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Getting Top Dollar When You Sell Your Used Car

Are you trying to sell your faithful, used car but you’re not sure how to sell it for top dollar? It isn’t always easy to get buyers to understand what a gem your used car truly is or make them understand how much they will appreciate its little flaws the same way that you have. Selling your car is not always an easy decision to make, especially if it’s a car you’ve owned a while and have become attached to it. Letting it go can be tough to do, but no matter how tough it seems, you’re going to want to take steps to make sure you get top dollar when you sell your used car to its new owner. To do this, be sure to use these simple tips to help ensure your car sells for the price you list.


Before showing the car to anyone you need to make sure it is clean. This means take your time to detail the car from bumper to bumper and even under the hood. Remove any old decals or magnetic signs you might have placed on the car and wash and wax it thoroughly. Clean the tires and be sure to scrub the rims as well. It’s also important to clean the interior of your car and if possible, take it to a professional detailer so the carpet and upholstery can be thoroughly shampooed to remove any stains or odors that may be present. If your paint’s finish is dull and needs polishing or your headlights need restoration a professional can make all the difference. A clean shiny car will sell much faster and for more money than a car that looks like it’s been neglected.

Show it Off

A picture goes a long way and when selling a car, you need to have the best pictures possible when you start placing ads online to entice buyers. Once the car has been detailed and is looking its best, take pictures from all sides of the car, interior shots in the front and rear seats and under the hood.

Price to Sell

Don’t price the car at what you think it should be sold for. Price the car at a price that reflects the actual value. Look the car value up on Kelly Blue Book online and then check in your local area to see what similar vehicles in the same condition are listed for. If your car has modifications that would increase the overall value, price it accordingly and let buyers know how special the car is.

Arrange Delivery

Chances are your buyers will be local to you, but if you are trying to sell the car to a buyer who lives far from your location, take time to learn a little about auto transport so you can either help refer them to a local transport company or arrange long distance transport for them. It is simple to get an auto transport quote and finding a low rate may help sell the car quicker as your buyer won’t need to worry about how they will have the car delivered to them.

Have Report in Hand

People like to know all about the car they are interested in and this means it is up to you to have a vehicle history report available for them to check. It’s a good idea to keep detailed maintenance records to show them when you have had regular services as well as any repair work that may have been done, but having a report to show them whether the car has been reported for an accident as well as to show them how many owners the car has had is always a good idea.

Repairs and Regular Maintenance

If the car needs repair work, take care of it before you list it for sale. Unless you are lowering the price with an understanding to buyers that they will need to cover the cost of repairs, it’s wise to have everything in good working condition. This is not only for safety reasons but also to help ensure you can sell the car for a good price. It is tough to sell a car that has obvious mechanical issues. Sometimes, even a simple tune-up can mean the difference between top dollar paid for a car and a buyer who wants to haggle for a lower price because they realize the car needs new plugs or an oil change.

When you sell the car be sure to sign over the title to them and send your portion to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Write up a proper bill of sale and make a copy of it for your records. You’ll be sorry if you later find you are responsible for parking tickets or an accident because you can’t prove when you sold your car. You also need to contact your insurance agent to let them know that the car has been sold so they can note that in your file.
With a little preparation you may find that selling your used car wasn’t as hard as you thought it might be.

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