How to Sell Your Car Quickly at the Right Price

Are you thinking about selling your car soon? Maybe you find these new post-lockdown offers from manufacturers and dealers too good to pass up. Or maybe you’ve lost a big chunk of your income and need to revise your automotive needs.

Whatever the reason, it’s always best to sell your old car quickly. After all, time is money.

Trading it in at the dealership is obviously the easy solution, but it might cost you several hundred or thousand dollars. On the other hand, you must compete with every other car owner who’s also looking to get rid of theirs.

How can you stand out and sell your car as soon as possible? Here are a few tips...

Photo: Alix Toyota

Start With the Inspection

First, have your car checked to make sure it’s actually in good shape. Many buyers will require a proper inspection by a certified or CAA-approved shop. Ask for a written report or get a Carfax report.

Moreover, compile all your service records and any document relative to your car’s history in a single file. This will make the sale a lot easier.  

A Bit of Car Staging

Thoroughly clean the exterior and interior of your car. Get all the unnecessary stuff out of the cabin and trunk, remove any dirt or stain on the seats and floor mats, wash the windows, shine the wheels and tires, touch up the paint where necessary, clean the engine bay with a degreaser and wipe the dashboard and console with the proper products.

You can also perform some strategic repairs: the brakes, bumpers, windshield, etc. Don’t spend too much money on that, though. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer and imagine how they would view your car.


Set the Right Price

This is key. You must set a price that will attract plenty of buyers but not make you lose too much money. Keep in mind that there’s always a bit of negotiation during the process.

Refer to the various tools to determine a car’s value including Canadian Black Book, Carfax and CarGurus. At the very least, find the average price of similar vehicles displayed on various online listings. Your car may be well-maintained and spotless, but it won’t sell if priced $5,000 above comparable models with the same year and mileage.

Photo: Kijiji

Spread the Word

There are many used-car websites and other popular websites—Kijiji, Craigslist, etc.—where you can advertise your vehicle to thousands of potential buyers. Why stick with just one? Don’t hesitate to post your ad on multiple websites and consider spending a few extra bucks to keep it featured prominently.

And since we’re in 2020, take advantage of the power of social media. A post on your Facebook and Instagram accounts can go a long way.

Optimize Your Ad

Your main photo should be attractive (opt for a nice open space instead of your driveway next to the trash cans). Attach additional pictures showing multiple angles both inside and out. This way, your car will be fully exposed and it will seem like you have nothing to hide. If your text mentions some rust or scratches, be transparent and show them in your photos.

Make sure you include as many details as possible. Focus on your car’s strengths, desirable features and technologies, parts you’ve replaced, the fact that you’ve never had an accident, etc. The more complete your ad is, the more likely you are to get a call and offer.

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