7 Tips for Selling Your Car Privately

Selling your vehicle privately can sometimes be a test of patience, whether it’s a case of waiting for the right offer or waiting for offers at all. However, there are ways to increase the chance of getting the sale that you’re after quickly.

Here we take a look at some of the top tips that can help you speed up the sale of your vehicle and get you the price that you want. Many of these tips are also transferable to other sales not only to vehicles including the key rules in selling that you need to know ahead of putting your vehicle on the market.

First Impressions Count

One of the first impressions that people are going to have of the vehicle that you’re selling is through the photos that you post online. As the saying goes, first impressions count. It’s for this reason that you’re going to want the photos that you put up to do your vehicle justice. This means taking the time to ensure the photos really bring out everything that people will want to see from a potential vehicle.

You should ensure your vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned inside and out and take into consideration the setting in which you intend to take the pictures, great images are in the location, lighting and much more. Putting the time in to make sure the photos do your car justice can go a long way to helping you secure a sale.

Do Your Market Research

Before you settle on an asking price for your vehicle you’re going to want to do your homework. Do some research. Have a look at local dealerships and at private sales online. Research the prices of comparable vehicles that have a similar age, mileage and condition. In addition, try to find out what prices cars have sold at. 

After all, just because that seller is asking that price doesn’t mean it will sell for that price. It could have been sitting there for weeks, even months. Pricing your car correctly is the key to getting interest and ultimately getting that all-important sale.

Organize Your Paperwork

One thing that will really appeal to any prospective buyers of your vehicle is having all of the paperwork in order. Having missing documents can sometimes put buyers off as they aren’t sure of the vehicles history. Before you go ahead with your sale you need to locate the title for your vehicle. If you cannot find this you can head down to your local DMV to get a copy. You must also ensure that any debts that are attributed to your ownership of the vehicle are settled before you start the sale process. 

Grab People’s Attention

A popular way of getting the attention of people walking or driving past the vehicle you’re selling is to post the price and a few words about the vehicle on the windshield. To avoid causing any damage to the window and to really grab people’s attention you’ll want to ensure that you’re using a windshield marker. 

You should also consider using promotional mirror hang tags on the rear view mirror of the car to promote the price, this way no matter what angle passers-by are viewing your vehicle they will see clearly that it is for sale and how to contact you.

Bright colours and bold fonts help to really get the message across in the few seconds that potential buyers will spend looking at the advertisement. Windshield markers and promotional mirror hang tags such as those from MBR Marketing are effective promotional tools that can help your vehicle get noticed.

Make Your Car Presentable

When it comes to selling your vehicle you’ll end up finding that every potential buyer will want to come and inspect it in person. Even though your car may seem presentable in your pictures you’ll want to ensure that it also makes the right impression in person. 

This means taking it for a valet or personally giving it a clean and a vacuum inside before the viewing. Similar to house viewings where you want the house spotless when people come to view it, selling your vehicle should be no different.

Be Prepared to Undergo a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Anyone who is buying a used car in the US should go through a pre-purchase inspection via an independent mechanic. As such, don’t be surprised if you get asked to put your vehicle through one. 

The importance of this process being carried out by an independent mechanic is to give the buyer all the reassurance that they need prior to buying your vehicle. Usually, you will have two options, either to take it to a mechanic/garage of their choice or to drive to a mechanic with them to undergo the inspection.

Think Carefully About Your Description

Along with the photos of your vehicle, the description is the second most important aspect of your advertisement. You’ll want to take the time to craft together a good description. You’ll also want to aim to try and find the perfect balance between being brief and thorough. 

You don’t want to miss out key aspects and features of the car, but at the same time you don’t want to give them the equivalent of a small essay to read through as they could become disinterested. Remember to be honest and to include any flaws or damage to the vehicle so that the seller knows exactly what they are getting themselves into.


When it comes to selling your car, like many things in life, preparation is key. The more time you put into getting your car and its respective advertisement ready to sell, the higher chance you’ve got of not only securing a quick sale but also a sale at the price you want. The tips we’ve covered here are just some of the ways in which you can boost your chance of selling your vehicle in a timely fashion at a price both you are your buyer are happy with.

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John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs