How to Get the Most Money From Selling Your Car


What You Need To Do When Selling Your Car

Eventually, most car owners will decide to sell their vehicles in order to upgrade and buy a newer vehicle. While this may seem like a simple task, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made when you decide to sell your vehicle. You need to know where you’ll get the most money selling it and what you need to do in order to get the most money for the vehicle. In this article, we’ll go over the three different ways you can sell your car and also give you five tips on how to maximize your car’s value. 

How To Sell Your Car

Once you’ve decided that you want to sell your car, you need to decide which of the three ways you want to sell it. While there are advantages and disadvantages to all three options, ultimately it comes down to your willingness to put in the effort to sell the vehicle.

counting cash in front of red car

Option 1: Sell It Online

This is one of the best ways to make the most out of selling your car, but it’s not without putting in work. If you want to sell your car on a site like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, you’re going to need to clean it thoroughly, ensure the car is in good condition and take great pictures of the vehicle. Since you’re selling privately, the sale could take several months and you may end up having to store the car somewhere if you don’t have sufficient space on your property. The other disadvantage of selling it online is that you will likely get plenty of low-ball offers you’ll need to ignore. But if you endure through all of this, you’re likely to get the most money out of selling your car privately.

Option 2: Sign In The Window

Sites like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace have made this technique a little more obscure. While it’s not as common as it used to be, putting a “For Sale” sign in your car window as you leave it on your property to be seen or drive around with it, it can still work. While this still requires a lot of the same work as the option above, it can yield a great return if your patient. 

Option 3: Sell Your Car To A Dealership

The last and most common option when selling your car is to sell it to a local car dealership. While this is easily the quickest way to sell your car, it’s most likely going to result in you getting less for your car. This is simply due to the fact that not only are they going to do all the work in selling the car, but they also are taking a risk in buying your car. It’s a great option if you’re trying to sell your car quickly because you could literally sell it to a dealer in one day. It can also be a great option if you’re buying a car from a dealership and want to trade your old vehicle in. 

car for sale sign on windshield

Five Tips To Sell Your Car

By now you may have decided which of the three ways you want to sell your car, but now you need to take all the steps necessary to get the most for your car. While these steps aren’t 100% required, it will make selling your vehicle easier and more lucrative.

Step 1: Keep The Car In Good Shape

While this step may seem obvious, its one that many people ignore. When you own a car you need to be thinking long term. Know that how you treat your vehicle now will determine that vehicles value years down the road. If you keep up with the vehicles maintenance, drive it responsibly and keep the interior clean, you won’t see your car depreciate as much. 

Step 2: Make Sure The Car Is Clean

Once again, this tip may seem like an obvious one, but if you ask any dealer person, they’ll tell you that people bring in cars they intend to trade that are complete pigstys. While this may fly if you’re selling to a dealer as they’ll just pay you less and clean it themselves, it will be near impossible to sell a dirty car privately. Be diligent, get out any funky smells and scrub out any stains. Once you’ve gotten the interior cleaned, take your car to a car wash and have it looking shiny. These are all great ways to put your best “wheel” forward!

If you’re selling privately, it’s important to go the extra mile when it comes to cleaning. Try and complete all the tasks below if you’re selling privately:

  • Take your car through “the works” package at a car wash
  • Try and repair any scrapes, dings and dents
  • Make sure all the windows clean
  • Remove any stickers
  • Get your maintenance records organized (oil changes, repairs, etc...)
  • Treat tires with a gloss
  • Prepare a Carfax report on your vehicle 
car washing a red sports car

Step 3: Ensure You Have No Title Issues

Nothing can stop the sale or trade in of a car faster than title issues. You need to make sure you have all title issues taken care of before you decide to sell or trade in your car.

Step 4: Accept That Your Customizations May Not Be Worth Much

No matter how cool you think the customizations of your car are, its likely not going to increase the value of the vehicle, and it could potentially decrease the vehicles value. You could spend thousands of dollars on slick spoiler, upgraded exhaust and stereo system but often these modifications do nothing to increase the car’s value. 

Step 5: Be Realistic In Your Asking Price

Most people who’ve owned a car for over a year develop an emotional attachment to their vehicle. This often causes a warped perspective on what their vehicle is worth. You need to accept the fact that the longer you drove the car for and the more miles you put on it, the less its going to be worth. 

One great tool to check the value of your vehicle is Canadian Black Book. Not only will this tool tell you what your car would be worth as a dealership trade in, but also what it could be worth if you decided to sell privately. 

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