Six Things to Consider When Selling Your Car Privately

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So, you’ve decided to sell your car.

Since it’s truly a seller’s market right now, there’s never been a better time to sell your car for cash. If you’re considering selling your car, there are several questions you’re probably asking yourself about how to sell your car. 

How do I sell my car?”

“What is my car’s trade-in value?”  

“Where’s the best place to sell my car?”

“Should I trade in my car or sell my car for cash?”

These are all valid questions if you’re thinking about selling your car or considering trading your vehicle in to a dealership. Ultimately, you want to get the most value for your car, which is why a lot of car-owners consider listing their vehicle privately. Typically, you’ll get more money for your car when you sell your car privately versus selling or trading it to a dealership. However, there are some drawbacks to selling your car to a private party. Here are six things you should think about if you’re considering selling your vehicle privately.

#1 – Selling a Car Means Getting It Listed Everywhere

A major factor in how quickly you can sell your car and how much money you can sell your car for privately is where you list your car for sale. The trick to selling a car is playing the law of averages. You want to get as many eyeballs on your listing as possible. That means putting in the time to take great photos, writing a detailed description of the vehicle, and listing your car for sale on as many reputable sites as possible. It can be very time consuming and stressful researching where to list your vehicle, getting the proper documents together, creating listings, qualifying leads, and responding to messages from multiple sites. On top of that, many sites dedicated to listing private party cars for sale have fees associated with listing and selling your car on their site. 

#2 – Selling Your Car Privately Means More Haggling on Sale Price

Many people who are selling their car to a private party are doing so because they want to get the most money for their vehicle. Selling your car privately allows the seller to set their own price, which might give them peace of mind knowing they are getting a fair value for their vehicle. However, it rarely is that easy! Often time, the price a seller lists their car for is the price the car gets sold for. Why? Haggling! Just like the person selling their car privately wants to get the best deal for their car, the person buying the car also wants to get the best deal possible. This means the buyer will likely haggle the seller for the lowest price possible, which can be uncomfortable and could lead to seller’s remorse.

#3 – Selling Your Car Privately is a Full-Time Job

The worst part about selling a car is that it truly is a time-consuming affair. In addition to the time it takes to list your car for sale on multiple sites, you’ll also need to be prepared to spend plenty of time qualifying leads and responding to messages from multiple sites. Depending on your vehicle, it’s price and the demand for your car, you could receive a tidal wave of emails, texts, and phone calls. On top of that, you’ll need to keep your schedule open for anyone who’s interested in test driving the vehicle. This could cut into your personal and family time and may even require you to take time off from work. 

#4 – Selling Your Car Privately Can Be Sketchy and Even Dangerous

When you list your car for private sale, all sorts of folks are going to come out of the woodwork, and not all of them are good, honest people. As a private seller, you need to protect yourself and your vehicle as much as possible. In fact, some private sellers will routinely have their spouse or a friend with them just to ensure there’s always a witness nearby. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation, and NEVER let the buyer test drive the vehicle without you in it.

#5 – Potential Payment Fraud

The world of buying and selling used cars privately is not immune to scams and nefarious activities. Unfortunately, online payments that turn out to be fraudulent are more common than you’d think. It’s the risk you take when you sell your car privately. Always make sure there’s a way for you to verify the funds have gone through.

#6 – Potential for Lawsuit

Most private sellers list their cars in “as is” condition. That means that once the sale has gone through and it’s out of your possession, the car (and all its problems) is officially on the buyer. However, in some cases, a car will break down and the buyer will come after the seller. They’ll either want money for repair or to return the car for a full refund. They may even get a lawyer involved, which can be an awkward and expensive situation.

Don’t Sell Private – Get $400 More Instead

Hopefully, this article has given you valuable insight and things to consider regarding selling a car privately. Some people get lucky and find a buyer immediately. Others struggle and can be dealing with buyers for months before they find the right one. Overall, it’s a crapshoot…but it doesn’t have to be.

Here at, we are routinely able to get sellers an average of $400 more than their best written cash offer. That’s because we’re not a dealership and we aren’t interested in anything other than acquiring vehicles. No trade-ins. No hidden fees. No tricks.

If you’re ready for a hassle-free experience when it comes to selling your car, contact today! Simply call or text our Jacksonville, Fayetteville, and Wilmington car buyer at (910) 550-3586 or our Raleigh car buyer at (919) 999-2817. We’ll ask you a few simple questions about your vehicle such as the VIN# and mileage. Once we have that, we’ll set up a time and place to meet you and see your vehicle. If everything checks out, we’ll present you with a check that you cash the same day!

Still have questions? Visit our Learn More page, send us a message via our live chat feature, or give us a call or text.