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Avoid Selling Cars Privately: It Can Be A Hassle

There are arguments for and against selling your automobile. When is it a good idea, and when is it not? If you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea to sell your automobile yourself, this is the post for you. We will go over several different strategies to help you decide if you should sell your car privately.

Privately selling a car does not mean a quick car sale.

On the contrary, privately selling a car can be difficult. The average industry time for selling a used car is 60 days. Therefore, it may require patience and some effort to sell the vehicle. Unfortunately, you may need to hold onto the vehicle longer than expected when selling privately.

Selling your car to a dealership is more efficient because the selling process typically takes half the time to sell it privately. You also have access to many more resources that you would not otherwise be able to use if selling privately. For example, Most dealerships maintain websites with databases that allow buyers to narrow their search for specific makes and models of cars. These tools often have flexible selling options and more traffic from potential buyers.

Selling to a dealership is easier and more convenient than selling your car privately. In addition, you may receive a higher price and quicker sales since dealerships attract people who may, inadvertently, be interested in buying your vehicle. However, the misconception of selling your car privately and receiving a higher offer than selling to a dealership is not always accurate. Often, individuals receive low ball offers, making dealership pricing much more attractive. Another consideration is that the longer your car remains unsold, the more it takes up needed space or requires ongoing insurance costs.

Are you making payments on your car? A big problem for private sales.

Selling your vehicle becomes more complex and time-consuming if you make car payments. In addition, if you still owe money to a lender on your vehicle, this means you won’t have a clear title. Not having a clear title is a red flag for private buyers, and they will avoid your car. Further, if private buyers need to get a car loan to buy your car, most lenders won’t approve their loan application unless the title has no liens.

If you financed a car, the clauses in your contract would typically include an obligation to return the financed car to the finance company if you default on the loan.   In other words, if you are selling a financed car, it is likely that financing still exists on the vehicle under its original terms until you repay it in full or satisfy some other condition of release within those terms.

If you are selling a financed car privately, make sure there is clear evidence of satisfaction of the loan conditions before transferring ownership to ensure no one else incurs further liability for this debt.

You may have financed a car through the dealership from which you are now buying another financed vehicle. In those circumstances, it is possible to sell your financed car to the dealer as a trade-in on your new financed purchase.

Be aware that if you do this with a used financed car, there will still remain finance outstanding on the vehicle since it has been sold to the dealership and they have taken ownership of it.

What is the demand for your car?

If you are in the market to sell your car, it’s essential to understand its demand. If you have a vehicle no longer being produced or desired, buyers may avoid your car posting.

Throwing out an initial price is often met with frustration and disappointment on the seller’s part when a buyer gives a lowball offer or doesn’t seem interested in even making an offer at all. Another downside of selling your non-desirable vehicle is that finding parts to fit or finding parts at all can be difficult and costly as they may no longer be in circulation. If a non-desirable car is no longer being produced, fewer people are willing to work on them, so if you do find someone, they may not have the correct parts or will want to charge more for their services.

In summary, the non-desirability of your vehicle will make it difficult to get a competitive price. In addition, finding repair parts may be complex and hinder the repair and maintenance of the car. These factors can impact selling as buyers seek to avoid situations knowing the possible struggles to maintain the vehicle.

Cold car market =  Colder private car sales market.

People selling their vehicles run into a common issue when they try and sell their cars during low buying times throughout the year. If you are thinking about selling that convertible you’ve had for a while, it might be worth waiting until the market is ready for you. Sales of used vehicles tend to decline during the fall and winter months, and this can play into account how fast your car will sell and how much you will get for it.

For example, suppose you decide to sell that convertible during low buying times. In that case, it will not only not get as much attention, but the time for it to move out of your possession could cause several headaches like dealing with paying for storage or extended insurance coverage expenses.

Your location can play a significant factor in why markets go through these highs and lows, as areas with snowy winter months can hurt the auto industry. Conversely, spring and summer months tend to get much higher traffic and can bring in that buyer for your car as parents look to purchase vehicles for their children or when people are ready to get into the new model years after the holidays. Typically locations with a more steady warmer climate won’t feel the effects of this as much. Still, it goes to show the different types of factors to take into account when thinking about going through the hassle of trying to sell your used vehicle privately.

Avoid the scammers looking for private car sales.

Another factor to consider when selling your used vehicle in a private sale is that you may encounter individuals trying to scam you. Often, criminals posing as legitimate buyers contact people trying to sell their used cars through private sales and try to obtain the vehicle without paying for it. Unfortunately, there have been times when these scammers meet with the seller, have fake cheques or counterfeit money, and drive off with the vehicle.

Due to lack of proper documentation compared to dealership transactions, private sales attract scam artist individuals as they know there is little to no paper trail. To an individual selling privately for the first time, this is something to consider carefully. However, it can be valuable to know and understand as it can protect you if you ever decide to try and sell privately.

Following a proper procedure in selling can help avoid these types of situations. When selling privately, always gain contact information on the buyer and make sure they are legit and not trying to pose as someone else. Never meet in a secluded location and try to meet with a buyer during daytime hours of a high populated parking lot such as a bank or grocery store. Properly document any payments to avoid cases of confusion and never drive alone with the individual in the car. Lastly, make sure e-transfer payments are fully cleared in your bank account before handing over the keys, as there have been times when a buyer will cancel the transaction once they have the title and keys.

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