How to sell your car privately

How to sell your car privately

​There are many ways to sell your car. You can go down the broker route, make use of an auction or just trade it with another one. However, granted that you are willing to put in the required legwork, you stand to make the most by selling your car privately. Here is a concise guide to doing so in a smooth manner.

Presentation is everything

Most buyers would like to inspect your car before making their decision. Therefore it pays if you invest in making your car look its best. This way the buyer would know that the car has been well looked after. Thereby increasing your chances of selling it.

To attain an appealing look, you can service your car to clean it thoroughly from both the inside and outside. Furthermore, be sure to remove any pet hair or cigarette ash that might be lying around in your car. The presence of these two can turn a potential buyer off in a bit. In addition, you can also think about removing any scratches or dents if you have a relatively new or expensive model.


There are several avenues you can explore while putting up an ad for your car. You can buy an advertisement in your local newspaper's classified section, make use of car-selling websites, put up your car on an online auction website or just get that timeless For Sale sign in your car's window.

Whatever medium you chose, make sure to read any accompanying rules and regulations and provide all requisite details. These details should include the make and model of your vehicle, year of manufacture, condition, color, mileage, extra equipment and your contact details.

Ensure safe payment

Once you have negotiated a final price with a prospective buyer, there are several ways they can pay you, depending upon their preferences. If the buyer has paid you in cash, make sure that you count it carefully. To make the payment even more secure, meet up at a bank. This way the teller can count the money for you and also ensure that the bills are genuine.

On the other hand, if the buyer opts to pay via check, make sure that the payment gets cleared before you release the vehicle. However, there is always a chance that the check will bounce later. To protect against this, make sure you have the buyer's details with you to guarantee that you can track them down if you don't get the payment. A common way to do so is to have a copy of a recent utility bill of the buyer.

In addition, be wary of e-payment gateways, like PayPal, when selling your car. Fraudulent buyer often exploit security and operational loopholes in these systems to cheat you in selling your car for free.

Be circumspect of people who come to view your car

More often than not, you will be selling your car to a complete stranger. Therefore make sure to take added security benefits. Consider the presence of a family member or friend during the viewing and check the driving license and insurance details of any potential test drivers. Also, don't let a potential buyer test-drive alone, they may not come back!

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