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Selling A Car


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Once again I find myself selling a car as a private sale will bring in a better price than a trade-in. I know to get the buyer to come to the bank with cash, but what else should I watch out for? Should I go with the person when they test drive the car? How about if they take it to a mechanic for inspection? Won't my insurance cover me if they steal it?

 

I haven't received the title yet since I just paid it off, but won't possession of the car and a bill of sale be enough for the buyer? The title should come along soon enough...shouldn't it?

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Once again I find myself selling a car as a private sale will bring in a better price than a trade-in. I know to get the buyer to come to the bank with cash, but what else should I watch out for? Should I go with the person when they test drive the car? How about if they take it to a mechanic for inspection? Won't my insurance cover me if they steal it?

 

I haven't received the title yet since I just paid it off, but won't possession of the car and a bill of sale be enough for the buyer? The title should come along soon enough...shouldn't it?

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Guest zipperzone

I have tried to sell a car privately in the past and came to the conclusion it wasn't worth it. Hassle and BS is mostly what I got. I'd rather pay the extra bucks and trade it in.

 

Try bargaining harder with the dealer - most of them are hurting right now with the state of the economy and don't want to loose a sale. That may not apply in the more affluent area of Palm Springs, however. You could always try buying your new car out of area.

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Guest zipperzone

I have tried to sell a car privately in the past and came to the conclusion it wasn't worth it. Hassle and BS is mostly what I got. I'd rather pay the extra bucks and trade it in.

 

Try bargaining harder with the dealer - most of them are hurting right now with the state of the economy and don't want to loose a sale. That may not apply in the more affluent area of Palm Springs, however. You could always try buying your new car out of area.

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2004 Infiniti FX 35. What interests me is that the book values are so different. I've used Kelly, Edmunds, and Nada. After I had the car detailed today, it looks like new, and I have new tires on it, so it should be worth more than a dealer trade-in, or so I think.

 

Jason, of course, would get a special price!

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By all means, go with on a test drive. A serious prospect should want a mechanic to look over the car and that is reasonable but no disassembly, just inspection. Yes, your insurance should cover you and anyone that has permission from you (and a DL)from collision when they are driving your car. But, why not go along. Maybe not easily from theft, however. That is called conversion, meaning someone who has permission sold or stole the car. It is kind of a catch 22. If he runs into someone your insurance will only cover you both if he had your permission to drive it. Someone knowledgeable (like a dealer) will take your bill of sale and the car and phone your lender for verification that you owe nothing. An individual might not be so willing but if you provided a letter from your lender indicating the loan was fully paid, that might satisfy him. It would me.

 

I hope that was understandable.

 

Best regards,

KMEM

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I've bought and sold several vehicles and ATVs in the past few months. Don't know where you're planning to advertise it but my local TV stations have free on-line ads. That's where I do most of my buying and selling. Be sure to spend the few extra bucks to post current pictures (but make sure to mask your license number or other identifying info).

 

Personally, I do NOT like buying or selling via eBay. IMHO there's too much potential for fraud.

 

>Should I go with the person when they test drive the car?

 

While I would prefer to be there during the test drive, I've had better success when I've NOT gone with them. But, if the person showing up for a test drive looks like a flake or it doesn't "feel" right, you better believe I'm going with them. But, usually I'm comfortable with them taking it for a test drive while the car they drove is parked at the place we meet.

 

>How about if they take it to a mechanic for inspection?

 

In my state you're required to have a safety inspection and emission test prior to being able to register the vehicle. These inspections are valid for 60 days. So, I usually just have the safety inspection and emission test done prior to advertising the car.

 

I would NOT let them take it to their mechanic without me being there. Have them set up an appointment and then you drive the car to their mechanic and wait for the inspection to be done.

 

>I haven't received the title yet since I just paid it off, but won't possession of the car and a bill of sale be enough for the buyer? The title should come along soon enough...shouldn't it?

 

In my state you cannot complete a private sale without the title. A bill of sale is NOT enough. I've had it take 4-6 weeks to receive a title after making final payment (when dealing with an out-of-state finance company). But, I typically use a local credit union and I can get the title within a day or two from them.

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Guest zipperzone

>2004 Infiniti FX 35.

 

Nice car - how about telling us car buffs what you're planning on replaceing it with ???

 

And speaking of cars... it was announced on the news today that Ford has sold Jaguar and Land Rover to an Indian company whose main business is making very cheap cars for the Indian market.

 

IMO, that does not bode well for these two respected British makes.

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Thanks for the advice, guys. My ad comes out tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

 

I had Dentmaster come out and get out a small dent, then the guy found a few dings in the passenger door and got all of those out two...really tiny ones, but now the car looks so good maybe I should keep it!

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I have privately sold my last two cars. The first to a co-worker and the second one to his sister. So, I would suggest putting the word out in your personal network that you are looking to sell your car. That way you have a better chance of making sure it's not a flake.

 

I'd also suggest asking to see your prospect's driver's license before they take your car out for a drive and recording at the very least their name and address. And maybe proof that they have insurance if they already have a car, but that may be overkill.

 

It shouldn't take too long to get your title once you've paid off your car. Ask the bank/finance company how long it takes to get the title. Some states may have electronic systems for titling so you may want to check your state DMV's website. I think the one in Virginia tells you what you need to do if you are privately selling your vehicle.

 

I know I got more for my cars than I would have in trade-in. My last car, a MB C240 had a big key scratch down one side. It would have cost me a fortune to get it fixed and I am sure as trade it would have been knocked way down. My buyer didn't really care. She liked the fact that she was getting a very low mileage MB for a very good price. You've got nothing to lose by at least trying to sell it yourself first.

 

You may also want to take it to CarMax and seeing what kind of offer they are willing to give you.

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I sold a car about 7 years ago by private sale. It was to someone I knew, so the trust issues weren't there.

 

One helpful thing for me was that I belonged to AAA. They will handle the transfer of title and bill of sale stuff. It was in California, which may be a little more involved than some places. But it is very important to get the legalities right.

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Guest ncm2169

I recently sold a car on Craig's List. It needed some work that I couldn't justify given the mileage. It put it up on Craig's List frankly describing what it needed. I got 6 offers in 24 hours and sold it to the highest offer the next day. Piece of cake.

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