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Using Craigslist To Sell A Car – Check Out Why Cash Is “King” When Selling! 

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When it comes to selling a vehicle on Craigslist, there are some things you can do, to ensure your safety as well as the chances of a quick sale. So, what are the guidelines to using Craigslist to sell a car? We have the information you need now! 

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The Ease and the Work of Selling A Car on Craigslist – Using Craigslist To Sell A Car

When you begin the process of selling a car on Craigslist, it can be both easy- but with a substantial amount of work involved.  

The Craigslist Website 

Once you arrive at the Craigslist website, you can point your mouse over to your specific location. One of the great things about Craigslist, is that regardless of what you’re selling, you will be able to reach sellers in the city where you live or desire to sell the item. So, first, pick the state in which you live, then the city. Next, you will need to create an account. Creating an account is quick and easy- and it’s also necessary if you want to sell that car. Afterward, you want to head to the “for sale” heading, and begin the process of selling your car. Underneath “for sale”, you will see various categories. Craigslist has grouped items for sale, based upon various classifications. You will see a category called “cars+ trucks”. It will be right underneath the “business” category. You can click that “cars + trucks” and begin the process of selling your vehicle. Once you click on the category, you’ll see vehicles that are for sale in your area. From vans, to pickup trucks, crossovers, sedans and even coupes, there will be quite a variety of vehicles for sale from sellers in your city. Afterward, you can click on “post” which, is located in the far upper right-hand corner of the page. There, you can begin to craft your post for the vehicle you want to sell. 

What Kind of Items Go into My Post on Craigslist? 

After clicking on post, you want to include the following items in your post, ensuring the quickest sale of your vehicle as possible. 

  1. Choosing the county that you live in. Craigslist will give you a choice of where you want to post your ad. 
  2. Next, you want to choose “for sale” by owner” and then “cars & trucks – by owner”. 
  3. Now, it’s time to get busy creating your ad! 
  4. Craigslist requires a posting title. This is where you state what kind of vehicle you’re selling.  
  5. Follow that by entering the price of the car, city or neighborhood and your zip code. This way, you can sell within your own area, helping buyers who live near you- see your car. 

“What Do I Say in the Description?” 

When you are crafting your description, you want to be as detailed as possible, about the car you are selling. You also want to be as honest as you can with potential buyers. Discuss the various features of your car. Make sure that you disclose any damage the car has- as well as any brand-new features or parts – that the car has too. The more you disclose to buyers, the less questions you have to answer. Craigslist also allows sections in which you can disclose the milage of the vehicle, VIN number, year, make and model, condition, cylinders, drive, fuel, paint color, size, title status, transmission and more. So, as you can see, you can get pretty detailed about your vehicle for sale. After completing the ad, you will have an opportunity to either disclose an email or a phone number, so that potential buyers can reach you. Then, you will be required to pay $5.00. So, have that credit card ready. 

Preparing Your Car for Sale – Using Craigslist To Sell A Car

Now that you have a car for sale, check out some additional tips that will ensure a faster sale. 

Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Car Wash! 

Take the time to clean your car inside and out. Never underestimate the power of a good and thorough car wash! If you can, try to remove the hardened tree sap from the car. And if you’re great at detailing your ride for sale, go for it! Your objective is to sell your car fast. So, you want to put your best foot forward. 

Take Clear and Sharp Photos 

The next aspect of selling a car online, is to take great photos. You want your photos to be clear, sharp and focused. No one wants to look at a car ad, that has blurry photos. So, if you are not the best picture-taker, then ask a friend or a family member to help you. 

Do your Homework- What Is Your Car’s Worth? 

While you want to be an honest seller, it will be to your benefit to head on over to Edmunds or Kelley’s Blue Book and get a value for your car. Both are known for providing car sellers a value for their rides. So, get that value and price accordingly. Your price may be a bit more or less, depending on the amenities your car has, as well as its condition. 


Since you are selling your car privately, you will need the title of the car. Check with your state and find out the specifics- but a title is needed. While there may be exceptions to this rule, you want to check with your DMV or driver’s office in your state. Depending on where you live, you may also have to offer an odometer reading and more. 

Remaining Safe and Secure While Selling on Craigslist 

Just with everything in life, there are risks; selling a car on Craigslist is no different. So, check out our helpful advice in remaining safe and secure while you sell your car on Craigslist. Can you be safe selling on Craigslist? Yes, you can, but check out our tips that will help ensure your security from beginning to end. 

Meet The Buyer in Person 

Emails are great, but you want to meet the potential buyer in person. You always want to do this, before accepting money from a potential buyer. If anyone wants you to have the car shipped somewhere, this is a red flag. Additionally, if you are asked to “front any amount of money” to someone, then move it along. You should never have to pay anyone any amount of money for the sale of your car. 

Be Careful During the Test Drive 

If the potential buyer is asking for a test drive, be sure that you are able to receive a copy of that person’s driver’s license. You also want to have a friend or family member in the car with you. If you don’t feel safe providing a test drive to the potential buyer, then politely decline. We’ve heard of some police officers willing to drive with a Craigslist seller. So, why not ask your local police department to step in and assist! While they may not have the time to test drive a car with you, you can take the potential buyer up to the station, have them meet an officer, just so that there is record of you taking a test drive with a potential buyer. 

Should I Accept Cash When Selling My Car?

In general, accepting cash for your car is safety way ensuring you receive the full amount and exact payment for your car. You can even take it a step further and meet at your bank or credit union. Ask the teller to mark the bills ensuring that they are authentic. Then, you can deposit the money into your bank account, right then and there!  When selling a car, “cash is king” – and if that potential buyer is insisting on a check, then you can find another buyer. While most folks are honest, you really have no way of knowing if the check is any good. And you may have to wait several days for the check to clear… after your car is gone… Try to obtain cash for the car sale. 


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