All posts in Auto Selling

Driving a Hard Bargain: What Affects Your Car’s Resale Value

It’s said your car starts depreciating the second it leaves the lot. And it’s true. You could take that new car to the used lot across the highway and get offered a significantly lower price for it. Resale value is a fickle science. While it does take into account age, mileage, condition, equipment levels, model, popularity and demand, it can often boil down to who you’re talking to. Here are some of the fundamentals that either boost or minimize your vehicle’s resale value:


Nothing is going to have more of an impact. Regardless of condition, cars not known for reliability aren’t going to get the same prices as ones that are. Well-kept luxury brands will always demand top dollar. A 10-year old BMW can still cost tens of thousands, but no one’s going to pay that kind of money for a decade-old Pontiac.

Regular Maintenance

No one is interested in paying top dollar for a vehicle not given proper TLC. Oil, air filters, brake pads and tires are critical components that need regular maintenance. Taking care of these parts will extend the lifetime of a vehicle and ensure its resale value remains high. Most car owners, though, know when and how to replace these. However, according to the experts at Arnold Motor Supply, many people may not even know when they need a new belt until it snaps on half on the freeway. Pay attention to manufacturer-suggested maintenance schedules, and don’t forget the little things.


Believe it or not, having all the cool gadgets and a Star Trek dashboard doesn’t necessarily make your car more valuable. People looking at used cars are, by nature, conservative. They’re shopping the used market to save money on something reliable, not to get the latest, greatest, and flashiest tech available. Convincing them to pay for the TV in the back, DVD player or GPS capability could be a hard sell at best and a detriment at worst. Fancy gizmos may be what you want, but don’t expect it to bring in anything extra when you try to sell.

Performance Parts/Aftermarket Accessories

Sporty suspension upgrades and a customized exhaust are cool, but most shoppers won’t know or care what that means, let alone take it into account when considering value. While you may be someone that loves your $3,000 chromed wheels, odds are many will downplay them. Aftermarket performance parts and visual upgrades rarely translate into resale value, and many shoppers may even take it as a sign that your vehicle was driven to its limits, making them more reluctant to buy from you.


The first thing about a car that impresses anyone is the look. If you’ve maintained the cosmetic condition, you’re in good shape. If you haven’t been washing it, or use dirty water with a greasy sponge— and it shows—you may have issues. Even if you detail it before showing it off, smart buyers will look for scratches in paint, swirls, and dents or dings. Regular washes and taking care of those dings immediately ensure the resale value is maximized. Lose all the personal touches you added—that Bush-Quayle bumper sticker does nothing except date the vehicle and ruin the paint—and remove any glue residue with a gentle cleaner.


When reselling your car, give it the best presentation you can. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Maintenance, care, and attention can go a long way. However, you may find the most resale value in the art of the haggle. Good luck!

5 Helpful Tips for Selling Your Vehicle Online

According to a 2014 publication by CNBC, the used car market is worth 41.5 million dollars per year and continues to ride a wave of popularity as more and more motorists shy away from the depreciation and expense accrued with a new vehicle purchase. If you have a used vehicle you’d like to sell online, here are some tips for commanding top dollar.

Be Honest and Up Front

There’s no point in trying to deceive potential buyers with an overly optimistic advertisement. If there are small cosmetic defects or you’ve had to replace the parking brake a few times, say so. List all of your vehicle’s good points, of course, but don’t fail to list any issues or problems.

Disclose the Status of the Title

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and title are listed on the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and will include information about rebuilds, accidents and ownership changes. If your title is ‘clean,’ advertise this as a selling point. If there is a rebuilt branding on the title, disclose it and talk about the quality work that was done to restore the vehicle. If someone questions your vehicle history, direct to a source like Instavin that will check vehicle history and title reports. Honesty is your best policy.

Clean It Up

Nobody wants to purchase a vehicle that smells like an ashtray or has dubious stains all over the upholstery. Either pay to have your vehicle scrubbed out well and detailed or do it yourself to save some money and net a higher sale price. Polish all the glass, vacuum and shampoo the upholstery and carpets and air out the car to remove any lingering smells. If the upholstery is stained beyond repair, consider reupholstering the seats or purchasing seat covers that will sell with the car.

Have It Inspected

If you live in a state that requires yearly inspection and your inspection was done not long ago, you may be able to skip this step. If your inspection was six months ago or longer or you live in a state that doesn’t require it, have one performed by a certified mechanic. This lets potential buyers know that you are offering a dependable and safe vehicle for sale.

Don’t Leap at the First Offer

Online sales can happen very quickly. While this is great if you need the cash right away, it may behoove you to wait and speak to several potential buyers. Letting the advertisement sit for a day or two before selling to the highest offer could potentially net your hundreds more than you anticipated.

Selling your vehicle online can be a great way to unload a car or truck you no longer need. By following these tips, you can make your vehicle attractive to potential buyers and sell it in good faith.

Easy Guide to Changing Car Ownership

To complete the official resale of a vehicle, the car title must be exchanged in order for the transaction to be considered legitimate and unquestionable. Changing the car ownership is important for both parties as it ensures the original owner is not held liable for the vehicle in the event of an accident while also solidifying the buyer’s right to the property. If you are on either side of the transaction, here is an easy guide to changing car ownership.

What You’ll Need

Like any other legal form of transaction, changing a vehicle’s ownership status requires completion and submission of a few application forms and documents. Depending on the state you apply for the change of your vehicle registration, the application form can be discrete. For example, at Trail Auto Tag Agency in Miami, Florida, the minimum requirements for processing include the vehicle’s current registration papers and an identification of the current owner, which can be any government-issued ID.

You should also prepare the transfer fees involved. Additional documents are requested if the present registration papers are not under the applicant’s name. In this case, it is best to consult an expert so you can prepare the correct set of documents. This speeds up the process by averting any hassling road bumps.

How It Works

As the current owner, you must maintain the vehicle’s insurance documents until the exchange of vehicle title takes place. Make sure the interested buyer insures the vehicle immediately after the transaction. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires evidence of this insurance to officially transfer the ownership of the vehicle.

If you are trying to sell your vehicle but cannot find the associated title, contact the lending firm and request another copy. If the lending firm no longer operates, the FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation can assist you in acquiring a valid and updated copy.

Protect Yourself When You Transfer Ownership

One critical step when you sell the vehicle is to remove your license plates. If you don’t, anything illegal that occurs with the vehicle could potentially be held against you. Second, make sure you retain important information about the vehicle, such as a copy of the title transfer paperwork and the Vehicle Identification Number. If you can’t accompany the new car owner to the DMV, consider submitting a vehicle transit notification that is available in states like Texas to guard yourself against the possibility that the new owner does not submit the paperwork.

Additional Guidelines

To successfully change the ownership of the vehicle, the buyer must also comply with the requirements set forth by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Arrange for a visit to the DMV with the buyer of the car to make sure you both finish the paperwork. Although requirements are slightly different from one state to the next, you may be requested to submit proof of insurance, bill of sale with the buy price, title paperwork, VIN number, and the latest odometer reading.

There are many reasons why the need to change car ownership is brought up. Whether it’s a good sale price, gift, inheritance, or satisfaction of lien, you must know what steps to follow and how to properly fill out paperwork to avoid future problems and loopholes.


About the author:
A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

This article uses information from Trail Auto Tag Agency.

Failing in Your Efforts to Sell Your Car? 4 Tips to Help you Find a Buyer

Has your car been on the market for a while? Are you getting sick of waiting for the phone to ring with an interested buyer on the other end? It may be time to kick things up a notch in order to find a buyer. There are several methods for getting the word out about your car, but with how many cars are for sale, and posted every day, you may need to be more creative in your efforts.

Post Your Vehicle on

This is one of the main ways to sell a vehicle and it’s free to list. Make sure you put at least four pictures detailing the front, back, sides and inside of the vehicle. Leave a short descriptive paragraph with the history of the vehicle. You’ll want to post the vehicle according to Kelly Blue Book pricing, also look at the listings of other similar vehicles. One disadvantage of Craigslist is you’ll have to keep re-listing the ad nearly everyday to keep it relevant.

The site does have 20 million unique visitors each month. If you have posted on Craigslist in the past without luck, there might be a few things you can do so that your post gets noticed. Make sure it has a good title, something that mentions the car and perhaps the price. Within the post, make sure you include quality pictures of your car and the features (make sure the car is clean and looking it’s best when taking these pictures.) Include important information, but don’t overload. Make the information easy to read and make sure your contact information is prominent on the page.

Displaying Your Car in a Public Area

Have you ever seen cars parked in a certain parking lot with a for sale sign in the window? This is one way to get your vehicle noticed by many people. One danger here is vandalism and theft, so be smart if parking somewhere in public. The auto experts of Sawyers Chevrolet suggest that if you have a friend or family member that lives on a busy street, you could ask them if they would allow you to park the car in their driveway or in front of their house for a few days.

If you park the car on a busy street during the day for a few days, you’ll be sure to get some calls from interested buyers. Make sure you return it home at night. Put a for sale sign in the window with your phone number, price of vehicle, features and mileage. Make sure this information is legible, and reapply if it rains or snows.

List on

In May 2013 Autotrader stopped print versions and is now only online. This is a great place to sell your vehicle if it’s specialized or more valuable. receives 15 million visitors a month and boasts having the largest selection of vehicle listings. The ad listing here will cost from $20 for three weeks to $80 for unlimited time until sells plus getting 14 days featured. This investment is worth the money if you are eager to sell your car.

Resources for sellers and buyers also make this a great place to sell your vehicle. If you haven’t used this resource yet, this could be a great place to find a buyer as soon as possible.

Listing in Local Newspapers

There are still many people who read the classifieds, especially when looking to buy a car. Here you will pay from $10-$30 to list your vehicle and can even put in a photo. The ad will run continually with this amount of money for two weeks to a month. Generally this is a good way to attract serious buyers and avoid spammers and scams. One benefit to posting the car in a local paper is that you will find a local buyer, making it easier for you to meet up with them and show them the car, which could speed up the selling process.

These methods should help you find a direction suited to your needs and vehicle. There are advantages to each and you may use more than one. Of course you’ll want to make sure the price is low enough to attract buyers and still be content with the amount. Rest assured if the price is right, you’ll find a buyer with one of these methods.

3 Things to Remember When Selling Your Car on Craigslist

If you are planning to sell your car to a private party, that can be a wise decision. Likely, you will make more on the deal than on a trade-in, perhaps hundreds of dollars more. The pitfall here is that you will be vetting potential buyers and that means making sure that you deal only with serious customers.

Using Craigslist

One of the best websites for listing your car is Craigslist. This site is free, is used by millions and therefore can expose your vehicle to the most people. With any website, however, there are certain things you need to know before offering up a listing. With Craigslist, there are three things for you to keep in mind:

Write a detailed ad — With Craigslist, the more details you share about your car, the better. That means listing the make, model and the year of your car, its edition, and offering details any car buyer would want. Those details include the condition of the body, included equipment, current mileage, warranty information if applicable and more. Be specific — if your car comes equipped with zoned climate control, that reads better than simply writing “air conditioning.” Write brief paragraphs, make use of bullets and include your contact information. Do not share your address — you can give that information out over the phone.

Post pictures — Craigslist allows you to put up photos with your listing, so don’t spare anything here. Show detailed shots of the exterior, the interior, under the hood and inside the trunk or storage compartment. If you have special wheels, get a close up. If there is a dent or scratch, show that too — buyers need to know what they’re getting and your honesty will be appreciated. Add captions or notes with your photos to explain what you’re showing — a buyer might appreciate that you paid for new Michelin tires instead of settling for a no-name or discount brand.

Update frequently — You can run the best ad, but that ad can quickly fade away after a day or two. Yes, it will still be visible online, but it may soon get buried by newer ads. With Craigslist, you are better served if you are able to make regular updates, each of which will bump your ad to the top of the pile. This means making once-daily updates until your car has been sold.

Further Considerations

Besides listing your ad, there are some considerations to keep in mind when selling your vehicle. That means treating people with respect who contact you, setting up appointments and being ready to make a deal. Keep the following in mind as you make a deal:

Be ready to sell — Your initial callers will be the most motivated and interested in striking a deal. Plan on selling your car to the first serious buyer, giving a little on the price, but not much. If a person wants to test drive your vehicle, go along for a ride. Explain to the buyer that the car is being sold “as is” and no warranty is offered. However, if a manufacturer’s warranty is still active and can be transferred, you can help out with that paperwork.

Money is best — Accept only cash or go to the bank with the buyer to accept a cashier’s check. These checks can be forged, therefore you want to see it issued in front of your face.

Complete the deal — Once your deal has been completed, take off the license plates, remove the registration and notify your insurance company and the DMV of your sale. Cancel your Craigslist ad. You’re now done and you should come away from the deal the richer for it.

Author Information

Cedric Sheldon is a contributing writer for a Toyota accessories website. You can safely and easily buy parts online and have these items shipped directly to your address.