Learn How to Sell your Vehicle Today
By advertising your auto for sale on multiple sites, you can practically reach all automotive shoppers that are using the internet to find a used auto.
Private Party Auto Values
As you start the process of selling your auto, it's critically important to understand the differences in used auto values. You should take the time to understand the value of your specific auto in the dealer retail market (if a dealer was selling it), in the private party market (if/when you sell it), and in the trade-in market (if you were to trade it in at a dealer when you buy a new auto. You learn more about these differences and find the best resources for current market values in our Used Auto Values section.
Use the different values in different markets as a guide to help you understand how to price your auto for sale.
How Long It May Take to Sell Your Auto
As you start the process of selling your auto it's important to keep in mind that you should plan on it taking at least 2-3 months to sell your auto, so don't get frustrated if your vehicle does not sell within the first week or two. In addition, make sure you have set a competitive price for your auto, and if necessary modify it if you feel you are not getting enough interest. If you have not sold your auto within 2-3 months, you may need to consider some of the other options we recommend at the end of this article.
List Your Auto For Free Online
Aside from taking a little time to post your ad, you should start by using some of the large, free, classified services:
Craigslist.org: is one of the largest websites online and has become the site most people now go to when looking for private party classified listings. A great feature here is when you post your ad; you can use their email alias so people can still contact you, without you having to show your personal email address.
Oodle.com: similar to Craigslist, another great site that lets you post ads for free. Although not as widely known as Craigslist, they have a partnership and are integrated with Facebook so that definitely helps your auto get some exposure.
Cars.com: one of the largest automotive classified sites online with millions of visitors every month, Cars.com offers a free Sell It Yourself package in most areas.
Advertise Your Auto To Get More Exposure
Along with the free private party auto sales options above, if you want to maximize your exposure, consider these options:
Mota.com: a relatively new service that launched in 2010, Mota helps you evaluate your auto condition, identify a fair price, have your auto inspected, create your advertising listing, and then has options to help you easily list your auto for sale on multiple websites, including eBay, AutoTrader, and Cars.com. If you are looking for a one-stop advertising solution, this is it.
Cars.com: one of largest auto classifieds sites online and is owned by 5 of the largest media and newspaper companies in the US, so your listing will receive good exposure on Cars.com and potentially through local newspaper websites as well. Their ad packages are fairly priced and they show listings from dealers and private parties in a equally fair manner.
AutoTrader.com: also one of the largest classifieds site online that lists autos for sale, and by some measurements, AutoTrader.com receives more monthly website traffic than Cars.com. So, it's definitely worth listing your vehicle on AutoTrader.com as well, but we feel as though when they display listings to buyers, they give a little more priority to dealer listings vs. private party listings, so you may not receive as much exposure as the dealer listings on their site.
eBay Motors: a good option if you have a very unique auto or if you have been unable to sell your auto after 2-3 months of listing it for sale in other places, and you really want to get it sold. Keep in mind that eBayMotors is an auction based model so you may not get as much money as you would like, but through "Reserve" settings, if you set a low minimum price as your reserve, or even if you go with the "No Reserve" option, you will increase the interest in your vehicle and increase the likeliness of selling it.
By pursuing the recommendations above, your vehicle will reach the majority of consumers that search for used autos online since many other large automotive sites (KBB, Edmunds, AOL Autos, MSN Autos, Yahoo Autos, etc.) pull in listings or link to the primary sources listed above.
Local & Network Connections: Keep in mind that potential auto buyers can also come from your local neighborhood, friends, and family. Kelley Blue Book offers a free Seller's Toolkit that includes a well designed Auto For Sale sign that you can create and print out. So, consider using that and parking your auto in a highly trafficked local area, email your friends, post a copy of the For Sale sign at work/school, and update your status on Facebook to help spread the word.
Sell Your Auto to a Local Dealer: Dealers are always on the lookout for a deal, and since a dealer has access to wholesale auctions, and selling tools that the public consumer does not, a dealer may certainly be interested in making you an offer. So, consider taking your auto around to a few dealers and see what they would pay for your auto. One of the most reputable dealer chains in the country that proactively will buy your auto, even if you don't buy a auto from them, is CarMax.com.
If 2-3 months has passed with no luck selling your auto, you may have to accept that you will not get the price you are asking, or there is just not enough interest in the auto you are selling. One last resort worth considering is donating your auto to a local church or charity. Speak with your financial advisor on the tax benefits of donating your auto.