Car from Private Seller by Autozen

In the ever-evolving world of automotive transactions, the process of selling cars has taken a significant shift toward private deals between sellers and buyers, without any middlemen to take part of the profit. While it can be financially advantageous to go this route when selling your car, advance preparation and attention to detail throughout the process is absolutely vital. This guide from Autozen will help you steer your way through the journey of selling your car privately!

Selling Your Car Privately: Pros and Cons

Advantages of Selling a Car Privately

The most obvious reason for selling your used car privately is profit. After all, when you sell your used car to a dealership, they need to make a profit when they resell it. When you manage the sale of your car yourself, you can ask for a higher price from buyers and still come in lower than what they’d pay to a dealer. It’s a win-win for both you and the buyer!

You may also feel intimidated by entering into negotiations at a dealership. They do this for a living, and have a lot more experience at getting the deal they want. On the other hand, you and a private buyer are on more of an even footing, which can mean a higher sale price for you.

Even if you are planning to purchase another vehicle after selling your current one, walking into the dealership with a substantial down payment from selling your car privately can result in a better deal than bringing your car directly to them to trade in.

Disadvantages of Selling Your Car Privately

Selling a car privately can entail a lot of work, and you may not have the time or skills to devote to this undertaking. Between preparing your car, organizing paperwork, and dealing with buyers, it may be too much for you to handle.

In addition, you have to act as your own salesman, and spend time interacting with buyers, some of whom may not be easy to work with. If you don’t have strong people skills, this may not be a pleasant experience for you.

Finally, it can take many weeks to sell your car privately, depending on the state of the used car market in your region. In the meantime, you’ll still have loan payments and insurance to cover for your car, which can add up considerably as time passes.

Selling Your Car Privately: The Process Explained

Now that you’ve had a chance to consider your options, let’s break down the steps to follow for selling your car privately!

Start with Market Research

Right off the bat, you need to familiarize yourself with the current market for used cars in your area. Use online marketplaces to check out what other sellers have to offer, and what the asking prices are like for cars of your make and model year. Go to value estimators like the one at Autozen to see what you could reasonably ask for your car.

Don’t just do online research; pay a visit to local used car lots to see what’s there. Pay special attention to the condition of similar cars to your own, as buyers will expect to see much the same when they inspect your car.

Get Your Paperwork Organized

Don’t wait until you’ve listed your car or started talking to buyers to get your documents ready. Having everything on hand to share with interested parties will go a long way to instill confidence in buyers.

Your ownership or registration is an absolute must. If it’s lost or damaged, get a replacement. Check with your provincial ministry to see what other documents you require, as it can vary. As well, consider ordering a Carfax report, as it will provide a detailed vehicle history and can include an optional lien report, so buyers will know if you still owe money on your car.

Even if you aren’t required to have one, it’s a good idea to pay for a safety inspection so that you can show buyers that your car is in good shape. On the other hand, if the mechanic finds some issues with your car, you will now have an opportunity to get them taken care of before selling. Otherwise, expect the buyer to insist on a lower price because of needed repairs.

Finally, add any warranties or maintenance records that will give buyers an even clearer picture of the current condition of your car.

Get to Work on Your Car

Don’t skimp on getting your car ready to show off to buyers. A clean, well-maintained car is going to be much easier to sell! If you’ve got scratches and dents on the finish, pay a body shop to fix them, and deal with any issues such as bad brakes, worn tires, and cracked windshields. Otherwise, watch the price a buyer is willing to pay drop considerably.

Next, vacuum and shampoo the interior, and polish the vinyl. Buyers won’t want to start off with a car that needs detailing before they’ve even driven it! Finally, wash and polish the exterior.

Now, before it gets muddy or dusty, take your car to a location that will provide a good backdrop, and take lots of pictures from all angles. Early morning or late afternoon will have the most flattering light for showing off your car.

List Your Car

Most buyers today head straight for online platforms where private car sellers post their ads. Some of the most popular are AutoTrader, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace, and it’s best to post on all of them to reach the widest possible audience.

Write a description of your car that emphasizes its best features while staying completely truthful. Set an asking price that isn’t too high that it scares off interested buyers, while still giving you room to compromise when negotiations start. Upload as many pictures as you can to give buyers a really clear idea of your car’s condition.

Work with Buyers

Hopefully, your ad got the attention of buyers, and you have started to get inquiries back. Answer all of them promptly, and when someone expresses an interest in a test drive, set it up as soon as possible, in a public location for your own safety. Accompany them on test drives and answer any questions.

When a buyer gets more serious, it’s time for negotiations to begin! Go into the bargaining process confident that you know how much your car is worth, and don’t give anything away. If you have to walk away without a deal, do it. 

Finish the Transaction

Check with your provincial authorities to ensure that you take care of all requirements to transfer the ownership of your car to the buyer. Insist on payment by certified check, e-Transfer, or cash to avoid falling victim to a scam. Even if it’s not legally necessary, completing two signed copies of a bill of sale, one for each of you, is a wise move.

Take the plates off the car, hand the buyer the keys, and tell the insurance company the car is no longer yours!

Autozen: The Best Alternative to a Private Car Sale

Now that you’ve seen the work involved in selling your car privately, you might be ready for a different method. That’s what Autozen has for you, and it couldn’t be easier! Start by cleaning up your car, and then sign up on our platform. If your car meets our criteria, an Autozen expert will give your car a thorough inspection, and then add it to our next online auction. Within a couple of days, dealers across Canada will be able to bid on your car, and then all you have to do is accept the highest offer, hand us the keys and documents, and get paid. You don’t have to manage online listings, interact with buyers, or deal with the paperwork to transfer ownership.

Experience automotive tranquility with the AutoZen trial period. Connect with a vehicle expert at our help center for a personalized walkaround. Discover peace of mind as you navigate the features and functionalities tailored to your needs. Let us guide you on a journey to automotive enlightenment.

Let Autozen maximize your profit and eliminate the hassle of selling a car privately!