Selling your car can be stressful. Many consumers have no idea where to begin. It doesn't have to be difficult. Successful sellers know how to get the most money for a vehicle. Following a checklist can help make the process a whole lot easier and get you more money.

Check Values

Many consumers have no idea what their car is worth. Unless you're in the auto industry or a car aficionado, just figuring out the value of your vehicle can cause frustration. Relax! Use one of the million tools online to estimate the value of your vehicle. Kelly Blue Book’s “Sell My Car” tool is a great place to start. Enter your make model and mileage.

TIP! Be honest about your vehicle’s condition. Your 1999 Focus Wagon with pink plush seats may be extremely valuable to you but as far as re-sale goes, not so much. One of the most difficult parts for “do it yourself” selling is that consumers place a much higher value on their personal belongings. The faster you can face reality and price your car appropriately, the faster your car can sell and you can move on to the next one. Over priced cars don’t sell. How competitively you price your vehicle will determine how fast it will sell and over-pricing could leave you stuck in the vehicle you no longer want.

Check Online Classifieds

After you determine a general value for your vehicle, go to online classified sites like Craigslist or Backpage and see what similar models are selling for. This may be the most accurate way to price your vehicle. You will have actual prices for similar models and what they are selling for in your local area.

Details, Details, Details....

A large detail that many individual sellers overlook is the fact that a clean car can fetch hundreds more dollars than a dirty one. Would you buy a purse with spaghetti sauce or gum stuck to it? How about one with old newspapers shoved in the pockets? Probably not. You can get a professional detail for around $100. If you would rather keep that cash in your pocket, there are plenty of resources online to detail your vehicle like a professional. offers plenty of helpful tips on how to do it yourself. Just as important as a clean vehicle is a well-maintained vehicle. Check the fluids. Change filters. Check mechanical items. All of these things are the first thing a buyer will do when they come to look at your car, just like it would be the first thing you do before you buy your next car. They will go over all the mechanical parts to ensure that everything's working. If you do that first, and fix any items you can it will save you time and energy. Nothing blows a deal like a dry dipstick. No matter how competitively priced or clean, a car that has the appearance that it was not properly maintained will have buyers running from you and your vehicle.

Photos Sell Cars

Now that you have determined a price and prepped the vehicle for sale, its time to get your vehicle out there to buyers. The first step will be to take photos. Take lots! Take pictures of the exterior from all angles. Take pictures of the interior and all the features. Tank pictures of the VIN sticker and mileage.

TIP! Taking a picture of the VIN and miles will save time for you and potential buyers. Many classified sites will require the VIN, and buyers will need it to get insurance quotes or provide information to their credit union or loan company. Have you ever tried to read a VIN over the phone, in the dark, while bent over at your car door with a flash light? It’s not easy. Its much easier to take the picture and include the VIN in your ad so that you can reference buyers to it later. While you're taking the photos, take notes on the details and specs of your car. This will give you a list of items to include in your ad later.

Be Ready to Sell!

You will need your title and registration. You cannot sell a car in Pennsylvania without a title. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to obtain a copy from Penndot. You can go to your local messenger service to have the transaction expedited or use the online application.

Get Your Vehicle out to Buyers..

Post your car to multiple classified sites. Almost every popular site has a section for owners to sell for free. Here are just a few that offer FREE ads to individuals:



AOL Autos





TIP! If you’re selling your car on Craigslist, be sure to check out our blog post "Top Ten Craigslist Car Buying Scams" on how to avoid scams.

Dealers pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to post their cars on free and paid sites like these, but many quality sites that charge dealers for ads also offer free postings for individuals. You will have to field phone calls from buyers. Many buyers use email to for the initial communication just to make sure that you as a seller are a real person with a real car and then follow up with a phone call after. Keep the photos handy in case someone needs them emailed. No matter how much information you put in your ad, there will still be those buyers that will call with questions. If your car is priced right, in good working order and clean, it shouldn't take long to sell.

Sell, Sell, Sell...

The easiest and most fool-proof way to complete the sale is to go to a messenger service and have them complete the transfer for you. They will make sure all the proper paperwork is completed and sent in to your state.

TIP! Make a bill of sale that you and the buyer sign at the notary. A bill of sale protects both the seller and buyer. You may need to prove that the vehicle was sold at some point down the road. Its always smart to draw one up with the basics like VIN, date, miles, price and description. Here's a free one from

Oh no! This is a LOT of work...

Selling a car can be a lot of work. Some sellers are wary of dealing with the general public, especially online and with such a large transaction. The easiest way to sell your car without any headaches is to sell to a dealership. You won’t get as much as you would selling it yourself, but you can avoid possible disasters during the sale. If you are buying another car, the best way to sell your current car is to trade it in. The value of the vehicle will be applied to the balance of your new car.

We will buy your car even if you're not buying from us. Use your vehicle as a trade-in on one of our vehicles and we will give you the highest amount possible for your trade. We have a huge inventory of vehicles for you to choose from. No headaches, no hassles. We have FREE appraisals online. Use our trade-in appraisal tool and get cash today for your vehicle.