The Best Way to Sell a Car Yourself: A Guide


If it’s time to upgrade your car, you need to get rid of your old one first. You have a couple of options here.

First, you can trade your car into the dealership for your next vehicle. However, trade-in values are often lower than for-sale-by-owner values. You’ll take a hit on the sale.

Alternatively, you can try to sell the car yourself. This process does require some legwork. However, you will get a much higher price for your car if you go this route.

The only question is, what is the best way to sell a car yourself?

Not sure where to begin? Keep reading for our quick guide on how to sell a car yourself.

Collect the Necessary Paperwork

To legally sell a car yourself, you need all the required documentation. If you’ve already paid the car off, you should have the car title. If you still owe money on the car, talk to your lender about transferring the title to the new owner, which you can learn more about here.

Next, you need to create a bill of sale, signed by a notary, to authenticate the sale. This is vital. Finally, print out a vehicle history report for the buyer to show them everything they need to know about the car’s documented history.

Get the Car Checked Out by a Mechanic

The best way to sell a car yourself is to do it honorably and honestly. You don’t want to sell a problematic car to an unsuspecting buyer. Get the car checked out by a mechanic first to make sure the car doesn’t have any major issues.

If you don’t want to pay to get the issues fixed, make sure the asking price reflects the vehicle’s condition. Just as importantly, be completely forward with potential buyers about any issues.

Get the Car Cleaned and Detailed

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In car sales, this is absolutely true. The pictures you post of your car will have the power to attract or deter buyers.

Before taking pictures, clean and detail your car. Make it look as pristine as possible.

Vacuum the interior, clean the dash, etc. A car will be much more enticing if it’s not caked in mud or covered in dog hair.

Research Pricing

One of the most important tips for selling a car yourself is knowing how to price it competitively. Use car-valuing websites to determine a fair price for your car. Be completely objective while filling out the boxes pertaining to the condition of the car.

Mileage, damages, and other issues will affect the value of your vehicle.

Post the Car for Sale Using Multiple Platforms

Finally, the best way to sell a car yourself is by taking advantage of multiple platforms. You want to reach as much of the local community as possible.

Start by posting your car on a community buy/sell/trade Facebook page. You can also use Craigslist, newspapers, and printed fliers around town.

Want More Tips on the Best Way to Sell a Car Yourself?

If you’re looking for the best way to sell your car yourself and get a fair price, make sure you follow the steps listed above. Additionally, be patient and don’t accept the first offer that comes your way, especially if it’s a low-ball offer.

And if you need more advice on cars, we can help. Check out some of our other articles to get the latest auto news before you go!