How to Sell a Car

If you need to sell your car, you want to sell it fast. But you also want to get the best price and waste the least amount of time. When it comes to how to sell a car, there are many options that you need to know about. Each one has pros and cons and one may be the perfect option for you. Let's look at the options and what to expect with each.


Determining the value

Before trying to sell your car, you need to know what it's worth. Visiting sites like Kelley Blue Book will allow you to enter your cars information and find the vale. Be sure to objectively evaluate your car's condition. Is it Excellent? Very Good? Good? Fair? Or Poor (very damaged or won't run)? Write down or print the price ranges for your vehicle for private sale and trade-in/dealer sale.

Did you know?

Here at, we specialize in buying cars in less-than-perfect condition, running or not. Based on your vehicle details and location we will give you the best, guaranteed offer for your auto, no matter the condition.

Don't fix it. Sell it. Maximize your time and money by selling your car to us. We'll give you a guaranteed offer for your car, FAST!


How to Sell a Car Fast

Enter vehicle details

By filling out our form with accurate information on, we can give you an instant offer on some vehicles or contact you with a guaranteed offer shortly after you click “Submit for Offer.”

Accept your Offer

Happy with the offer? Provide proof of ownership and we will schedule the pick-up of your car and deliver payment at the same time.

Get paid!

We will hand you a check during the car pick up.

How to sell my car to a dealer?

  1. Drive to the lot.

  2. Negotiate a sale price. You may be trading the car in for another one or just selling the car.

    Trade in - When you trade in a car, you can get a new car at a reduced price. The trade in value of the car is subtracted from the price of the new or used car that you are buying from the dealership. This allows you to easily upgrade to a newer car.

  3. Sale This is a straight sale of the vehicle with cash/check payment in return.

  4. Sign a sale contract.

  5. Hand over the title.

  6. Get Paid.

  7. Drive away in a new car, take the bus, have someone pick you up, or take the dealership shuttle if they drive to your area.


It's a fairly fast and easy process.

Someone else (the dealership) is selling your car for you.

They will pay your car off if you still have a loan -- with your money of course -- so that you can drive off with a new car. The amount that you owe would most commonly be subtracted from what they pay, including value of the new car if it was a trade in.


They are professionals and will negotiate hard. You may not be a strong negotiator.

They will not pay you what the car is worth. You will pay a premium for this service in the form of a reduced payment for your car. In order to buy the car from you, the dealership must be able to make a profit and cover the time that it will be sitting on their lot until the right buyer comes along.

They will not pick your car up.

If your car is damaged, not running, totaled or older they probably won't buy it. Or they'll pay rock bottom prices and then sell it to a scrap yard.


How do I sell my car to CarMax or AutoTrader?

Carmax and Autotrader are basically national, mega car dealerships. So they work very similarly to a regular dealership. And you can expect about the same price for your sale or trade in. The process is slightly different.

  1. Get a quote online before you take your car in.

  2. Drive your car to the dealership.

  3. Find out what they will really pay you.

  4. Sign a contract.

  5. Hand over the title.

  6. Get paid.

  7. Drive away in a new car, catch the bus or have a friend pick you up or take the shuttle if they offer one.


You can get an online quote.

It's fairly fast and easy.

Someone else (Carmax) is selling the car for you.

They will take a car in any condition as long as it runs.


The will not pay what the car is worth because they have to make a profit.

They will not pick your car up.

The quote is not guaranteed. Even if you were very honest, it may change dramatically when you arrive.

They will not take cars that aren't running.


How do I sell my car online?

If you want to sell your car privately, then you will probably need to know how to sell a car online? You can get more money for your car in a private sale.

  1. Pay the car off. You can't sell a car if you don't have the title.

  2. Clean the car thoroughly inside and out.

  3. Take many pictures, including any and all stains, dings, dents, rust, tear, wear, cracks, fades, etc.

  4. Make sure you have full coverage for theft and an at-fault wreck, so that if something unexpected happens during test drive, you are covered.

  5. Find a place to sell your car.

    Craig's List - This is a popular site to list your car. Just take lots of pictures and describe it well. You will probably get some pranksters contacting you and wasting your time. But most people are alright.

    Online Classified - You may want to list on other online classified sites. Some get more traffic than others, so check them out before you take time putting a listing up, especially if you have to pay something.

    Your local paper - You can also list in the local paper, which will be on their website and in their physical paper for a fee.

    Facebook - You do everything else on Facebook. Why not list your car? If you have lots of friends this can be a great way to get the word out. But it's usually a bad idea to sell a car to friend because if something goes wrong, you don't want it to damage the relationship.

  6. Post a very descriptive ad. Upload all the pictures. List all features, potential problems, cosmetic issues, adverse history(wrecks), etc. Be very honest, because it is very easy for buyers to find out if you are not truthful. And you don't want to get that look when they see it in person and it's not what they expected. That's a complete waste of time for both of you.

  7. Screen scammers and potential buyers. You may be talking to a lot of people before you find the right buyer.

  8. Meet for a test drive in a neutral location like a McDonalds.

  9. Take a picture of the buyers license and write down the number. Write down their license plate number.

  10. Let them take the car for a test drive without you. You have no idea if they can drive. If they don't come back, call the police. Give them the license info for investigation. And report a theft to your insurance company.

  11. When they return, finalize a price.

  12. Get the cash. Don't take a check unless you can verify that it is good.

  13. Hand over the title.

  14. Walk away.


You're probably get more for your car.

You developed some valuable negotiation, business and life skills.


A lot of prep work is required.

You may have to work with a lot of people and spend a lot of time finding the right buyer.

You will be entrusting your vehicle to a stranger and hoping for the best.

It usually takes a long time. This isn't the way to " sell my car fast " ... But the nicer/newer your car the faster it will likely sell.

Your car needs to be in at least very good condition to sell in this setting. Damaged, totaled, blown engine, etc. do not sell well in this setting and you'd be waiting a long time for the right buyer. If you found them, they would pay you very little.


How do I sell a car that has been damaged or totaled?

If your car has been damaged or totaled or it just doesn't run, then you're best bet may be selling it for salvage. There are two ways to do this... The wrong way and the right way.

Junk yard

  1. You can take it to a junk yard. Or tow it if it doesn't run.

  2. They may be able to give you a little cash for the car.

  3. You hand over the title.

  4. You get a ride home because you are probably in the middle of no where.


You got rid of your car.


They won't give you a quote over the phone.

They won't pick up your car if it doesn't run.

They are hard negotiators and they know that you are at a disadvantage because you may have had to pay an expensive tow or drive a long way. They use this to get you to take an amount that will be well below value.

If you just can't accept their low price, you probably spent more on towing it back that you would have gotten for the car.

They don't have reputations for being very nice.

  1. You can get a guaranteed quote online. Just answer easy questions and upload pictures if needed.

  2. A nice buyer will contact you will an offer. This offer is based upon your car's value. And it not just a rock bottom salvage price.

  3. If you like the offer, you can accept it. If you don't you've wasted very little time and no money on a tow.

  4. Accept the offer and they'll schedule a convenient time to come pick the car up for free.

  5. Get the payment.

  6. Hand over the title.

  7. Go back inside to finish watching your favorite show.


You got rid of your car.

Online pricing doesn't change.

You get what your car was really worth in that conditio.

You are not out any money, so it's easy to walk away.

The people are nice.

They pick up your car for free.


What’s your Car Worth?

Use our Price Checker Tool to find out how much you can get for your car.