Car Selling Tips

Top 10 tips to help you sell your car

So you want to sell your car, but you’re not exactly sure how to get started. No worries, we are here to help with these quick, effective tips. For more detailed information, tips and helpful hints, click here for a free download of our eBook "How to Safely Sell Your Car".

1Clean It Up

It pays to spend a couple of hours and a few dollars making sure your car is as clean as possible before putting it up for sale. People want to buy something that feels new even if it’s used. Renting a carpet cleaner is inexpensive and a great way to lift dirt from floors and upholstered seats. Magic erasers work wonders on leather, vinyl, dash and doors. But don’t stop there. Your buyer will equate a clean exterior to a well-cared-for interior and that includes the engine. For tips on how to clean your engine, and step-by-step detailing advice for your entire car, download our free eBook by clicking here.

2Make sure your lights are on and working

Put out those pesky dashboard alerts by topping off your fluids and making sure that all lights work, including your headlights and interior dome light. Consider changing them yourself or pop into your local full-service station for help. Be sure to turn your headlights on too when you take your photos. It makes your car look alive and proves that the lights are in working order.

3Shoot to sell with great photography

Buyers appreciate photos. And plenty of them. Beginning with a clean car is key. From there, make sure the area where you are taking the photos is free of distractions. At all costs, avoid shooting in your garage as it will be too dark and cramped looking. And if you think avoiding trouble spots by not showing them is a good idea think again. Buyers actually appreciate seeing the flaws, scrapes and dings, and showing them in a few photos is a great way to build trust. Proves that you have nothing to hide. In addition, if you have some really cool features or accessories like GPS, back-up camera or DVD player, shoot those too. Click here to download our Shoot to Sell checklist so you don’t forget a thing.

4Write an effective ad

Let’s face it, with thousands of people shopping online every hour, your ad needs to stand out. Great photos will get their attention but a great description can lead to a sale! Since basic information such as make, model and mileage is included in the ad imagery, focus on letting people know why you think your car is a great deal for them. Share the reason you are selling and close with a warm or funny story about an experience you had with your car. This advice comes from a reliable source. For our eBook on selling, we learned from the queen of on online ad writing herself, America’s cyber-dating expert Julie Spira. Check out our interview with Julie in the "How to Sell Your Car, Safely" eBook. If she can help thousands of people write about something as personal as their love life, we are sure her advice will help you write a great car ad. Click here for a free download and save $4.99.

5Don't take your word for it

Another great selling tool you can use to give your buyer peace of mind is a Vehicle History Report (VHR). The VHR details your car history, which includes information on ownership and any recorded accidents. A VHR helps buyers understand, compare and make an informed decision. offers a free VHR from AutoCheck, valued at $29.99 in the BEST package. Click here to start selling today.

6Add some bells and whistles

Spruce up your deal with a few bells and whistles. Having a vehicle history report is great but why stop there? Fun little extras can enhance your car’s appeal. If you have the owner’s manual that came with your car, include it, if you don’t, you might be able to find it on eBay or as a download on the automaker’s website. New floor mats, air freshener, a clean towel and Armor-All, key chain or mini-flash light are thoughtful, inexpensive gestures to make your car buyer feel like he or she is also getting a few new items with a used car purchase.

7Respond quickly to queries

You worked really hard to place your ad online so by all means when potential buyers communicate, try to get back to them as soon as possible. Once your ad is live, it becomes a speed game. The seller who can respond to the buyer the fastest is likely to get the sale. You will want to show buyers that not only is your car the best car but YOU are the best person to do business with. Always be courteous, fair and prompt. If you are willing to negotiate, get that out upfront, but if you are firm on your price, make sure they know that too. Be ready for your test drive and have your paperwork in order so buyers will know you are prepared to sell. To learn more about sales communication, download our eBook for free by clicking here.

8Test your test-drive skills

So, your first test drive is scheduled, are you ready? Will you sit in the front or the back? What will you say? Where will you go? And here is a question few people think of ahead of time: Is your buyer ready? It can be helpful to encourage potential buyers to bring lifestyle elements such as golf clubs (for fit), kids, car seats, even the family dog along on the test drive. This will spare them a return test drive and shorten the amount of time you have to put into closing your deal. For more advice, see the comprehensive Test Drive section in our eBook "How to Safely Sell Your Car" by clicking here.

9Have your VIN ready

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will require you to have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) when selling your 1982 or newer car. Your car’s VIN can be usually found under your windshield on the driver’s side dashboard, etched into a small metal label. It also is printed on your car insurance card. This VIN is unique to your car and helps identify the current, registered owner and make and model of the car. The VIN also provides convenience and accuracy during the listing process of selling your car by dynamically populating some of the information.

10Complete your sale at the DMV

If you think going to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a drag, try having to make a return trip. Avoid that senseless hassle of having to go back by making sure you have the necessary documents with you on your first trip. To legally transfer your title, you will need your current drivers license, checkbook, insurance card, title or any lien release paperwork issued by the bank that holds your loan. Also, make sure that your buyer has a valid driver’s license, insurance card and checkbook. Since the requirements vary from state to state, you might want to double check the website for your local DMV for final requirements. This is serious business and we are here to help. Find everything you need to ensure safe and legal transaction in the eBook "How to Sell Your Car, Safely." Download now!