If you’re wondering how to sell a car, you’ve come to the right place. When it comes time to sell a car, there are several things that you’ll need to do to complete the deal. The exact steps you have to take might vary a little depending on which sales method you choose, but we’re here to help you fully understand all the details that go into selling a car. By following this guide, you’ll be able to sell your car quickly and get the best price for it. Whether you choose a private sale or some other route, you’ll need to know these steps to make things as easy as possible on you. Here are the 8 steps you need to take to sell your car.

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1. Decide Where To Sell Your Car

You probably already know that you have several options to choose from when it comes time to sell. The first step on your sales journey is deciding which method is right for you. A common method that many people use is the simple trade-in method. This seems simple because you can take your old car to the dealership, trade it in, and leave in a new car. However, there are some drawbacks. The trade-in value is usually lower than a private party sale price, so you’ll get less money going this route because the dealer will need to turn around and make a large profit on the resell of your vehicle.

You could also choose to sell your car privately on your own. Maybe you’re wondering how to sell a car privately. You have a few options when it comes to a private sale. These include Craigslist, word of mouth, AutoTrader, and a few others.  Selling privately can bring you a higher price in some cases, but it can also require a LOT of work on your part. If your car is old, you might consider selling the parts off of it. It could be more valuable that way, especially if it won’t even start.

Finally, you could choose to sell your car to an online car buyer like Auto Wranglers. We’ll make you an instant cash offer in about 90 seconds, and then have your car gone within a day or two. We always pay top dollar and provide free towing and pickup. Our process couldn’t be easier, so this is a great way to sell your car – especially if you want to do it quickly!


2. Collect All Your Documents

Now it’s time to get all your paperwork in order to prepare for the sale. The first thing you’ll need to find is your car title. Your title proves that you own the car, and you’ll sign over the title to the new owner at the close of the transaction. This is called the title transfer. This process is essentially the same whether you have a clean title or a rebuilt car title. If you can’t locate your title, then you will need to contact your local DMV to obtain a replacement. Some states will allow the sale of an old junk car without a title, but others are very strict about the title requirements. If you have a car loan, then your lender holds the title until the loan is paid off. Once you pay off the loan, then the lien holder will give you the title.

In addition to the title, there are some other documents that you will need as well. At a minimum, you’ll need a bill of sale that lists the buyer’s name, seller’s name, date, vehicle identification number, and sale price. Some states might require you to have proof of registration or current inspections and smog emissions testing as well. You should always check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to determine exactly what is needed to complete a sale in your area.


3. Give Your Car A Full Wash & Detail

Now the real work begins! It’s time to get that car cleaned up and looking good! This step is vitally important, especially if you are planning to sell to a private party. A dirty car simply does not garner the same amount of attention as a clean, shiny car. Your car needs to look as clean and new as possible. This shows prospective buyers that you care about your car and have kept it well maintained. Plus, nobody wants to get in a car that looks dirty – much less test drive it!

Start with the inside and work your way out. Wipe down all the interior surfaces like the dashboard and armrests. Vacuum the carpets and seats, and shampoo the carpets if possible. One thing that many people forget is the windows. Use a window cleaner to remove dirty fingerprints and other buildup on the windows. Use an air freshener if needed to get the interior smelling good. Wash and wax the outside of the car, and apply some tire shine to the tires. If you feel that you’re not capable of cleaning your car this well, then consider paying for a professional detail. While it might cost you a couple hundred bucks, you can probably raise the asking price by $500 or more. That’s how much difference there is between a dirty and clean car!


4. Take Amazing Photos

The photos that you take of your car will usually be the first impression that someone has. It’s the thing that catches their eye as they are browsing through the ads, so you want to make a great first impression. Gone are the days of snapping one photo and throwing that up into your ad. In today’s world, you’ll need lots of great photos to really convey everything that the potential buyers want to know. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that statement couldn’t be more true when it comes to selling a car.

Take at least four photos of the exterior of the vehicle – one from each corner of the car. Get plenty of interior shots as well so that people browsing your ad feel like they’re really looking at your car in person. Grab a shot of the instrument panel and gauge cluster with the car running. This allows people to see the odometer reading and shows that there are no check engine lights or other warning lights illuminated. Finally, consider the background and lighting as you take your photos. You want to have good lighting so that colors come through true, and also make sure you have a good background. Don’t take your photos in a junkyard or in a muddy field somewhere. Use an empty parking lot or somewhere that you would expect a nice car to be.


5. Advertise Your Car Online

Now it’s time to get your ad active! You’ll need to write a great ad that catches people’s attention. That requires more than just listing the make and model of the vehicle. Think about what all you would want to see in an ad if you were buying a car. You can even browse other ads to get an idea of what all a great ad includes. Many dealerships use Craigslist and other sites to sell a car, so you can see their ads there. They likely include the year, make, model, mileage, engine size, and trim level at a minimum. Also, be sure to list out any special features that may be included in the car like a DVD player or parking assist sensors.

Now is the time that you’ll need to determine your asking price as well. Do some research on Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to determine the fair market value of your car. These sites should give you a good range of your car’s value, and you can also browse local ads to see what other similar cars are listed for. Pricing your car too high can scare away potential buyers, but putting your price too low can leave money on the table. Set your price at a fair amount, and leave yourself a little room for negotiation.

Now that you have your ad copy created and your asking price determined, it’s time to get your ad live. You can list your car on Craigslist, eBay motors, AutoTrader, and other sites that you think might bring you a sale. Craigslist is definitely the cheapest route with a listing fee of only $5. Once you get the ad posted, then it’s time to start handling the inquiries.

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6. Screen Potential Buyers

This process can become a little tedious at times, and it can get time-consuming if you get a big response to your ad. It’s not usually a good idea to include your phone number in the ad because you can become the target of scams. Most sellers only provide their phone number after they’ve communicated via email and confirmed the buyer’s interest in the vehicle. Be on the lookout for anything suspicious as you begin communicating with people who respond to your ad.

First, most scams originate from outside the U.S., so watch out for emails that contain very broken English. Also, you should not continue communication with anyone who offers strange forms of payment like a wire transfer or giving you a check for more than your asking price. If someone emails you about your vehicle and things sound weird, then you are under no obligation to respond to their inquiry. Better safe than sorry when it comes to a large transaction like selling a car!


7. Prepare For A Pre-Purchase Inspection & Test Drive

Once you’ve screened potential buyers and found someone who is really interested in purchasing the vehicle, be prepared to offer them a test drive. Most buyers are going to request an inspection of the vehicle as well. They may perform the inspection themselves or have a mechanic look over the vehicle. In addition to a physical inspection, they’ll probably want a vehicle history report through Carfax or Autocheck.

Even though you have already screened this person as much as possible, you should still continue to be extremely safe when meeting in person. Always meet in a public place like a grocery store parking lot or somewhere similar so that there are plenty of people around. If possible, bring along a friend or family member so that you’re not meeting alone.

When you arrive, be ready for the person to ask you for a test drive. Talk to your insurance company beforehand to make sure your insurance policy will cover things in the event of an accident. Snap a picture of the person’s driver’s license before they head off and make sure that you know your car’s license plate number. You could also consider having them sign a release of liability in case they’re in an accident, but most people don’t go that far.


8. Close The Deal!

You’ve located your paperwork, cleaned up your car, created the perfect ad, and gotten some responses. Now it’s time to close the deal! Be ready and willing to negotiate on your sales price as most buyers are going to make you an offer that is less than what you’re asking. If you did your research properly, then you’ll know what your car is worth. You can use this data to negotiate and arrive at a final sales price that is fair to both you and the buyer.

Once you come to an agreement, you’ll need to arrange for payment and complete all the paperwork. Get your bill of sale ready and make sure you know how to properly sign the title so that the buyer can transfer ownership at the DMV. When selling a used car to a private buyer, you will not typically collect sales tax on the transaction. However, the new owner will usually be required to pay the tax when they go to register the vehicle. You should only accept cash or cashier’s check as payment. Do not accept personal checks as those could bounce and leave you with no car or money. If the buyer is using a car loan to finance the purchase, then you should be able to close the transaction at the buyer’s bank. This will help ensure that you protect yourself as you will get your payment directly from the bank. You can complete the payment and transfer of ownership all at the same time, and you’ve just completed your car sale!


Is There A Quicker & Safer Alternative To Selling Your Car Online?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I want to sell my car online,” but you’re also wondering how to sell a car fast. Thankfully, there is a way to do both! Auto Wranglers is a nationwide car buyer who will purchase your vehicle for cash and do it quickly. We offer many advantages over selling a car yourself to a private buyer. First, our process is completely hassle free. You don’t have to worry about cleaning your car or all the paperwork. No scheduling meetings and test drives. We’ll handle all that for you, and we’ll even come to your location to pick up the car.

Our process is also fast. From start to finish, it usually only takes 24-48 hours for us to pick up the car and get you paid. This will put money in your hand quickly so that you can buy that new car or spend it however you’d like. No more waiting on phone calls from people who might not even be interested. We’ll make you a cash offer in about 90 seconds, so you’ll know right away how much money you’ll get from the sale. Plus, we always provide free pickup and towing, so you never have to worry about paying any hidden fees when you use Auto Wranglers.

Lastly, you’ll get top dollar when you sell your car to us. We buy cars in all conditions – whether you’re selling an old junk car or one that’s almost brand new. We base our offers on the true market value of your vehicle, and we’re often able to pay more than you would get on a trade-in. We’ll arrive with cash (or check) in hand so that you get paid right away. Selling your car quickly doesn’t mean that you have to give it away for some lowball price. When you use Auto Wranglers, you can get the best of both worlds – a quick sale and a great price. Give us a call today to get the process started!



When you need to sell a car, you have a few decisions to make. Which method will you choose, how much will you ask for it, and are you buying a new car at the same time? The different methods have pros and cons, and some methods require a lot of your time and effort. Once you decide how to sell your car, you’ll need to give your car a good detail, get all your paperwork together, screen potential buyers, and then close the deal when it’s time. If you don’t want to deal with all that hassle, then you can always sell to Auto Wranglers quickly and easily. Our process is effortless for you, and you’ll get the best price in town. When you’re ready to sell, give us a call to get started!

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How do I sell my car privately?

There are many different ways that you can sell your car to a private buyer. The most common method today is by selling your car online. You might consider using Craigslist or eBay for a private sale. You can also utilize word of mouth or traditional methods like sitting your car in a busy location with a “For Sale” sign posted in the window. You should know that going this route will require quite a bit of effort on your part, although it can sometimes net you a higher price. You’ll need to thoroughly clean and detail your car before getting it ready to sell. You’ll also need to draft all your own paperwork like a bill of sale and other important documents.

Meeting people who are interested in your car can be dangerous, so you should always be extra cautious and protect yourself in these situations. Never give people your home address up front and always meet in a public place with other people around. Do not accept strange payment methods, and be aware of scams so that you are not taken advantage of. Be ready and willing to negotiate the price, but also be prepared to walk away if someone is not willing to make you a fair offer.

Finally, you could skip all that hassle and come to Auto Wranglers. We’ll make you a cash offer within 90 seconds and buy your car within a day or two. We always come to you and pick up the vehicle for free and get you paid on the spot. Our process couldn’t be easier, and you’ll get top dollar for your car. Contact us today to get the process started.

What is the best way to sell a used car?

If you ask different people about the best way to sell a used car, you’re likely to get several different answers. Some people will probably tell you Craigslist is the best method, while some others might say eBay. You’ll probably even get some responses that state that word of mouth advertising is still the best method for selling a used car. Another popular response is the trade-in method. Why not just trade-in your old car at the dealer and get a new one at the same time? While those methods might work, they’re not always the best. We believe that the best way to sell a used car is by calling Auto Wranglers.

Auto Wranglers will make you an instant cash offer in about 90 seconds so you will know right away how much money you’ll get. We buy cars throughout the country, so we’ll come to you and buy your vehicle regardless of where you are located. We make the process completely hassle free because we take care of all the paperwork for you, plus we provide free pickup and towing service. Even if your car has a few problems or simply makes a clicking sound when you turn the key, we’ll still buy it from you! Never pay any hidden fees and get top dollar in your pocket in just a day or two. That is the best and easiest way to sell a used car.

How do I offer potential buyers a test drive?

Most people buying a used car want to do a thorough inspection and take it for a test drive before deciding whether to purchase the car. This is completely normal as most people want to drive the car to make sure there are no obvious issues with the vehicle as well as determining whether they like the feel of the car. So, how do you allow people to test drive your vehicle while making sure they don’t just drive away and never come back?

There are a few things that you should do to protect yourself and your vehicle when people want to take a test drive. First, you should have already made contact with your insurance company to make sure that you will be covered in the event of an accident. Next, you’ll want to get a snapshot of the person’s driver’s license and make a note of your license plate number. You might even consider having the person sign a waiver or release form before leaving. If you feel comfortable, you can ride along during the test drive. Similarly, if you sense any danger, then immediately leave the situation. Do not stay there and put yourself in danger in hopes of making a sale.

How much should I sell my car for?

The answer to this question depends on many factors. The year, make, model, and condition of your vehicle obviously play a huge role on how much your car is worth. If you can determine the value of your car, then you are well on your way to understanding how much you should sell it for. The sales method also plays a role in how much you can get for your vehicle. Selling to a private party often gets you a slightly higher price while trading it in at the dealership usually brings in a little less.

You should start by determining a fair market value range for your vehicle. Head over to KBB or Edmunds and begin doing some research. This will give you a general idea of what your specific vehicle is worth, and you can also browse similar vehicles for sale in your area to see what those are listed for. Knowing your vehicle’s value puts you in a good position when negotiations begin. You will be able to easily determine whether you have been made a good offer or if someone is lowballing you. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a lowball offer. If you know that your car is worth more, then you don’t have to accept someone’s offer. A quick way to determine how much your car is worth is to get an instant offer from Auto Wranglers. We’ll make you a guaranteed cash offer in about 90 seconds, so you can know right away how much you could get for your vehicle.

How do I advertise a used car for sale?

There are several ways that people advertise used cars today. The Internet allows people to easily reach thousands of potential buyers at a low cost, so most people choose to take advantage of that. Some popular sites for selling a car online include Craigslist, eBay, AutoTrader, and Facebook Marketplace. These sites have different listing fees and sales structures, so make sure you know what you are signing up for before listing your car on any of these sites.

In addition, some people still use word of mouth advertising or simply putting a For Sale sign on their vehicle. You can tell all your friends and family about your vehicle, and they begin to tell their friends. Eventually, someone may hear about your car who is in the market to make a purchase. This method can be slower, but often has a built-in level of trust since the potential buyer has a connection to the seller through a friend.

How do I sell my car to a dealership?

Not all dealerships will buy your vehicle if you do not purchase a car from them. Some will only take your car as a trade-in on a new vehicle. However, some do buy cars from people who are not buying new cars. These dealerships, like Carmax, will make you an offer to purchase your vehicle outright. You’ll simply need to go in and have them appraise your vehicle. They’ll do a thorough inspection and take it for a quick test drive. Be aware that the offer you receive is likely to be a little lower as they’ll need to turn around and resell your car for a profit.

If you’re looking for an easier process, you should consider selling to Auto Wranglers. We’ll make you a cash offer in about 90 seconds, and you never even have to leave home. Our offers are often higher than trade in value, and we’ll come to you and pick up the vehicle for free. The whole process only takes a day or two from start to finish, so it’s extremely easy to sell your car to us.