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How To Sell a Car Online

Thinking of selling your car on the internet? Make sure you don’t get taken for a ride.


  • Step 1: Take a picture Get your car washed and then take a good picture of it with a pleasant background.
  • TIP: Shooting from the front bumper at an angle provides the best view.
  • Step 2: Research your car’s value Look up your car’s value on "": and price it accordingly. That’s what many potential buyers will use to determine if your advertised price is fair.
  • Step 3: Write an ad Write an ad that includes the make, model, year, engine type, mileage, and price. If the car is in excellent condition and/or gets great gas mileage, say so. But don’t lie to potential buyers; it will just waste your time and theirs.
  • TIP: Buzz phrases that indicate a well-cared-for car include 'one owner' and 'maintenance records available.'
  • Step 4: Place the ad Decide where to place the ad. Choose high-traffic car-selling sites like "":, "":, and eBay’s car section.
  • Step 5: Take precautions Take an extra precautionary step and weed out con artists whose addresses and phone numbers can't be verified. Check the phonebook and online directories.
  • : Red flags include the claim that they are representing someone overseas, a lack of interest in seeing your car, and/or odd-sounding pay proposals.
  • Step 6: Go on test drives Meet potential buyers at a public place for test drives. Always go with them, and never get out of the car unless you have the keys in your hand.
  • Step 7: Talk up the car Seal the deal by pointing out any and all pluses.
  • Step 8: Get paid first Wait until you’re paid in full to transfer title of your car. If you receive a check, call the buyer’s bank and ask whether there are enough funds to cover it. Then wait for it to clear. Remember, just because you've deposited a check into your account does not mean that the funds have been transferred.
  • FACT: Cars advertised with photos sell three times faster than those that aren’t.

You Will Need

  • A camera
  • A fair price
  • An appealing ad
  • A website on which to post it
  • Safety precautions

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