How to Sell a Car


When selling a car, private transactions almost always generate more money than selling to a dealer. Make the process smoother by putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes and sell your car quickly, and possibly for more money.


  • 1 – Clear out your car, then wash, vacuum and wax it. Fix minor problems, or prepare to come down substantially in your asking price. A clean car will bring more money than the exact same car that is dirty.


  • 2 – Have a mechanic look at your car before you sell to help appraise its value and identify problems. This will keep some buyers from telling you to lower the price by claiming the car needs significant work.


  • 3 – Research the vehicle’s value in the Kelley Blue Book (, and compare with other sellers’ asking prices for the same vintage model. This will give you the basis for a realistic price (add a little more so you can comfortably bargain).


  • 4 – Post an ad in the newspaper, online, in the window of your car, on community bulletin boards–wherever you can get the word out. Create a Web site to display additional photos and descriptions of the vehicle. Be sure to highlight selling points such as low mileage, great condition, option packages, aftermarket additions (new hardtop or car alarm), number of owners (if it’s very low), nonsmoking owner(s), and complete maintenance records.


  • 5 – Run a car history report on your vehicle through a service such as, then print it to show prospective buyers.


  • 6 – Make sure you have in your possession: the title, no outstanding tickets, a bill of sale or vehicle transfer form (available from the DMV), up-to-date emissions certification, registration and a release of liability form. Your local DMV will be able to identify the correct paperwork needed for your state or city.

  • 7 – Confirm that anyone wanting to test-drive your car has a current driver’s license. Be prepared for potential buyers to ask if their mechanic can check out the car. If you’ve had a mechanic look at your car recently, you can show the receipt or work order. It is recommended to “hang on to” the prospective buyers keys while they test drive your car.


  • 8 – After you’ve agreed on a price, ask for cash or a certified check. Do not accept personal checks or payment in installments.


  • 9- Fill out the bill of sale, which buyer and seller both sign, and make copies for you both. Sign over the title and fill out a release of liability form (available at the DMV). Cancel your insurance for the car, so if anything happens to it you won’t be responsible. Unless you have arranged otherwise, it’s a good idea to add “Car is sold in ‘as is’ condition without any guarantee or warranty” to the bill of sale.


  • 10 – Make sure you have removed all personal possessions from the vehicle including carseats, window shades, trunk storage accessories, cd holders, etc. Most importantly, remove the licence plates before they drive away. This will eliminate any potential problems that may occur on your end. If stopped by the police, the buyer will be able to use the bill of sale as a documentation for proof of ownership.

One of the easiest ways to sell a car is using a cash for cars service.  Many of these companies take the sting out of selling a car and can get you the cash you need quickly without all the hassle.

For a free no hassle cash for cars quote in the New York Metro area visit