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Selling Your Car? What You Need to Know

Presenting a clean, waxed car is an important key to selling your car. Presenting a clean, waxed car is an important key to selling your car.

If you are thinking about selling your car, there are a few things you should know. When you follow a few practical tips, not only will you sell your vehicle - you’ll get a fair price. Whether you’re selling it privately or taking it to a dealership, your car needs to be in presentable condition and fit to be sold. You also need to know what your car is worth so you can determine a reasonable asking price.


The used car market rakes in about $45 million in sales each year, mainly because many individuals are intimidated about trying to sell their vehicle privately. Selling your car on your own doesn’t have to be difficult if you understand a few key sales tips.


First impressions are just as important when selling your car as they are when meeting a blind date. Even if your car is in prime mechanical condition, you’ll lose prospective buyers if the body is dirty and the interior is filthy. Clean your car inside and out, or hire a service to detail it for you. A car that’s washed and waxed may add hundreds of dollars to the final price. It’s common sense to make your car look as good as possible, but if you’ve ever shopped around from private sellers, you know not everyone follows this advice.


When selling your car, it is essential you know its true value. Search through the Kelley Blue Book or visit online sources to determine some basic numbers. Check out what other similar vehicles are selling for in your area – either in the classifieds or through online dealers. Assess the condition of your car. Are there scratches or dents? Interior stains? Does it need servicing or new tires? Consider all of these factors when pricing your car. After you’ve settled on a reasonable price, cushion it a bit for buyer haggling.


Many serious buyers will want the car inspected. To avoid any surprises, consider having it inspected it yourself before advertising. If you do minor checks yourself, make sure all the seatbelts function properly, the wiper blades work, the lenses and headlines aren’t broken, and the glass has no cracks. Be honest in reporting whatever flaws your car may have. It’s better to be up front than have an irate buyer hunt you down and demand a refund because he’s discovered you were less than forthcoming with the car’s details.


Search out all free advertising options before you pay for an ad. Once you’ve exhausted your free resources (Craigslist, a sign inside your car, ads in gas stations, etc.), put a paid ad in the local newspaper or list your vehicle on Auto Trader or similar website. Park your vehicle in a highly visible area so more traffic sees the for sale sign. Tell everyone you know that you’re selling – word of mouth is sometimes the best advertising. However you spread the word – be sure to include accurate contact information.

Have all the necessary paperwork readily available when selling your car. This includes maintenance receipts, warranty information, and title. Choosing the right time to sell may also play a role in your success. People tend to hold off on big purchases around the holidays, and are more apt to spend after tax refunds have been received. Following these sales tips will increase your chances of selling your car, without having to go through a used car dealer.

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A few more tips for how to sell your car.
Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2012 15:48

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