We Know: Ways to Sell Your Car Online

About Selling Your Vehicle

If you haven't done so already, you'll want to establish a fair market value for your vehicle. You can do this for free online at sites like Kelly Blue Book .

Is it safe to sell my car online?

Selling a car online is not a lot different from selling it in a newspaper. Here are some precautions to take:

  • Confirm the identity of potential buyers. There are many scams that involve people offering to buy your car without even looking at it, or may be from another country, and will offer to wire you the money or pay by certified check. In most cases, these people will scam you out of your money and vehicle. Deal with local people and get their driver's license information. Verify who they are. One way to do this is to contact their employer. Make sure you do this even before you hand over the keys for a test drive. It's also a good idea to go with them on the test drive.
  • Verify that the method of payment is valid. Many scams involve so called certified checks and wire transfers. Confirm with the buyer's bank that the check they are handing over is valid and that the amount will clear their account.
  • Get the money. Only after the money has cleared and is in your account (which can take a week in some cases) should you transfer the vehicle's title to the buyer.

Choices for Selling Your Vehicle Online

There are several methods you can use to sell your car online. You may wish to start with one or try several at once:

  1. Advertise on your own website. Depending on the amount of traffic you get, this can be a long, frustrating process, especially if your website's focus isn't on selling vehicles because that's not what you're visitors will be looking for.
  2. Advertise online through your local newspaper. The majority of newspapers have an online site, even in many smaller cities. Costs for ads vary considerably, and some publications will even list your ad for free.
  3. Post a classified ad on Craig's List. This site is broken down by location and content. The majority of city pages on Craig's List don't charge to place an ad.
  4. List your vehicle on Auto Trader. When you list your vehicle with them it's automatically listed on their affiliate sites including Yahoo! Autos and Edmunds. In some cases, they'll also list your car in their printed version of Auto Trader. Online ads run from around $40-$80 depending on the ad package you choose. Prospective buyers will contact you directly.

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