pros and cons privately selling car

Pros and Cons of Privately Selling Your Car

There are some major pros and cons of selling your car privately rather than taking it to a dealership as a trade-in or down payment on another vehicle. This advantages and disadvantages list may help you decide whether or not to sell your car privately.

Pros of Privately Selling Your Car

  • More Money: Of course, the biggest and best advantage to selling your car privately is that you’ll get much more money than if you took it to a dealer. If your vehicle is in high demand, you can charge more than the value of the car and still get potential buyers. 
  • Down Payment: Rather than trading in your car, you can sell your car privately and get a larger down payment for your next vehicle. Dealerships always value your car below its actual worth, and some still request an additional down payment. By selling privately, you have a down payment that is much larger than the trade-in value, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of saving up extra money.
  • Easier Negotiations: Privately selling your car opens up the ability to negotiate. If you price the car at the higher end of the spectrum, you can list your advertisement as “or best offer,” which means you’re willing to negotiate. This way you can still get a profit off your car while giving buyers the option to pay a lower amount. 

Cons of Privately Selling Your Car

  • Time Consuming: Selling your car privately requires you to determine an adequate price, discover which website works best for you, create an advertisement, and find potential buyers. After doing all of this, it can then take weeks or months to sell your car depending on the market.  
  • Dangerous: Meeting strangers always has a certain amount of risk. Selling your vehicle to someone you’ve never met requires you to find a safe area for you to come together, and then allow the buyer to test drive the car before they purchase it. Remember, always bring someone with you when you arrange to meet someone from online.
  • Scammers: The most common way people advertise their car is by posting it on multiple websites. This opens up the opportunity for scammers to contact you and offer deals that seem too good to be true. You should stay updated on the latest scams to avoid criminals. 
  • Paperwork: Selling your car privately means you’re responsible for obtaining all of the necessary paperwork yourself. Most states require you to have the title and bill of sale, but you can figure out what documents you need by going to the DMV’s website and selecting your state.

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