How to Sell a Used-Up Car

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Your first thought may be that no one is going to be interested in your old car. Think again. You wouldn't believe how many people are in the market for a good, though old, used car that they can pick up for under five grand. A car like the one you are selling might be the only car they can afford. The first thing to find out is the value of your car. You can use our Lithia Motors trade-in tool to discover what your vehicle might fetch in the real world. We work with Kelley Blue Book to assess the value of "ol' Bessie" and in a world where used cars are in high demand, you might be pleasantly surprised at how much that old car is worth. 

Junkers and Clunkers
Have you ever tried to sell a really old car? We're talking about the kind of car that's been sitting around for months or years. It is probably over ten years old and may have over 150,000 miles on the odometer. It's not a junker because it still runs fine, but it's time for it to go to a new home. The big question is, how do you sell a used up car? Let's find out.

Selling to a Dealership

Once you have a good idea of how much you can expect to get for your car, price it a few hundred dollars over the price you hope to get, so you have some negotiating room. As with any car sale, you have to decide if you want to sell the vehicle yourself or take the easy way out and take it to a dealership. The dealer option is quick and easy. You'll likely be offered a low ball figure but the dealership will take your old car on the spot, write you a check, and you're done.
Selling the car to a private buyer is more of a pain because you'll have to wash and wax the car, take a ton of photos, write an ad, place your ad online at places such as Craig's List or eBay Motors, and hope for the best. Then you'll be waiting for potential buyers to respond, ask you a bunch of questions, and maybe, just maybe, come out to test drive your old flivver (that's ancient slang for a car).
There's also a third option. You can visit to get an instant offer that is good for seven days. Just enter the car's year, make, model, trim, and mileage, and Driveway will give you an offer right away. With Driveway, they'll even come out and pick up your car and take it away. It is a very convenient service, but like a dealership, it will likely offer you a price that is at the lower side of wholesale. If you choose to sell the vehicle yourself, you will work harder to make a little more on the sale, and there's no guarantee you'll get your asking price.

Selling it Yourself

If you're up for selling that Model T (an ancient car made by Ford), you will have to do your best to make the car look presentable both inside and out. We're not just talking about a good wash and wax job or vacuuming the carpet. It's worth the small expense to clean foggy headlights, have the vehicle detailed, and maybe even put on a new set of tires. Those kinds of details can get you more money, but also realize that if you are spending $1,000 on mechanical repairs and clean up, all that work might only get you an extra $1,000. So it might not bring in any extra dinero.
Most buyers of a car that's ten years old will not expect it to be "like new." As long as it is in good running condition, you are likely to get your price in today's market. For safety reasons, make sure all the lights and horn are working. At the end of the day, the sale of your used up car will come down to its age, mileage, and condition. You can't do anything about its age or mileage, but you can certainly improve its looks and condition. Having all the service records is a plus, too.

Speaking of mileage, many cars today have a very positive history of being perfectly serviceable after 200,000 miles or more. If you own an old Honda or Toyota with 100,000 miles on the clock, chances are good that a new owner could put another 100,000 miles or more on the vehicle with very little mechanical trouble or other issues.
Let Lithia Help
With over 75 years of experience in providing personal transportation solutions, Lithia Motors is here to help you. We have hundreds of quality dealerships from coast to coast and would be happy to buy your used car. We'll buy your car even if you don't buy a car from us. Find the Lithia dealer near you right here.