10 Tips For Selling Your Car Privately

When it comes to ease and speed of sale, you’re probably thinking that you should just trade in your car and be done with it.

However, depending on whether you financed the car or still owe – you might end up rolling over negative equity onto your new car. If you do that, you’re essentially enlarging the owed equity on your new car and guaranteeing that you're forever upside down. That’s not smart financially. Check out our 10 Tips for Selling Your Car Privately below!


So, what other options do you have? Selling privately. If you can find the right buyer, you’ll get more for the car you’re trying to sell and be in a better position to negotiate for a new car, without any dead weight holding you back. If you’re ready to go down the path of a private sale, here are 10 tips that might just help.

1. Fix What’s Wrong

This seems intuitive, but you must fix mechanical issues if you want to get the most value from your sale. For example, the engine & transmission must be running properly. Creature comforts like the air conditioning and radio must also be working. Most private buyers are willing to deal with light cosmetic issues and maybe a few minor mechanical issues, but overall it’s a good idea to make sure your car is in tip-top shape.


2. Get an Inspection

Besides uncovering mechanical issues, you also want to make sure your car is safe to drive. This means checking the tires, brakes, and lights are working. Have them top up all the fluids and do a full inspection. Not only will this help you sleep at night knowing you sold a working car, but the buyer confidence it creates has some serious monetary value.


3. Show me the Carfax!

There’s a reason why dealers keep these on hand and also run the carfax to determine the value of your trade-in. If you have an accident record with the car you’re trying to sell, pull the repair details so the potential buyer at least knows the work was done properly.


4. Detail Your Car

First appearances are everything when you sell your car. As I mentioned before, the average buyer is willing to overlook cosmetic issues on a 5+ year old car. A nice detail will help fix and somewhat hide some of these issues, helping the chances of love at first sight even more.


5. Keep it Clean

 You just got it detailed. Clean it daily to make sure that it stays looking great while prospective buyers come to check it out over the next few weeks.


6. Photograph Extensively

Yes, you need detailed photos. There is nothing more frustrating for a potential buyer than blurry or incomplete photos of the vehicle. Not only is it frustrating, they might think you’re hiding something by not being transparent with the photo’s you’ve taken. Find a good camera, take 40-60 pictures, pick the best ones, and give your car the chance to sell at the highest amount possible.


7. Be Detailed About Your History With The Car 

This tip combines the different tips you’ve already learned. You’re going to take all the work you’ve done and created a story for the buyer that creates confidence in the cars ability to be reliable and look good doing it. Explain to them how you’ve taken care of the car, where the car has brought you(cross-country trip anyone) and even touch on the great experiences you’ve had with the car.


8. Price Competitively 

The temptation is always there to start the bidding very high, knowing that potential buyers might throw out low-ball offers. However, if you price too high a smart buyer will look at you and see an unreasonable seller not worth their time. Avoid this, price fairly. KBB remains a great source for valuing your cars private sale value.



Autotrader, craigslist, Facebook buy and sale…spend hours listing your car in as many places as possible. The benefits of this are clear. More eyeballs, more potential for the right buyer to find your listing.


10. The most important tip of them all…

If you’re exhausted and scared after reading all those tips, you’re not alone. Knowing that you’ll be comforted by me telling you to COMPLETELY FORGET everything I just told you in Tip 1-9. No, seriously. Attempt forced amnesia and completely forget everything I just told you.Selling your car privately used to be something that sellers had to face alone. Now, with Carlisty, you don’t have to. carlisty does everything from a full 360 inspection to taking thousands of high-quality pictures of your car in their state of the art studio.Not only that, you won’t be able to surf the internet without finding your car listed somewhere. They’ll make sure they get the best possible price, and once the car has sold – you get a check.No hassle. No time wasted. No risk of dealing with sketchy car buyers. Carlisty doesn’t get paid until you do and that’s a beautiful thing.


Posted on

July 31, 2018