5 Ways to Sell Your Used Car


Selling a used car can often seem like a daunting task, given the plethora of options available to car owners today. Whether you’re upgrading to a new model or simply looking to part ways with an older vehicle, choosing the right method to sell your car can significantly impact both the ease of the transaction and the price you ultimately receive. 

This blog post aims to simplify this decision-making process by exploring five distinct ways to sell your used car, ranging from private sales and dealership trade-ins to leveraging online platforms and auctions. Each method comes with its own set of advantages and challenges, and understanding these can help you navigate the selling process more effectively.

By providing you with essential insights, tips for success, and key considerations for each option, our goal is to empower you to make an informed choice that best suits your needs, timeline, and financial expectations.

Sell to a Dealer

Selling your used cars or trucks to a car dealership service company 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 Privately

You can always convince your friends, 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-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 a 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 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 them 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.

Car in a car showroom

More Ways to Consider When Selling Your Used Car

Expanding the list of ways to sell your used car beyond the initial five, here are 15 additional methods to consider. These options cater to diverse preferences, circumstances, and goals, offering a broad spectrum of avenues to maximize your car’s selling potential:

  • Selling on Specialty Websites: List your car on websites that specialize in specific types of vehicles (classic, luxury, sports cars).
  • Car Buying Apps: Utilize apps designed for quick car sales, offering instant quotes and streamlined processes.
  • Social Media Marketplaces: Leverage platforms like Facebook Marketplace to reach a local audience.
  • Online Auction Websites: eBay Motors and other online auction platforms can reach a wide audience.
  • Vehicle Exchange Programs: Some dealers offer exchange programs where you can swap your old car for a new one.
  • Automotive Forums: Niche forums related to your car’s brand or model can attract enthusiasts willing to pay a premium.
  • Word of Mouth: Inform friends, family, and colleagues, as personal networks can lead to trustworthy transactions.
  • Community Bulletin Boards: Local supermarkets, community centers, and libraries often have bulletin boards for advertisements.
  • Car Shows: Attend car shows or meetups to network with potential buyers interested in your type of vehicle.
  • Mobile Advertising: Use your car as a mobile advertisement by attaching a for-sale sign with contact details.
  • Local Newspaper Classifieds: Traditional newspaper ads can attract local buyers not active online.
  • Peer-to-Peer Sales Platforms: Websites that facilitate car sales directly between individuals.
  • Donation for Tax Credit: Donate your car to a charity for a tax deduction if selling proves difficult.
  • Exporting Cars Overseas: Explore markets outside your country where your car type might be in higher demand.
  • Local Auto Parts Stores: Some may offer bulletin boards for ads or may be interested in your car for parts.
  • Garage Sales: Combine a car sale with a garage sale to attract more local traffic.
  • Lease Buyouts: If your car is leased, buying it out at the end of the lease to sell may sometimes offer profit opportunities.

Each of these methods has its unique set of pros and cons, requiring different levels of effort, expertise, and patience. When choosing the best way to sell your used car, consider factors like the desired selling timeline, the amount of effort you’re willing to invest, and the specific attributes of your vehicle. Balancing these considerations will help you select the most effective and efficient method for your situation.


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.

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