An estimated 17 million vehicles were sold in the United States in 2019 alone. This conglomerate of purchased vehicles only adds to the more than 273 million registered vehicles already speeding down our highways. While the prospect of purchasing a new car with top-of-the-line back-up cameras, navigation technology, and fresh leather seats is exciting, you’ll have to sell your previous car before you can transition into life as the owner of a brand-new car.
Whether you’ve just been in an accident, facing a financial emergency, or simply want a newer model, successfully selling an old car can be more challenging than you might expect. Without proper research, you could easily be scammed in the process. To help you out, here are five routes you should consider.
Sell your car to a dealer
Selling your car to a dealership is the most convenient way to dispose of your past. It eliminates the hassle of looking for a private buyer and unloads the pressure to sell onto a third party. Most car dealerships have refined their selling processes, so it’s as simple as possible.
However, before making the sale, do your research and settle on the most reliable car dealership in your area. If the dealerships like the car, they’ll perform their appraisal and pay you on the spot. It helps to have your valuation of the car done independently.
Sell to a private party
You can always convince your friend, family, or colleagues to buy your used car. It’s even easier if you know someone who has previously expressed interest. Although selling to friends is convenient, it has its downsides. There could be a lot of haggling involved. For both of your sakes, always have the car inspected and evaluated before closing the sale.
Alternatively, you can advertise the sale to attract a competitive price. You can use flyers, social media, and word-of-mouth to advertise for free. Marketplaces such as Craigslist and eBay are another option. These platforms can connect you to buyers and sellers from all over the country.
Be sure to provide adequate and accurate details about your car to avoid problems down-the-road. Once a price has been agreed upon, wait until you have the cash, before handing over the title. Selling to a private gives you the best chance of getting a good price for your car. However, it might take a while for you to find the right buyer, settle on a price, and finally close the sale.
Trade it in for a new car
Most car dealerships will jump at the chance to take your old car as part of the payment for a new one. This is the most convenient way to purchase a new car, while simultaneously disposing of the old one. Unfortunately, this method has a downside. When using your old car as means of payment, chances are, you’ll have to sacrifice on trade-in value.
Because the value of your old car is deducted from the price of your new ride, you should have it inspected and appraised beforehand. Scout-out dealerships that carry your specific model of car. For example, if you own a Honda, Ford, or a Chevrolet, rely on the dealerships that specialize in your model. Whether or not you take these precautions, an inevitable downside of trading in a used car for a new one is that it can give the dealer too much control.
Sell it to a junkyard
If your car is too old or is no longer road-worthy, there’s still hope for you. Junkyards like All Truck & Car can accept even the most run-down vehicles. Your vehicle could be missing a few key components, including the engine, and the junkyard could still express interest. Although, different junkyards do have different rules regarding the purchase of old cars. Just like selling a car to a dealership, you have to do your homework.
Approach several junkyards in your area and compare their offers. Don’t just focus on the price they offer, account for other factors such as towing costs, and add it to the total. You’ll only require proof of ownership of the car, before closing the deal. Along with the vehicle’s title, other documents such as an auction receipt, car registration, and repossession affidavit are acceptable. Inquire about what documents are needed, and make copies in advance.
Sell to an online car-buying service
Sellers who are pressed for time should turn to online car-buying services. These platforms purchase used cars from one owner and resell for a profit. Online car buying services take on the burden of searching for a suitable buyer. To protect yourself from potential scammers, you’ll need to do some research beforehand.
The first step is usually the valuation of the car. The method of valuation varies, depending on the company. There are different platforms for appraising the car online. All you have to do is input the year, make, and model of the used car. Other websites may require the seller to take photos of the car, fill in the paperwork, and make arrangements to deliver the car to them. The company usually has to conduct mechanical inspections before giving you an offer.
Using this article as a guide, you can decide the best route to successfully sell your used car. Each alternative has its pros and cons. The choice will depend heavily on the urgency of the sale and the condition of the car. If you are looking for a quick sale, selling to a dealership might be the best option. On the other hand, if you have ample time and want the best price, consider advertising to private buyers.
Unfortunately, a car dealership or online car-buying service generally doesn’t accept junk cars. In this case, the junkyard is your best option. The other alternative is trading in your old car. This only works if you are willing to spend more on a new car. Whichever method you decide on, always have the car appraised by a trusted independent party. Doing this can significantly increase your bargaining power.