It Is Time to Sell Your Old Clunker
If you have an older vehicle that you are interested in selling, you may be wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just donate it or pay someone to haul it away. But you may be surprised to find that it is not that difficult to find a buyer for your old clunker. What is the best way to market the old beast? Following these steps to make the process as smooth as possible.
1. If possible, make as many repairs as you can afford. Certainly, any small repairs or clean-ups should be made. But what about those big jobs? Well, just remember that trying to sell a car with no major repairs waiting is much easier than selling one that needs a major overhaul. If your vehicle is due for a smog test, be sure to get that done as well.
2. Find out the true value of your vehicle. Use the blue book value (kbb.com) to determine where your car should be priced. Check out classified listings and online sites. You may also want to search for vintage vehicles if your car is more than 20 years old. When pricing your car, be sure to leave some room for negotiations. If you are unsure what is a good asking price, consider taking your car to a mechanic for an appraisal.
3. Gather together your maintenance records and any details regarding aftermarket upgrades you've made. Include repair and accessories manuals. You will also need the title, registration, and smog certificates.
4. Give your car a good scrubbing inside and out. Vacuum out the interior and shampoo the carpets and seats if they need it. Wash and wax the exterior. You may also wish to clean the engine surface. There are cleaning solutions made specifically for this. A clean engine will be a strong selling point, leaving prospective buyers with the impression that you've taken good care of your vehicle. This is especially important in an older vehicle that may have years of accumulated grime on the engine.
5. Write an ad that will emphasize your vehicle's good points. If your vehicle has never been in an accident, has only one owner, and runs great, then highlight these facts. If you have all the maintenance records, mention it. You will also want to mention if your car has low mileage for its age.
6. Once you've been contacted by a prospective buyer, you may also want to mention positive information you've found on the reliability, resale value, or crash-test results for your specific make and model. Instead of volunteering what is wrong with your car, emphasize any positives, like new tires, a recent tune-up, or how it handles in the snow. Just be sure not to lie about your car's condition.
7. Once you've found a buyer, plan on asking for cash or a certified check. It is never a good idea to accept personal checks or installment payments. You will also need to fill out a bill of sale. Be sure to make copies for both the buyer and yourself. Sign over the title, and the sale is complete. You can then cancel your auto insurance.
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