You have decided that it is time to sell your car, there may be many reasons that have lead you to this decision. You may have a growing family, you may need something better on gas, you may have decided to get a hybrid, or you may just want something new. No matter the reason, selling your car should not be an unpleasant experience and it definitely should not be an ordeal. To make this process easier here are some tips to sell a car.
It is vital that you know the value of your used vehicle, so much of your journey will depend on this. If you put a price on that is too high for your vehicle all you will get is a very quiet phone. Setting the price too low and you will not have as much as you would like to purchase, or put down towards, your new vehicle. Many of us will go to car selling sites and find our make and model and use that pricing as our starting point, but remember that the listed price and selling price are two entirely different things.
You also have other factors to take into account when setting your vehicles value. The history of the vehicle, odometer reading and condition of your vehicle are very important factors when determining your car’s worth. Use an online valuation tool that considers what like vehicles have sold for and can adjust for you vehicle’s history. Carfax has a great valuation tool that you can see here.
Has your car been driven to the point where it is worn down? Was it previously a rental? Has it ever been in an accident? What are your tires like? All of these can affect the price as can extra features that may have been included when you bought your car or that you added in your time with the vehicle.
To sell your vehicle you will require some information. The information required will depend on where you live and whether you are selling your car yourself or using it as a trade in for a new car. Remember that selling a car is a negotiation so the more information you have the better armed you are. Having all of your service records is a great thing to have as they show to the potential buyer that the car has been well taken care of. You can also a Vehicle History Report that will show the complete history of your car including the accident history, registration history, if any liens are on the car and more. In British Columbia you can get a Vehicle History Report from ICBC.
This is the question that everyone that is selling a car has to ask themselves. Trading it in has pros and cons.
Trading your car into a dealer is much simpler as the dealer will take care of all the paperwork, fixing any dents or scratches, advertising the car, doing test drives and answering all the questions a potential buy may have. Just think of how much time you have to commit to selling your vehicle and is it worth it. Remember that the dealer will still want to make money on your used vehicle so do be prepared to negotiate the amount they will give you on the trade in.
Selling your car privately can be quite a bit of work and only you will know if you have the time or if this avenue will be worth it.
If you sell it yourself you will have to spend some time and money making some repairs, detailing, and advertising the vehicle. You will also have the time commitment in being available for potential buyers to see the vehicle, drive the vehicle and answer any questions they may have. Having a Vehicle History Report will help with some of the questions, but you will still have to negotiate a price, some of us do not have the skill to negotiate effectively. Also there can be a factor of the test drive, some allow the potential buyer to go alone and some will go with them, would you feel alright letting someone go away with your vehicle on a test drive, would your insurance cover a test drive?
Face it, advertising in print is quickly becoming a less effective avenue. There are many online listing sites like AutoTrader, Kijiji, Carpages.ca and many many others. Some of these sites are free and some will have a charge, check with them individually to find this out. Make sure that your advertisement stands out and that you are honest about the condition of your vehicle. Include any information that you feel will help sell your car as well as a good quality picture or two.
If you have had your car for sale for quite a while and nothing is happening or the offers are not what you are looking for, it may be time to think of other options.
You could sell it to a scrap yard and though you would not get the amount you are looking for, you will get some money. You could also donate your vehicle, there are places that will take used vehicles like charities or high schools that will use them for training programs, going this way you could also get a tax receipt.
No matter which way you go, just remember that the better you are informed and the more information you have about your vehicle, the easier this whole journey will be.