A Step-By-Step Guide for First Time Selling A Car

There are many reasons why you can come to a point where you no longer want to be the owner of your car and decide that you want to sell it. There are great benefits to selling your car alone. You usually get paid better and have control over the whole process. At the same time, it requires a lot of work and you bear all the risks yourself.

To make it easier for you, as well as for your potential buyer, we offer a useful step-by-step guide with several tips that you as a first-time seller should consider before parting with your car.

Collect All Documents

As with anything else, preparations are a must for successful car sales. If you are going to sell your used car yourself, you have to prepare for a lot of things, and you have to spend money to be able to get the maximum pay. It’s a bit like selling a home -- a few improvements can increase the value significantly.

Before you sell a car privately, there’s a certain level of trust created when you see a person who sells their car come with all the papers neatly gathered in a folder.

Therefore, take the time to collect all the documents you have that belong to the car, such as car title, vehicle history reports, state-specific paperwork, service records, and inspection protocols.

And while you’re gathering all the important papers, check where you have extra keys and other car belongings. It’s annoying to have to run around looking for them seconds before a potential buyer arrives. Put everything, even big things like summer/winter tires, in one place and you will know where they are when people start calling.

Repair, Inspect, and Pay

To increase the value of your car, it’s best if it is in good condition. Make sure that the car is inspected and serviced and that any faults are repaired. Even small damages, such as a shattered windshield or compromised frame, should be repaired if you want to get the maximum payment. The fewer things a potential buyer can haggle over, the better for you.

If you have a junk car, meaning it is no longer operable or worth the cost of being repaired, you should consider using a junk car company. After you get the right information about your car’s condition a junk car buyer will make an offer. The process is quick and easy and an excellent way to get quick cash.

If you’re considering selling your junk car, do your research. For instance, if you are looking to sell your junk car for cash in Philadelphia, make sure you look for local websites to get an idea of how much you could earn, how long the process takes, and what to expect.

Spruce Up Your Car

One of the most important things when selling your car is that it’s clean and fresh. If you choose to wash the car yourself, you should start by removing all personal belongings from the car, throwing away all rubbish, and vacuuming it carefully.

Do not forget to look at both sides of the front seats, it is easy for small things to fall out of pockets and end up there. If you have fabric upholstery with stains, you should clean it. Feel free to trim moldings and windows inside. On the outside, the car should be washed and preferably waxed and polished for extra shine. Don’t forget the rim! If you have the opportunity to clean the engine compartment, do it as this impresses many buyers.

The car smell is also important. If you think it smells unpleasant, you shouldn’t spray the car with scented sprays. It is a warning signal to many. Instead, try to get to the bottom of why it smells bad. Someone may have smoked in the car or the air conditioning system might need proper cleaning, for example.

Draft a Purchase Agreement

Be sure to write a proper purchase contract, where everything you and the buyer agree on is addressed. Remember to read the agreement carefully and make the changes necessary for the agreement to truly reflect everything that you and the buyer agree on.

Be especially careful to inform the buyer in the contract about known defects and what equipment is included. Also, don’t forget to ask the buyer to inspect the car, preferably at an authorized workshop. Draw up the agreement in two identical copies and keep one yourself and give the other to the buyer.


Selling your car isn’t overly difficult if you know what to expect. By collecting all the necessary documents, sprucing up your car, and weighing your options, you’ll be sure to make a confident decision.



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