There comes a time in every car owner’s life when they must part ways with their beloved ride. But that can be easier said than done, and that’s not just because of your emotional attachment to your old hot rod. A study within the past few years reported that 52% of Americans felt anxious or uncomfortable when visiting a car dealership. That makes selling your car a little challenging, to say the least. Fortunately, there are different methods to sell your car other than through the car dealership.
As the saying goes—if you want something done right, do it yourself. Selling your car privately cuts out the middle man so that you can get the maximum profit for your vehicle. There are several different methods of selling your car privately.
Online sources will typically give you the highest volume of people seeing your advertisement. There are websites specific to cars, such as cars.com and Autotrader, but more general websites like Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace are effective as well. You can also leave a “For Sale” sign in the window of your vehicle and be your own moving advertisement. And never underestimate the value of spreading the news by mouth. Chances are, a friend of a friend knows someone who needs a car.
The one caveat with selling to a private party is that you have to do the work all on your own. That includes examining your car, determining what it’s worth, advertising, and screening potential customers.
If you are torn between your desire to not deal with customers and your desire to not go to the dealership, don’t despair. Selling your car at auction gives you the ease of allowing someone else to deal with the actual sale of the car while getting reasonably close to the car’s original price. But just because you aren’t selling the car yourself doesn’t mean you don’t have your own work to do. It’s up to you to have the car’s paperwork, know what the car is worth, and set a reserve price for the car. It’s also up to you to make sure your car stands out at the auction. That includes getting it detailed and tuned up.
Let’s say your car is in such bad shape you couldn’t sell it to a dealership even if you wanted to. Even if the car isn’t fit to be driven, there’s still plenty of value in the metal of that car. You can contact auto-salvage yards to give you a quote on the vehicle, and they will often come and pick it up for you. This won’t get you anywhere near the asking price of your car, but if your car was totaled in an accident or the cost of repairs are higher than the cost of the car, it’s a valuable way to get at least some of your money back.