The Best Way to Sell a Car

by Chris Obudho

There are many ways to sell a car. Depending on the year, make, model and mileage, you can get a good deal from a range of sources. Assess the value of your car by using Kelley Blue Book. Make sure you have all maintenance records, manuals, repair receipts and original accessories with the car so you can show it has been taken care of. Wash the car before taking pictures ot it or taking it to a dealership.

Here are some steps to selling you car

Sell your car in your local newspaper classified section. Many newspapers have an Internet presence as well, and your paper may offer a dual listing in the print and web editions.

Sites such as Auto Trader, eBay and all offer easy ways to post pictures, descriptions and pricing information for your car. They also allow potential buyers to use different calculators (financing, payments and insurance) to ensure they can afford it. The obvious advantage to selling your car on the Internet is that you can receive bids from around the world. Different tax structures and vehicle performance issues (i.e., carbon emissions) may arise depending on the state. Before transferring any titles, check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Sell your car outright to a dealership. In addition to traditional car dealerships, there are specialized car-purchasing companies that make the process simple. For example, Car Cash in New York City will take any car--foreign or domestic, leased or financed--and, depending on the condition, give a fair market value for your car. The advantage of car-purchasing companies is that there is no pressure to buy a new vehicle.

Selling your car to a dealership in trade is yet one more method. If your car is still financed, you will still be responsible for the remaining balance, but this is a way to possibly reduce your payments, depending on the new car you are buying. Like car-purchasing companies, dealerships should appraise your car using the Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds or the National Auto Dealers Association appraisal guides. Ask which one they use, or, as mentioned before, use one of these sources yourself before you arrive.

Evaluate every offer, whether it's from the Internet, in response to your classified ad or from the dealership.


  • close Remember: if the car is a large engine model (8-cylinder or larger), you may have some difficulty selling it due to the high cost of gasoline.

About the Author

Chris Obudho has been a public communications specialist since 1998, writing for public and private advocacy campaigns. Obudho has written and edited for America’s Nutrition, Internet Brands and Lowe’s. Obudho attends Mercer College and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

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