How to Sell a Used Car Yourself

How to Sell a Used Car Yourself
Do you need to sell a used car and want to know the best way to do it?
Around 93,000 used cars are sold in the U.S. every day and while that number may seem surprising, there are many ways to sell a used car.

To make the most money, the best way is usually for the owner to sell the car them self. There is some more work involved, but you will find that this is the method with the highest payback.

You can ask for more and get more than you will if you sell a car to a dealer or at auction.
In order to sell your car yourself, you'll need to prepare the car, the paperwork, and a place to sell.

In order to prepare to sell a used car, think like an auto dealer. Most used cars are as clean as they can be when you see them at the dealership, so it's to be expected that you'll thoroughly clean the car inside and out or have it done professionally.

Normal wear and tear is expected so the car will never look showroom new, but you should insure that it's as clean as can be. Expect to pay $75 or so to have the inside and outside completely cleaned and detailed.

You can also have the engine steam cleaned if it looks really dirty with heavy deposits of grease or oil, but again, some normal dirt and grime is expected depending on the age of the car.

You'll need at least a "Bill of Sale" form and I recommend an "Odometer Reading" form as well as an "As Is" form if not contained on the bill of sale. These form are available as part of my Used Car Buying Kit at the address at the bottom of the article.

You'll also need to have the title showing you or whoever is selling the car as the owner. If you don't have the title, check with the bank that held the loan. They own the title when the car is new if its financed.

If you don't have the title for any other reason, check with your local DMV. If the car is registered in your name, you should have the title. If you can't find it, but the car belongs to you; you'll have to work with the DMV on getting a new one made.

The Used Car Buying Kit will also give you the most accurate listing of what the car is worth when you sell it. If the value is $10,000, you should ask for $10,500 or more so that you'll have room to negotiate.

Just like when you buy a car from a car dealer, a used car buyer will expect to pay less than what is being asked. Make sure you leave enough room to negotiate, but don't price the car too high or you'll risk losing potential buyers who may think that there's not enough room to negotiate.

Finally, you don't need to sell the car from your residence. Of course that's most convenient, but if you sell the car in good faith, you'll explain to the buyer if there are any problems. If a problem appears that you knew nothing about soon after you sell the car, the buyer could potentially come looking for you even though the car was sold as is.

If you meet interested buyers at a public location, there is less of a chance that they will ever try to find you if a problem does arise soon after they buy it.

Do it yourself used car sales is really easy to do if you know the right steps.
Good luck and happy selling!
Need help buying a used car and don't know where to turn? Check out our Used Car Buying Kit at

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Stephen M. Hague. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Stephen M. Hague. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Stephen M. Hague for details.