While in the past selling a car wasn’t such an easy transaction, today it’s made much simpler. With the abundance of Internet options, dealerships, and professional car trade businesses, you can now sell your car even if it’s no longer in running order. Let’s see what are your options.
Sell it yourself
This is hands down the option that leaves you with the most money in your pocket. However, selling the car yourself requires a lot of time, effort, and potentially stress, on your part. Apart from having to estimate the car’s market value correctly and advertise in ways that will attract most potential buyers, you need to make your car available to strangers who’d like to see it and take it for a test drive. As the ways of advertising are concerned, you can post the ad in local papers and online classified, but also use one of the global services such as Cars.com, Autotrader, eBay Motors, and Craigslist. The ad should have high-quality photos, a good description, and a history of maintenance.
Set an asking price
If you’re selling the car yourself, you need to find out what your car is worth, upon which you’ll base your asking price. Use online resources like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book and compare listings for similar cars in local ads. The key is to set your price a bit above the current market value, but still within the limits of a good deal. For cars estimated under $10,000, make sure not to go above the nearest $1,000. For example, if your car is worth $4,200, don’t put the asking price at $5,100, as many people set search engine limits at round figures. In addition, $4,900 sounds like a much better deal than $5,100.
Use a specialized car trader
There are businesses who have developed a simple way for busy people to sell their cars at the best price possible. These traders are perfect for people who want to get the most value out of their cars but don’t have time to entertain a legion of potential buyers who in most cases don’t know anything about cars. In my own experience, after weighing different options, I decided to sell my car for cash at Carbiz, a company with more than 40 years of experience in the motor vehicle industry. Apart from having contacts within the industry ensuring you get the best price for your car, if you want to buy a new one as well, they can provide in-house financing.
Sell it to a dealership
When you go to your vehicle brand’s dealership, you’ll receive an appraisal value of your car, and if you like the offer you can walk away with money in your pocket without any hassle of meeting with tyre-kickers and answering weird questions aimed at killing the price. On the other hand, if your car is no longer in working order, dealerships most likely won’t pay for it. Although it seems like the worry-free option, selling to a dealership gets you the worst price of all, as dealerships typically pay the wholesale value, where you as a private seller can expect something closer to retail value.
Trade it in for a new one
If along selling your current car you’re thinking about buying a new one, you can trade it in at the dealership. Like selling to a dealer for cash, your car will be appraised, and if you agree to the evaluation, you can use that price as a down payment for your new car. Some dealerships offer programs with a future trade-in value, which sets upon a guaranteed trade-in price or resale value once you decide it’s time to sell. This option is good for people who need a car on a daily basis, as it takes care of selling and buying the same day.
While there’s no best way to do it, each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages. If you have plenty of free time, try selling it yourself for the maximum profit. If your time is more valuable than the difference, let the professionals use their expertise and sell it for you.