that it’s not always a good idea to mix friendship and business. Before you turn over the registration and keys for the car, make sure you get the money from your friend. IOUs only go so far, and you don’t want to lose a friend over a bad deal.
If you don’t know anyone personally who’s looking to buy a car, you can look into selling it locally online. Pages like Craigslist are a great place to find local people who are looking to buy a used car. Recently Facebook Marketplace has also become a good option for privately listing used vehicles.
The major drawback of these sites is that you’re selling to strangers, so you need to be careful. Arrange beforehand how they’ll pay you, and get the money in hand before you turn over the keys. It’s also not a good idea to hold the car for someone who’s trying to get the money together; first come first serve is the law of the land on these platforms.
3. To a Dealership
If you want to go through more official channels to sell your car, you can always sell it back to a dealership. This is different than a trade-in since you’ll be getting cash for your car, not credit towards a new car from them. The dealership can then turn around and sell your car used, so everyone wins.
The downside to this option is that your car has to be working or a dealership won’t buy it. There may also not be a lot of room for negotiating. Oftentimes, the dealer will give you a price, and if you don’t like it, you can walk away, but you aren’t likely to be able to talk them up.
4. To CarMax
If you don’t like the price you got from the dealer or if your car doesn’t work, a service like CarMax can be a great option. CarMax is a reliable business with locations in twenty-seven states, so you can trust they won’t cheat you. In fact, many customers have reported that the price CarMax gave them for their vehicle was much higher than what a dealership offered.
Once CarMax makes an offer, you have a week to decide to accept it or not, but like with the dealerships, their offer is a yes or no question. There won’t be any haggling, and their price may be lower than what you could get selling the car yourself. If you’ve tried selling your car privately and had no success, CarMax may be a good option.
5. On Autotrader
If you’re wanting to explore other options when selling your car online, Autotrader can be another good opportunity. This service works a little like a combination of Craigslist and CarMax. You can pay a fee to list a gar through their service, and for an extra cost, they’ll help ensure you get the best deal.
While a couple of hundred bucks isn’t a bad trade-off to get the most for your car, you do have to pay for Autotrader’s services. If your car doesn’t pass their inspection, they may decrease your sale price. And while they do offer an Instant Cash option through local dealers, those dealers are not officially affiliated with Autotrader, meaning they can act how they wish.
6. Through a Fast Service
If you need cash now and getting the best deal for your car doesn’t matter, you can look into selling your car through a fast service. These services will come to your location, appraise your car, write you a check, and tow your car away the same day. They’ll even go with you to the bank to make sure the check clears when you cash it.
The trade-off here, of course, is that you may not get the best deal you can on the car. Depending on the company you use, they may take advantage of the fact that you’re desperate for cash to lowball you on your car’s worth. If you use these services, make sure you find a reputable company to work with.
And, of course, if none of these options appeal to you, you can always go for a trade-in with a dealer. The dealer will appraise your car much the same as if you were going to sell it to them outright. They’ll offer you an amount for it that you can then put towards buying a new vehicle from them.
The downside here is that dealers are experienced at spinning every transaction in their favor. It’s a good idea to go in with an outside appraisal of your car so you can counter their offer if they try to lowball you. It also means you’re going to walk out with a car note, even if it is reduced, so be sure you’re prepared for that.
Discover More Ways to Sell a Car
Selling a car can seem like a complicated and daunting process, but in truth, you have a lot of options. There are many ways to sell a car, so you just need to pick the one that will work best for you. Think about your priorities and what you want to get out of the transaction and you’ll wind up with an arrangement that works well for you.
If you’d like to discover more ways to make the most of your money, check out the rest of our site. We have advice about couples’ finance, making extra money, and more. Check out our toolkit for financial health today.