21 min read

12 Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind When Selling Your Car

The process of selling your car can be daunting, especially when you don't know where to begin. Your intentions are to sell your vehicle and make some quick money, although sometimes it doesn’t go that smoothly. From tire kickers to sketchy marketplace meetups, selling your vehicle can be a huge headache and a time-consuming ordeal. Whether you’re selling a vehicle yourself or through an experienced vehicle dealer or a middleman, you need to know the tips and tricks to use when selling a car to ensure you don't regret it.

Chase Keating

Chief Marketing Officer

🔑 Here are 12 key tips to remember when putting up your vehicle for sale:

1.) Start the Research Process

Before beginning your car-selling journey, you need to begin with the research phase. This will help you get a better understanding of the market and what your vehicle might be worth. You want to weed out any potential issues before they arise. Doing your due diligence and researching market value, and dealerships in your area is a great place to start. Start by going onto popular vehicle marketplaces and begin searching your current vehicle to see what similar options in your area are selling for.

Selling a vehicle can be tricky because of the paperwork and the procedures to follow until the end. Therefore, if you aren't careful, you might skip a crucial step and make a great mistake that is irreversible. Consequently, it would be best to do thorough research to avoid mistakes and errors, including looking for reputable vehicle salespeople to avoid scams. You aim to make maximum profit and avoid many challenges when doing your own research.

Research also helps you know what to do before selling your car. It helps you know how to invest in your vehicle, including checking the vehicle’s condition and doing the necessary repairs before posting it for sale. Again, research ensures that you have your original documentation and your vehicle has all the necessary parts functioning effectively. By keeping all the vehicle records together, you are ready to sell your vehicle to potential buyers.

Another crucial thing about studying the market when putting up your car on sale is that it updates you on responsibilities that follow after the sale. For example, you learn that you don't hold liability after selling your car following the correct procedure. However, if the merchandising process is incomplete or full of errors, you learn that you are liable if anything happens to the vehicle despite being in possession of someone else. Therefore, research helps you choose the best dealer or a trustworthy buyer, ensuring that you've handled everything the right way.

Start The Car Selling Journey by Researching


2.) Clean Your Car

The first impressions of your vehicle to potential buyers matter a lot. Most buyers look for vehicles that are picture-perfect in every detail. Therefore, you should clean your vehicle both on the inside and outside. Cleaning your vehicle may increase its resale value to help you maximize your profit despite the age of your vehicle.

The first step of cleaning your vehicle is to wash the dirtiest parts, including the wheels. It would be best to park your vehicle in a shade as you clean and rinse it. When washing your car, we suggest using a sponge to avoid damaging the paint, which is a crucial detail to the buyer. 

After washing the vehicle, you should detail it to improve its looks. This can include using a clay bar to enhance the faded paint and waxing it to achieve an attractive finish. Here, it would be best if you also worked on your headlights to ensure they are crystal clear. You should also clean all the tiny cracks when working on details because most potential buyers may notice these small details. Finally, work on the interior by vacuuming, spraying, and cleaning the leather to remove stains and discoloration and give the interior a clean scent.

Clean Your Car


3.) Get an Inspection

Most potential buyers always request a test drive no matter how good your vehicle looks. This way, these buyers ensure to buy vehicles that function correctly. But, again, you should bring your vehicle to a reputable mechanic or dealer to inspect its condition before listing it for sale. This helps you fix minor issues such as chipped windows, brake repair, broken headlights, and other issues you may not have been aware of that lower your vehicle's resale value.

Keep in mind though, that it’s important to get an inspection, but it's crucial to budget the amount you need for repairs to increase the resale value. If you’re not careful, overspending on repairs could affect your profit margin once you officially sell the vehicle. Though potential buyers want vehicles in good condition, these buyers also understand that these vehicles are older and sometimes not perfect.

Despite avoiding spending much money on repairs and replacements, you need to replace the mats, tires, and oil. Naturally, this attracts prospective buyers who need a vehicle that has been maintained well despite the mileage. Therefore, inspection is crucial to ensure that you attract the right buyers. First, however, choose the right mechanic to refurbish your vehicle.

Get a Car Inspection Before Selling


4.) Take High-Quality Photos

Take several photos showing every angle of your vehicle, including the interior and exterior. Make sure to consider the surroundings to ensure that these photos are high-quality and have enough lighting to show the entire vehicle. Such images help prospective buyers to identify any imperfections and other details of the vehicle they need before purchasing.

After taking these photos, upload as many as possible to reputable car marketplaces. High-quality photos are essential because most potential car buyers focus on photos instead of reading through the vehicle's description. Therefore, comprehensive photos of your vehicle attract a higher percentage of potential buyers. These photos show every detail, including the color, design, and shape of the vehicle displayed for sale.

Compelling images showing detailed imagery of your vehicle are crucial for its future sale. Hence, avoid taking blurry photos to ensure that buyers can view the vehicle sufficiently to determine whether it meets specific needs.


5.) Submit Your Vehicle to Online Marketplaces

Nowadays, online marketplaces are booming, especially for vehicle owners trading their vehicles. This is because people have shifted from purchasing vehicles through complicated processes to online browsing.

After taking photos, submit your vehicle for sale on online marketplaces such as MyOffers by HeyAuto. MyOffers provides a quick and simple solution where you can sell your car within 72 hours. The best part is the entire process is completely free.

Potential buyers no longer need to sit for long hours in showrooms only to come out without a vehicle. Instead, these buyers sit down browsing websites/apps to look for the best second-hand vehicles. Then, you can expect a buyer to come to you after viewing your car on online marketplaces. This way, you are the salesperson, and you can negotiate the price.

Sometimes, you can sell your vehicle through a dealership after submitting it to online market places. Here, the dealership offers various quotes on your vehicle. Mainly, these dealers sell your vehicle to the highest bidder.


6.) Organize Your Maintenance and Service Records

Maintenance and service records help to prove to the buyer that you were a responsible vehicle owner. These records help you to keep track of how regularly you serviced your vehicle. You need to keep these records organized in one place to avoid getting lost.

Information in maintenance and service records includes things like:

  • When you changed the tires
  • When you changed the oil
  • After how many kilometers you serviced your vehicle
  • When the mechanic changed the hoses and belts

This way, a buyer feels assured to know that you did your things in order. This is because of the physical proof that your vehicle is in good condition. Again, it helps to increase the resale value of your vehicle. With maintenance and service records in your hands, you can estimate a price that a buyer can quickly agree to. Again, it gives you peace of mind because you are sure that you have your vehicle records straight.

However, if you have lost or didn't keep a record of your vehicle maintenance service, you need not worry. You can contact the service center where you took your vehicle for regular servicing. Most of these technicians are organized and keep records of vehicle clients in an organized manner. After getting copies of the papers, you can show them to your buyer to erase the doubt about the vehicle's condition.

Alternatively, you can send the buyer directly to the service center to talk to your technician. Here, the technician can show the records to the prospective buyer who feels satisfied that your vehicle received the necessary maintenance. After that, you can comfortably set a price and negotiate with your buyer.


7.) Get a Temporary Phone Number

Getting a temporary phone number when selling your vehicle online and meeting with strangers can save you tons of stress. This is because some people will spam you as well as not all buyers are serious about the deal, and again, you don't need to receive phone calls after selling your car. Using a temporary number helps maintain anonymity and keeps your identity private from other people after completing the vehicle sale.

This also gives you peace of mind because you can keep your business life separate from your private life. This way, you can always engage in another online business without worrying that you got ill-treatment during the sale of your vehicle.

There are several services that offer free phone numbers, and, you can always get a cheap 7-11 phone number and get rid of it after you sell.

When using a platform like MyOffers to sell your car, you don’t have to worry about using a temporary number. The platform keeps your information secure so nobody ever gets access to it. Going with these anonymous platforms is the future of selling your car online.


8.) Remember: Some Websites Have More Serious Buyers than Some Others

Today, there are many websites you can go with when selling your car. However, these websites vary depending on the reputation and the number of customers who view posted vehicles daily. Therefore, not all websites are made equal when submitting your vehicle for online sale. Thus, you need to research and find a website with serious buyers to purchase your vehicle quickly and significantly.

A great way to check the reputation and reviews for dealers in your area is by going onto AutoTrusted, an automotive reviews platform. Here you can view reviews for dealerships and even individual salespeople working there!


9.) Don’t Feel Pressure to Settle

When planning to sell your vehicle, you may feel desperate, especially if you need to purchase another one. However, putting up your vehicle for sale may take longer than you think, and that's why you need to take time before settling for a specific buyer. You need to choose the most serious buyer before giving your vehicle a test drive.

After listing your vehicle on several websites, you get numerous calls, messages, and emails from prospective buyers. These buyers offer different prices where some are way lower, and others agree with your price. Even after negotiating with the first buyer who offers a reasonable price, don't feel the pressure to settle. Instead, it would help to quote a higher and fair price that leaves you happy and satisfied. If the buyer isn't willing to purchase at your price, you can always move to your next buyer.

Even after several negotiations with numerous buyers, you should stick to your price. Don't go too low because you feel your vehicle is no longer worth the money. Instead, be ready to ask and answer questions that show how serious you are about selling your vehicle. Eventually, a serious buyer will settle for your set price or your estimated cost.

However, after settling with a serious buyer, take precautions when putting your vehicle on sale to avoid scammers. First, you need to meet in person to conclude the deal and make payments. This way, you’ll close the deal feeling relaxed that you sold your car at the best price and to the right person.


10.) Set a Price

Overpricing your vehicle on sale will keep prospective buyers away. Again, underpricing will make buyers suspicious that it's not the best car to purchase. After all, there are many vehicles posted online for sale, and competition is high. Therefore, you should compare your vehicle to those with similar models, age and mileage before setting your price. However, you need to add a few hundred Canadian dollars to help with price negotiations.

Valuing and coming up with the price of your vehicle can be stressful. Therefore, how you evaluate your automobile before settling on a price matters a lot.

There are a few things to consider when making setting the appropriate price for your car:

  • Check the pricing guides from various websites
  • Consider the current market
  • Trust your intuition
  • Price your vehicle competitively

These factors will help you avoid overselling or underselling your vehicle. Whether you need to sell a truck, SUV, or a smaller vehicle, you will attract the right buyers. Thus, you sell your vehicle fairly quickly to avoid waiting for longer because time can affect the market prices. Therefore, keeping mind to remain real and avoid exaggerated vehicle pricing that may affect the marketing of your car.


11.) Sell Your Vehicle Closer to Home

Whether you are selling your vehicle to purchase another one or for other reasons, always consider choosing a local buyer. After posting your vehicle online for sale, you get lots of potential buyers, some from far-off areas. But, again, you can't trust all buyers despite the place they come from. However, choosing a buyer near your home has several advantages instead of negotiating with one overseas.

Sometimes, buyers from afar may offer the best prices, and you may feel like giving in. However, the disadvantages of selling your vehicle to such a buyer outweigh the advantages. Again, avoiding such buyers help you to avoid online scams, which has become a norm nowadays. If buyers from far places keep calling, you should assume these calls and settle with those closer to your home.

This tip is crucial because trust is vital during your vehicle selling process. A single mistake such as choosing the wrong buyer might cost you your vehicle. Therefore, remember that selling your car is a considerable investment to avoid making a mistake to regret it for a lifetime.


12.) Meet in a Public Place

After reaching the price agreement of the vehicle, you need to make an appointment and meet with your potential buyer. That's why you need to choose one closer to your home to make the meeting a success. Again, you can select the best time to avoid inconveniencing each other depending on your day’s schedule. However, ensure to meet in a public place to feel more comfortable because you are both strangers.

Allow the buyer to explore the vehicle and remain calm as they check its details. This helps you not to look desperate and also avoid pressuring the buyer. It would be best if you also listened to what these buyers say so that you make an informed decision. Again, ensure to have all the necessary documents with you but don't hand over the keys to the potential buyer.

Most buyers will request a test drive after meeting with you. First, however, you need to check their identity, driving license, and other essential details. Also, check if the buyer is insured before allowing them behind the wheel. Further, you should accompany the buyer during the test drive and suggest the route to follow to ensure you have peace of mind.


As a vehicle seller, there are a few tips to follow after meeting with your potential buyer in public, including:

  • Check and call the buyer to confirm their identity and see if you chose a genuine person
  • Ask the buyer to come with their identity to prove that they are the ones buying your vehicle
  • Meet in a public place near your home if you need to feel comfortable
  • Check confirmation of identity after meeting with your potential buyer
  • Allow the buyer to take as much time looking at your vehicle as possible
  • Allow a third-party inspection if that’s what your buyer needs