The decision about whether or not to sell your vehicle can be tough. Sometimes it’s more of a want than a need. For me, it was a need! The day I decided to sell my car was the day I was told it would cost a couple thousand dollars to fix it – money that I could be putting down for a car that had AC and didn’t have to go to the shop every six months! So I embarked on the process of selling my car – something I had never done before. Through my research, I determined that the following steps are very important to ensure you are getting the most out of your sale.
- Make sure paperwork is in order. Paperwork regulations vary by state. I live in Houston, TX, so I followed the state’s DMV rules. As the seller of the vehicle, you are expected to provide the following documents to the buyer:
- Valid car title with completed and signed title assignment.
- Bill of sale.
- Odometer disclosure.
You will, of course, want to make copies of these documents in case something happens and the buyer loses them! From there, it’s the responsibility of the buyer to complete all required documentation and pay the fee to register the vehicle in their own name.
- Price out your new vehicle. I wasn’t sure what car I wanted, but I knew the features that were important to me – great gas mileage, light color interior, no more than 60,000 miles, reasonable to fix and maintain – so I started shopping around. Deciding what I was interested in and determining what I could afford was very helpful in determining how much I needed to attempt to get from selling my vehicle.
- Visit some dealerships to get trade-in quotes. This was probably the hardest part. Dealing with car salesman is exhausting! But a couple were very helpful and gave me the ballpark of my trade-in value, which was quite low.
- Get a quote from the “junk car” lot. I never thought I would have a need to call a junk car lot, but as it turns out, they were able to give me a little bit more cash for my car (probably its parts) then its trade in “value”. They were able to give me a quote over the phone, then came and dropped off the money and picked up my car. That cash, combined with the little bit of savings I had set aside, was just enough for a down payment on my new ride.
The decision to sell my vehicle was the right one, and doing it on my own was a great learning experience. If you choose to do the same, just be prepared to spend a lot of time researching and talking to people in the industry.