As many people have discovered, the powers of the Internet will take you a long way in helping you sell a used car. Of course, no buyer is going to be sucker enough to bite on a raw deal, so you need a rough idea of the fair market value of your car.
The first question people generally ask is whether selling your used car to dealers is worthwhile. The simple answer is no. If your car is under 4 years of age, a dealer will short you a few thousand at the very least; if your car is over 4 years, dealers will probably only give you 25% of fair market value. Dealers exist to make a buck. They can't do it by offering you fair market value.
Likewise, trade-ins at dealers are overrated. Even if they actually give you fair market value on your used car, the dealer makes it all back and more by slapping you with manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) on your next car.
The second thing to pay attention to is fraud. Scammers roam the Internet for easy prey, buyers and sellers alike. If someone asks you to agree to escrow, don't be a sucker. Give them a big fat no.
Once you have a rough idea of your car's value, you can post online for free or pay a small fee for a local classified ad. Online sites will list your car not only to buyers in the area, but people hundreds of miles away. Another good idea to sell your used carespecially if it's in tip-top shape with a clean historywould be to grab a copy of the car's vehicle history report to make things convenient for your potential customers. They'll appreciate it.
Keep in mind buyers will most likely want to negotiate, so raise the price above what you ideally want to get. A detailed cleaning, washing and waxing will go a long way. After all, first impressions are important! Posting pictures of a used car for sale on the web is also a good idea, especially pictures of a car that is gleaming with a fresh wax job.
Owing money on a car you want to sell is not a problem. The lender will appear on the title as the lien holder, and they will have the title. Once you've sold the car and paid off the loan, the lender will send you the title. A few phone calls are all it takes. Unfortunately this doesn't work if you owe more than you can sell the car for. Being upside down on a loan for a used car you want to sell puts you in a nasty financial disadvantage, especially if you need another car to replace the one you're selling.
Lastly is donating to charity, which aside from tax write-offs also give you the warm fuzzies. But be aware, charities hire special consultants who sell the cars for them. These so-called consultants make up to 75 percent commission. Decide for yourself if that makes your donation worthwhile.
Selling a used car is a fairly straightforward process. So long as your asking price is reasonable, there will be a buyer for it out there somewhere.