Did you recently decide, “I’m going to sell my car”? If so, you might already be stressed out by the mere thought of trying to sell your car to someone else. And we don’t blame you one bit for feeling that way! It can be difficult trying to wrap your head around the car-selling process, especially if you’ve never had to go through it before.
There is a good chance that you have a million and one questions swirling around in your head right now. Rather than letting them linger and stress you out even more, you should try to get as many of them answered as you can. We’ve put together a collection of the most common questions that people have when they decide, “It’s time to sell my car.”
Consider this your ultimate guide to selling a car. It should help take some of the stress out of the equation for you when you’re trying to get rid of a car you don’t want anymore.
Should I Sell My Car or Fix and Keep It?
Are you selling your car because there are a bunch of things wrong with it? If you are, then you might be asking yourself this very question right now. People are often unsure of whether they should sell a car and get rid of all their car problems at once or fix a car and then keep it.
If you fall into this category, you should make a list of the things that are wrong with your car and then make a list of what it’s going to cost you to fix them. Your list might look something like this:
- Needs new spark plugs
- Needs new tires
- Needs a new catalytic converter
- Needs a new timing belt
- Needs a transmission flush
You should then see how much each of these auto repairs is going to cost you and compare the repair costs to the value of your car. If you only have a car that is worth about $1,000 right now, then it’s probably not going to make much sense to pay almost $2,000 to get a new catalytic converter installed in your car.
At the same time, it might make all the sense in the world to keep a car that is worth $25,000, even if it has all the issues that we just mentioned. It’s all about crunching the numbers to see what your car is worth versus what it would cost to fix it up and going from there.
Should I Try to Sell My Car or Just Scrap It?
If you consider either fixing your car up and keeping it or selling your car and decide that selling your car is the best option, you’ll then need to decide how you’re going to do it. Are you going to:
- Sell it as part of a private sale?
- Sell it to a company that specializes in purchasing used cars?
- Sell it back to a dealership while buying a new car?
You’ll also have one other option. You can scrap your car if you want. This is more often than not going to be the best option for someone who has a car with a long list of the problems like the ones we mentioned a few moments ago. Scrapping a car makes a lot of sense when it’s an older car that isn’t in the best of shape. You might be able to get more money than you would otherwise for it by selling it in this way.
Should I Fix Scratches Before Selling a Car?
If your car has a bunch of scratches on the outside of it and you’re thinking about selling it, you might be wondering whether or not you should fix those scratches. It’s a great question!
It all depends on what kind of condition your car is in. If your car is older and has other imperfections, fixing a few scratches probably isn’t going to add much value to it. Your best bet will be to sell the car as-is to a private buyer or to a company that buys junk cars.
The only time you may want to fix scratches before selling a car is if you feel as though they’re going to limit your ability to get top dollar for your vehicle. A private buyer who is purchasing your car as-is or a junk car buyer might not deduct any money from an offer that they make to you for your car. But someone who is expecting a car to be in decent condition might be wary about buying a car with scratches on it and could lowball you as a result.
What Documents Do I Need to Sell My Car?
To sell a car, you’re going to need to have a whole lot of paperwork handy. Just because you have the keys to a car in your pocket doesn’t mean you can sell it without anything else!
You should make sure you have all the necessary paperwork to sell a vehicle when you decide, “I’m ready to sell my car!” This paperwork is going to include:
- Bill of sale
- Notice of transfer and release of liability
You might also need to have some specific paperwork for those selling cars in your state. You should check with your local DMV to find out what this paperwork might entail.
Can I Sell a Car With Just a Bill of Sale?
As we just alluded to, you’re pretty much always going to need to have a title for your car in order to sell it. Your state is not going to push the sale through without one. The only way you might be able to get round this is by putting together a bill of sale when selling your car. The DMV may accept this in place of a title in some cases.
So, what should your bill of sale include? Listen carefully because you’re going to need to put everything on it. You should make sure these things are on your bill of sale:
- Complete details about the car you’re selling (make, model, year, VIN, etc.)
- All of your personal information (your name, contact info, registration details)
- All of the buyer’s personal information (same as above)
Depending on which state you live in, you might also be required to have your bill of sale notarized. While this isn’t always necessary, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How and Where Can I Sell My Car Online for Free?
When you’re first trying to sell a car, you should attempt to do it without spending any money. Fortunately, this has never been easier to do thanks to the internet. There are a bunch of places online where you can sell a car for free. You can try doing it on:
If you don’t mind spending just a little bit of money, you can also attempt to sell your car in a few other ways. You may be able to do it by setting up a listing on:
- eBay Motors
No matter which way you choose to try and sell a car online, you should make sure that you create a very thorough listing for your car. You should include any and all relevant bits of information about your car in your list, and of course, you should also include a lot of photos of your car from all angles. It should be enough to entice people to check it out!
Where Can I Sell My Car for the Most Money?
If you’re going to go through all the trouble of selling a car online, you want to make sure you’re able to get the most money possible for it. The only way to do this is going to be by listing it using one of the free methods we just mentioned and then being very, very patient.
You’re going to get a lot of people who contact you and try to lowball you for your car. But as long as you stay diligent and refuse to accept a lower offer than you should, you should eventually find a buyer willing to pay you what your car is worth. It won’t always be easy to hold out for a higher offer than the ones you’re getting, but it’ll be well worth it in the end when you get top dollar for your car!
How Can I Sell My Car Online Without Getting Scammed?
If you attempt to sell almost anything online these days, there are going to be at least a few people who will respond in an effort to scam you. It’s very important for you to do everything in your power to avoid scammers at all costs!
Scammers are very good at what they do and might try some sneaky tactics to scam you out of money, your car, or both. But you can stop them in their tracks by following a few simple guidelines. Check them out below:
- Meet up in a safe place to have someone take a look at your car
- Get a person’s name and contact information prior to showing them your car
- Refuse to allow someone to test drive your car without you in it
- Check to see that a person is insured prior to taking your car for a test drive
- Make sure that you get a full payment from someone in the form of cash or a bank transfer before selling them your car
Scammers have started to get smarter and will pull out all the stops when they’re trying to trick you! It’s going to be your job to shut them down so that you can sell your car to someone who is seriously interested in it.
Should I Provide a Carfax Report When Selling My Car?
Just like you don’t want to get scammed by a potential buyer, you also don’t want to make anyone else feel like you’re trying to scam them when selling a car. Because of this, you might want to obtain a Carfax report when selling a car and set buyers up with it so that they know everything they possibly can about your car prior to purchasing it.
It’s easy enough to get a vehicle history report for your car without putting in too much time on your part. And while it’s not necessarily something you have to do, it could end up putting buyers’ minds at ease and making them more likely to pay top dollar for your car. It’s why it never hurts to get your hands on a copy of your car’s Carfax report.
How Do I Sell My Car to a Family Member?
Is there someone in your family who has shown an interest in buying your car from you? If they have, this should make selling a car much simpler for you! You won’t have to worry about listing your car for sale and going through all the usual steps.
You will, however, still have to work your way through some steps while selling a car to a family member. You should do these things prior to selling them your vehicle:
- Come up with a fair price for your car
- Accept a payment for your car from your family member
- Sign the title for your car over to your family member
- Complete a bill of sale for your car
- Let your family member deal with taking a trip to the DMV to officially put the car in their name
You might even want to consider giving your car to a family member as a gift if you don’t want or need it anymore. Just be sure that you’re familiar with the gift tax in your state. You may want to sell your car to them for $1 so that they can steer clear of having to pay a gift tax.
Do I Need to Pay Sales Tax When I Sell My Car?
Speaking of taxes, one of the things that people often worry about when it comes to selling a car is whether they’ll be on the hook for paying any sales tax. You’ll be happy to know that, in most cases, you will not have to pay sales tax when you sell a car. It’ll be on the buyer to pay sales tax for the purchase that they made.
There is one circumstance in which you may have to pay a tax when selling a car, though. If you happen to sell a car for more than you originally paid for it, you could be subjected to a long-term capital gains tax. Most people won’t have to be concerned about this coming into play, but it is something that is worth mentioning for anyone who may fall into this category.
Can I Sell My Car With an Expired DMV Registration?
Is the registration for the car that you want to sell expired? This could complicate things a little when you go to sell it to someone! It would probably be a good idea for you to see if you can go ahead and get it registered to prevent this from becoming a problem. It’s easy to do in most states and shouldn’t set you back too much money.
That being said, you can still sell a car with an expired DMV registration in most states. But you’re not technically going to be allowed to let someone test drive your car if it’s not registered. You might also have to accept a lower offer for your car since some states are going to penalize a buyer for purchasing a car with an old registration. It’s why you should try to register a car before listing it for sale.
Should I Accept a Bank Transfer When Selling My Car?
There is a quick and easy answer to this question: Yes! Outside of accepting cash for your car, this is typically the safest way to go about doing it. In fact, it’s probably safer than taking cash since it’s not going to be a great idea to walk around with a bunch of cash on you.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you may want to accompany a buyer to the bank when they complete a bank transfer so that you know everything checks out. It’s the only surefire way to know that you’re going to get money sent to you
Should I Cancel My Auto Insurance the Same Day That I Sell My Car?
The second that you sell a car, you’re no longer responsible for carrying an auto insurance policy on it. You can choose to cancel the auto insurance policy that you had for it.
But if you plan on replacing your old car with a new one, you might not want to be so quick to get rid of your auto insurance policy. It could very well cover your new car for a short period of time before you’re able to get a new policy put into place. It would be a good idea for you to reach out to your auto insurance company for a more thorough explanation on doing this.
What Is the Easiest Way to Sell My Car?
Now that we’ve answered almost all of the questions that you could possibly have about selling a car, you should feel more comfortable doing it. But we realize that, even knowing everything that you know now, the thought of trying to sell a car might still be stressful to you.
It’s why we make selling a car as simple as it can possibly be when you sell an old car to Cash Cars Buyer. We promise to provide you with an excellent experience from start to finish when you work with us. All you’ll have to do is follow these 3 simple steps:
- Reach out to us and provide us with some information about your car, including the make and model of it, the year it was made, and the mileage that you’ve accumulated on it
- Give us a short period of time to come up with a fair offer for your car
- Choose to either accept or reject our offer and arrange to have us pick it up from you if you decide to accept it
This is, hands down, the easiest way to sell a car. We welcome you to learn more about doing it by getting in touch with us today. Contact us for additional info on selling your car to us.