Selling Your Car Online
When you’re selling a vehicle, you need to hand over a few documents to the buyer and take several other steps to finalize the process. Gather the following:
- The vehicle title to complete a title transfer to the new owner.
- NOTE: If you’ve lost your title, you can find out how to obtain a duplicate copy at our page about Replacing a Lost License.
- Bill of sale.
- Release of liability.
- Vehicle inspection, if required.
- License plates, if applicable.
In addition, you may need to contact your lienholder if you have a lien, or cancel the policy on the sold vehicle with your car insurance company. For more information about all other seller requirements in your state, please visit our page about Paperwork When Selling a Car.
Long gone are the days when selling your car on your own meant relying on tiny newspaper classified ads, signs in the window, or word-of-mouth. Today, you can quickly get the word out about your vehicle for sale by posting an online listing or auction. Since there are so many cars available for sale on these websites, you’ll need to create a highly descriptive listing if you want to get your car sold promptly.
First Things First
Here is what you’ll need to post an effective classified ad for your vehicle:
- Starting price.
- Always leave room to negotiate.
- Plenty of detailed pictures, including interior and engine shots.
- A title with specific keywords.
When you post a classified ad for your car, you have to educate prospective buyers by providing a full description. This should include:
- Year, make and model.
- Color (exterior/interior).
- Transmission type.
- Title status.
- Selling price.
- For more information on setting a price and negotiating deals, please read our Guide to Selling a Vehicle.
- Complete vehicle history.
- Order a vehicle history report online for more details about maintenance, accidents, mileage, title information, and more.
- Your contact information.
Be sure to include plenty of photos―from all angles―to give viewers a fair look at your vehicle. Don’t forget to provide interior shots. Avoid pictures taken from shaded areas as they produce poor quality shots. Before you start snapping pictures, do some prep work to make sure your car looks its best, and have all the proper paperwork handy in case your ad gets a lot of quick responses from anxious buyers.
The more accurate and in-depth information you provide, the easier it will be for viewers to determine if your car matches their criteria. Pre-screening should lead to more serious buyers, and means you will not have to waste as much time with “tire kickers.”
With online searches, prospective buyers can instantly screen for vehicles meeting their criteria (make, model, condition, mileage, and price). This can lead to head-spinning turnaround times―especially with models in high demand―and possibly shorten a process that often took weeks before into days or hours.
While it’s possible to upload your car information in the morning and find a buyer by the afternoon, you should not be surprised if the process takes a few days, weeks, or even months. Use all the helpful tips on this page, and you’ll increase your chances of selling your vehicle in a timely fashion.
For more helpful tips about selling your vehicle, please read our Guide to Selling Your Car.