If you have an old car taking up space in your garage or driveway, it's time to consider selling it and putting some extra cash in your pocket. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the best practices for selling a vintage car for the best price. Selling an old car might seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can turn it into a rewarding experience.
Understanding the Market for Selling Old Cars
The first step is to understand the market dynamics and the factors that influence the selling process. Is this a true vintage vehicle that collectors are actively looking for, or just an older model car in good condition? Start with doing some research about your make and model. You should be able to easily find websites devoted to various vintage cars which can give you a feel for how desirable your own car is to the right people. If you’re not in a particular hurry, go to some vintage car shows and chat with owners of vehicles similar to your own. That can give you lots of insight into the current demand for your car. If you’re really lucky you might even find an interested buyer!
Where to Sell Old Cars: Exploring Your Options
One of the key questions that often arises when considering selling an old car is where to sell it. While you might be able to sell it through word of mouth in the vintage car community, or to a brick-and-mortar dealer in classic cars, you will reach a much wider audience of potential buyers using online marketplaces such as AutoTrader, Kijiji, or Facebook. As well, there are specialty sites that cater specifically to vintage car collectors, such as Classic Cars.com. It doesn’t hurt to post on multiple sites. Remember, multiple interested buyers can spark a bidding war and drive up the final sale price for your vintage car!
Strategies for Success: How to Effectively Sell Old Cars Online
Once you’ve got a good sense of the vintage car market, it’s time to turn your attention to the best way to sell your own vehicle. Start by making sure you’ve got your ownership. If you can’t find it or it’s been nibbled by mice in the glove compartment, get a replacement before you start advertising your car for sale. Buyers will need to know that this is your car to sell. As well, if you have recently replaced a muffler or windshield, add any relevant warranties to the document folder.
Clean it Up
Start by doing the best you can to get it into sellable condition. In the world of old car collectors, you’ll find that they are often willing to buy a car that isn’t in roadworthy condition so that they can restore it themselves. Sourcing parts and doing extensive bodywork for a vintage car simply isn’t practical if all you want to do is get some cash for a car you’re not using or interested in fixing up yourself, as it can get quite expensive. If it is still in driveable condition, that’s a bonus.
Instead, focus on cleaning it up as thoroughly as you can. Especially if it’s been sitting in your back shop for a few years, it’s going to need a really good vacuuming and shampooing. While the exterior is probably in need of some bodywork, at least wash and polish it to the best of your ability.
Create Your Listing
Take lots of good pictures of your vintage car, preferably in an uncluttered setting like an open lawn so that it will stand out against the background. Aim for clear conditions, either first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is at its best. Photograph it inside and out from all angles, including a clear shot of the odometer and also under the hood. Choose the best ten or so to include in your listing.
Turn your attention to creating a listing that will highlight the important features and provide a brief history of the vehicle. Upload as many pictures as you’re allowed. Set a competitive price that factors in the car's condition, mileage, and any additional features such as extra parts that you can include as part of the deal. Remember that buyers can be expected to negotiate, so give yourself some leeway to be able to come down in price.
Work with Interested Buyers
Once buyers start messaging you, respond promptly to inquiries and provide additional information as needed. Give them a chance to come around and see your car, and take it for a test drive if that’s possible in its condition. Once someone expresses a serious interest in buying, negotiate an agreement that satisfies both parties.
Complete the Transaction
If your car isn’t in a safe condition for driving, you won’t need to bother obtaining a safety certificate before completing the sale. The buyer will have to do that once they have completed the restoration of the vehicle. However, if it is roadworthy, getting a safety certificate before selling can help secure a successful sale. Either way, fill out a bill of sale and sign over the ownership to the buyer, and ensure that you receive the payment, whether that’s by cash, certified check, or an e-Transfer, before handing over the keys. Make sure that you inform your insurance company that you no longer own the vehicle.
Sell your Old Car Online
Whether your vehicle was a previous purchase of your own, or passed down from a family member, if you’re not interested in the time and care required to restore and maintain a vintage car, the profit you can make from selling it will be worth more to you than to have it sitting unused on your property. Use our tips to maximize your return for selling your classic car.