Man washing his car

How to Sell Your Car Fast

Updated January 12, 2021 . AmFam Team

If you want to know how to sell your car faster, these tips will help! Learn how to prepare, get the right price, advertise and sell your car quickly.

Are you wondering how to sell your car quickly and hassle-free, so you can spend more time doing the things you love? We can help with that. Here’s a deep dive into what it's going to take so you can sell a car faster — and maybe for a better price, too!

Do Your Homework to Sell Your Car Quick

You can streamline the process of selling your car by researching car sales regulations in your state ahead of time. That way, you’ll know what to do and what documents you’ll need, such as the title and proof you’ve paid off your car loans. 

Gathering these documents early in the process is one of the easiest things you can do to quickly sell your car. If you still have payments left on the car, talk to your lender for guidance. Also, it’s smart to gather maintenance records showing you’ve taken good care of your car, too. 

Polish and Prep to Get a Start on Selling Your Car

Who can resist a shiny car? A good wash and wax will give your car curb appeal. It’s wise to take care of remaining mechanical issues, and consider getting an oil change, replacing fluids, and other service work. The more road-ready your car is, the better.

Take a look at these “how to sell your car fast” tips to help expedite the process:

Get the car detailed

Just as staging your home can increase its resale value, cleaning up your car can have the same effect. Plan on spending between $100 - $200 dollars for a full detailing.

Organize your car’s maintenance documents

Another great way to prepare your car for a quick sale is to get the maintenance records into a folder. Arrange them by date and type of service.

Make minor repairs

If your car’s seen a lot of highway miles, the hood may be scratched or dented from rocks and other debris. Get a quote from a local auto body repair group. A few dollars spent on quick fixes right now can really boost your car’s resale value.

Take Photos of Your Car to Sell Online

Study the way high-end car dealers showcase the cars they’re selling and do your best to duplicate the angles, lighting and background. One of the quickest ways to sell your car is to sell it like the pros do. Be sure to capture details, but don’t shy away from scratches or issues. Buyers will see these eventually and appreciate your up-front approach.

Use a good smartphone camera on a sunny day

Today’s smartphone cameras can really capture the details car shoppers are looking for. Be sure you’re shooting the car with the best overall lighting, too.

Select a pleasant location

Driving a few minutes to capture attractive features in the background can help add appeal to the photos.

Photograph the outside of the car first

Keep your camera position low, about hood level. Tour around the car at the front, snap plenty of photos and move around the outside of the car. Place a penny into the tire tread and capture an image — so shoppers can see the tire’s age.

Take pictures of the interior

Start with the driver's door threshold, and snap the VIN number and car details panel. Then photograph the features inside:

  • The steering wheel and controls
  • The dashboard with the engine on so the odometer is displaying
  • The center console with environmental controls
  • If the car’s got a backup camera, be sure you’ve captured the display when the car’s in reverse
  • The condition of the seats, mats, side doors
  • The trunk or storage area in the hatchback area
  • Any other special features like a fold-down DVD screen or blind spot warning mirrors

Price Your Car Wisely to Sell It Quickly

Check out reputable websites to determine comparable private party prices in your area. Be up front when it comes to factoring mechanical issues into your price. Honesty is the best policy!

Look online for similar cars

A little homework on the value of your car can help you price it competitively, which is one of the quickest ways to sell a car. Use (Opens in a new tab) or (Opens in a new tab) to help you land at a resale price. They’ll also offer up an expected price range so you’ll know how much you can expect to get.

Pricing plays a key role when selling your car

Everybody wants to get the best price for the items they’re selling, but the time and energy it takes to move the car can begin to take its toll, if your price is too high. Consider a competitive price that will help your car sell quickly and save on the headache of showing the car for the next six weeks.

Decide What Platform Will Sell Your Car the Fastest

Online classifieds and social media can make it easier to sell your car. Highlight appealing features, including low mileage and high MPG when applicable. Include accepted payment types (for example, cash, certified checks or money orders). Some cities restrict “For Sale” signs in cars, so check local ordinances to avoid a ticket.

Be sure to call attention to the care you’ve given the car and discuss all maintenance performed on the vehicle. Mention how the car was used, how many owners and review our tips for buying from a private seller to get a better idea of what people are looking for when buying a car. Is the warranty still active? Let readers in on these details and you may sell your car faster.

Consider posting an ad for your car on each of the following online platforms to help sell your car quick:

Be Responsive to Buyers When Trying to Sell Your Car

It really helps to be responsive and flexible when it comes to scheduling times for buyers to check out your car. But be street-smart, too. Ride along with them if they take a test drive.

Respond ASAP to buyer inquires

The early bird still catches the worm, and one key tip on how to sell a car fast is respond immediately to purchase inquiries. Keep the contact information of each buyer in a spreadsheet that details their name, phone number, offer price, and other key purchase details.

Negotiate like the pros

Even though you know how to sell your car fast, you don’t want to give it away to the first buyer if the price they offer is low. When someone comes around to take a look at the car, let them know that you have others interested in the car. That allows you to hold on selling right away, in case another buyer is willing to offer a higher price in the next few days.

Stay firm on payment methods

Some buyers may offer you a blended payment of cash and a trade of some sort. Be up front with your preferred payment when meeting new buyers — typically a cashier’s check or certified funds is a great method of payment.

Settle on a base sale price before showing the car

When selling a car that’s paid off, it can be tempting to take a little less to seal the deal. But here’s where patience is a virtue. If an offer comes in below your final accepting price, you may want to hold off to see if a better offer comes in.

With a little preparation and effort, you can save time and be worry-free when it comes to selling your wheels. And, if you’re in the market for a new or used car, these car-buying tips and guidance on leasing vs. purchasing can really help.

Keep Your Car Protected While You Sell It

And just like that, your car can be sold! Getting your car on the market is pretty easy, and selling it fast is all about preparation and committing to the project. Before you list your car for sale, check in with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) and review your coverages to be sure you’re protected from the unexpected. You’ll have more confidence on test drives and feel better on the road knowing you’ve insured your car carefully.

Tools & Resources

Explore our tools and smart tips.