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Selling Your Used Car for the Best Price

Updated on March 15, 2013

Used Car

Used Car
Used Car | Source

Why This Article?

If you are thinking of selling your used car, there are some steps you can take in order to ensure you get the best price possible. A few hours of initial prep work will help put more money in your pocket. Then you can start looking through your favorite car magazine for a new one!

1. Know Your Vehicle’s Value:

When most people realize how much their used car is actually worth, they are shocked. Somehow, they thought they could get what they paid for it, minus a few bucks. This is a good lesson in economics: cars and trucks depreciate, and they do so rapidly. You will not get nearly as much as you paid for it: period!

2. Make Sure you Have a Clean title:

If you have any liens on the car, make sure you clear them up, or make a deal with the creditor. You won’t be able to transfer title if there is anything outstanding on it.

3. Stay away from dealerships if Possible:

They’re in business to make money, so they won’t offer you anywhere near what your car is actually worth.

4. Get a Tune Up:

Make sure your used vehicle is in perfect running condition; top up all fluids, replace hoses, belts and anything else that needs replacing or fixing.

5. Keep it Running:

If you’re still driving it while it’s for sale, this won’t be an issue, but if it’s sitting on your front lawn, make sure you start it up at least once a week and take it for a spin. There is nothing more embarrassing than a potential buyer trying to start it up and realizing that the battery is dead.

6. Clean inside and out:

Your car should look like it belongs in a car magazine. Wash and wax the outside thoroughly and clean and vacuum inside. There should be no cookie crumbs, no coffee spill stains and no ketchup oozing out from an open package on the passenger side floor mat.

7. Be Clear in Your Advertising:

What you say in your ad may come back to haunt you if you’re not careful. Include the year, make, model, mileage and price in all ads and watch your wording. For example, “OBO” beside the price means ‘or best offer;’ “Firm” means the price is final; “Must Sell;” makes you sound desperate and “Asking Price;” means you may be willing to negotiate.

8. Be Honest with potential buyers:

When someone comes by to look at your used car, be honest with them; if you know it will need a new transmission in a few months, convey that to the potential buyer. Always conduct yourself with honesty and integrity.

9. Get it in Writing:

Write out a bill of sale or receipt, and be sure to include the words, ‘as is.’ Never accept personal checks (or don’t release the car until it clears with the bank.) Don’t sign over the title until you are absolutely sure it has sold and you are comfortable with the transaction.

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