How to Get More for Your Used Car


BMWWhen selling a used vehicle, you need to be strategic about how you sell it if you want to get the most money for it.

The used car market has been red hot in the United States, seeing prices jump 21 percent in a year-over-year comparison.

Tight Market Advantages

Used car dealers are paying top dollar right now due to the shortage of new cars. That shortage is caused by a disrupted supply chain due to the global pandemic. This makes it a good time to sell your car, but not necessarily to buy a new one.

Of course, this tight market can’t go on forever. When the market is flooded with new cars, the used car market will probably lose its momentum and probably move back toward where it was.

Create Your Own Advantages

There are several main ways to get the most out of your used car. To do that, follow these steps and see if they can lead you to a better return on your automotive investment.

Step One: Gather Your Papers to Make Your Best Case

If you can prove that your vehicle is in the best working order that it can be, you are halfway to getting a better price. You need to assess every aspect, including the age of the tires and how soon the car might need major maintenance. For this, gather your paperwork on the car. This should include every maintenance or repair item that you can document.

Step Two: Assess the Interior

If your interior is looking dingy, do some cleaning and see how good you can get it to look. Make sure to find any missing pieces that you may have removed from the interior or the trunk. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for step three.

Step Three: Get Several Independent Evaluations

Kelley Blue Book has a tool that will evaluate your vehicle based on its age and mileage. The reason you did Steps One and Two first is because the system will ask you to state whether the car is in good, fair or poor condition. You’ve only got three choices and you are aiming for good!

Step Four: Get Quotes from a Variety of Dealers

Now you want to get quotes from a variety of dealers. Don’t get excited about the first offer. Only offers made in person are truly valid. That’s when you’ll debate with the dealer about the condition of your car and show your paperwork.

Step Five: Decide Whether to Take a Deal or Go Private

If you really aren’t happy with any of the offers, you should take a week or two and see if you can make a private sale. To do this, you need to be aware that almost any buyer will need to get a loan to purchase your vehicle. You don’t want to transfer the title until you are sure you have the cash in the bank.

If you decide that selling privately isn’t worth it, just go back to the dealer with the best offer and tell him you’ll take the deal. They often say the offer expires, but if it’s clear you are willing to keep looking for the best price, they will probably buy your car at the price they originally quoted.

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