The process of selling your car can be long and difficult if you are not familiar with the process. Essentially, you are faced with three avenues: dealership trade-in, third-party valuation or private sale. Of course, each has its own good pros and cons that will need to be considered. The upside is that during 2020, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, used car values have appreciated, making it a great time to sell your car. Another positive factor, you have several interesting options to sell your vehicle. With this article, we will try to provide you with useful tips on methods to best monetize your used car.
Gather information before you begin
First, you should know what your car is worth. There are several used car evaluation tools, but we recommend Edmunds. You just need to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate at hand, and in a short time (without having to communicate personal information and without being contacted by third parties) you will get an effective third party offer on your vehicle.
It is a good idea to check online ads, where you may find cars similar to the one you intend to trade in, and thus get a better idea of the value of your car. It is worth mentioning that trade-in prices are typically lower than the retail prices of individuals and resellers.
The convenience of trading lies in the fact of being able to simplify all car-related chores with a single visit to the dealership by the buyer, who sees the problem of selling the old car solved and not having to deal with the DMV paperwork. Not only that, in some states the trade-in can provide a momentary break on sales taxes. However, it is advisable to make a telephone note before going to the dealership, which requires time to evaluate the vehicle.
Third Party Evaluations
Evaluation by specialized websites, not dealerships, is a primary option, to be considered at times like this, where having your vehicle viewed at a number of dealerships can take a long time. Usually, the evaluation from dedicated web platforms is very fast, because they give you an initial reference price, which however depends a lot on the honesty of the seller in carefully describing the characteristics of their vehicle. For this reason, once the price estimate has been obtained, it is necessary to take the car directly to the dealership, where it will be inspected more carefully, and the final value can be varied. So, be honest in describing the condition of your car and mentioning any negative elements (accidents, repairs).
Autotrader is a site known for used car ads; through its partnership with Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader proposes an “instant cash offer” valid for 7 days, after entering your car details. You will need to provide your personal information to obtain the offer, which means that you will be contacted by dealers interested in purchasing your vehicle.
With CarMax, the promise is to pay for your car even if you don’t buy one from them. Sometimes the used car chain offered us less than we expected, but at least it gave us a guaranteed back-up plan and we could decide if it was worth spending our time trying to improve the offer. At the moment, the vehicle inspection is free if done in one of the chain stores, where it is recommended to make an appointment. In about half an hour you will have a trade-in offer, which remains valid for seven days.
Are the offers you collected not thrilling you? In these cases, selling your car directly to individuals is the only possibility, but it requires availability and time: place an ad, wait to be contacted, manage a negotiation with strangers. Here are some of the best “places” to sell your car privately. With Autotrader, private sales are particularly recommended. The site, an authority in the industry, offers a good combination of exposure and serious buyers. Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace will likely get you a lot of audience, but a lot of your time will be spent filtering out scammers or time wasters.If you choose these popular channels, make sure you handle the deal securely – meet the buyer in person and in a public place, and request payment in cash only.
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