Selling your vehicle does not have to be complicated. Knowing what you should do and what documents you need to make the sale will simplify the process. Selling your vehicle can help you get more money from your used car than using it as a trade-in.
Checklist For Selling Your Car
There are a few steps you should take before selling your vehicle. These steps will ensure a smooth transaction for the best possible price.
1. Have your car detailed. A spotless vehicle will be able to sell for a higher price. Vehicles that look very clean inside and out make buyers feel confident that the vehicle was well cared for, even if there is some noticeable wear and tear. If you do not want to do the cleaning yourself, hire a detailer; it will be worth your investment.
2. Research the value of your vehicle. You will want an accurate vehicle value based on your area’s averages. Asking too much or too little for your car can harm the sale.
3. Get a vehicle history report. Providing your buyer with a history report of your vehicle is a strong selling tool. A vehicle history report gives your buyer the data they need to make an informed decision about purchasing your car.
4. Take lots of photos. People shopping for a used vehicle will look at as much information as possible about a vehicle before viewing it physically. When you have many images available, you will increase the interest of potential buyers.
5. Advertise your vehicle. You can get the word out that your vehicle is for sale in many ways. Use social media, online classified ads, local classified ads, and newspapers dedicated to selling vehicles.
6. Get all of the paperwork together to sell your vehicle. When you have everything ready, it will make the transaction run smoothly.
What to Do With Your Car Title Before Selling Your Car
Knowing if you can sell your vehicle before placing it for sale is essential. A vehicle with a lien against it can only be sold until it is paid off. A lien may be from the original financing, a loan where you used the vehicle as collateral, or from a mechanic that did work on your vehicle.
Liens may be outdated, so it is vital to run a vehicle history on the car using the VIN to determine if any liens are still active against the title. If there are active liens, you must get them resolved before selling your car. Once your title is “free and clear,” you can sell it without a problem.
Getting a vehicle history report will also benefit you as a selling point for your vehicle. You can show the potential buyer that the title is clear, prove that it has not been in any accidents you have not disclosed, and it will show any recalls on the vehicle that have been repaired. Additionally, a car history report can prove that the car is not stolen or has never been stolen and was not damaged in any flooding events. A vehicle history report can also help verify odometer readings and all the places the vehicle has been owned since it left the lot as a new car.
Documents You Will Need When Selling Your Car
There will be three documents you will need when selling your vehicle.
1. Title. You will need the title of the vehicle so that you can sign over ownership of the car when the transaction is complete. If you do not have a title that shows that the financing has been paid off and you are the sole owner, you will need to get a new title from the license bureau in your area.
2. Odometer Disclosure. It is a federal law that you disclose the vehicle’s actual mileage when sold. Most titles will require you to enter this information on it when you transfer ownership as well. You can usually download and print these forms from the DMV in your state.
3. Bill of Sale. You can hand-write this out or type it up officially. The most important thing to remember is that you include the following information on the Bill of Sale:
- Date of sale
- Purchase price
- Odometer reading
- Name of buyer
- Vehicle being sold “as is”
- Signature lines for both parties
You will want to have two copies of this document. Sign both, and have the buyer sign both. Provide them with one copy, and keep a copy for your records. This process is very important to ensure there is never any question about the transaction.
Following these simple steps can help you sell your vehicle quickly.
When Purchasing a Vehicle
Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase. A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.
VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration. It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.
When purchasing a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you make a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.