Are you in Good Hands?
Call 866-501-4511
Are you in Good Hands?


With more owner-initiated auto sales moving online, websites have made it easier to sell cars minus the middleman. Novices may find it tough, though, since a successful sale still relies on some digital—and practical—savvy.

Know Your Numbers Look up your car’s value in the Kelley Blue Book. Then, deduct 10%-20% to attract the most motivated customers. Factor in wear-and-tear, and, if you’re unsure, ask your mechanic for a reasonable assessment. Consider some updates, like headlight replacements or new tires, which can add value. Keep your maintenance receipts, too—a car that has been well cared for with regular oil changes and upkeep is a more attractive purchase.

Create Your Ad Start with strong selling points, such as low mileage or any remaining warranties. Then, state your price, negotiating terms, and preferred method of payment.

Be Picture Perfect Give your car a thorough cleaning, inside and out, and remove any bumper stickers or decals. (Pro tip: to remove stickers on glass, use a razor. For decals on paint or metal, a solvent can loosen the glue, allowing an easier release). Choose a picturesque backdrop such as a wooded area, and take photos on a sunny day, remembering to capture every angle.

Prepare Your Paperwork Bring any relevant receipts, as well as two copies of a sale contract, the vehicle title and odometer disclosure, and any other paperwork required by your DMV. Make sure to note on your contract that the car is sold “as is.”

Set up an email account specifically for your sale to avoid being added to spam lists.
Meet & Greet Opt for a meet-up in a safe, public place that allows for easy inspection of the vehicle. Suggest a test drive, and, if you’re worried about theft, snap a photo of the buyer’s driver’s license for protection.

Protect Your Payment A money order or certified check is best for auto sales. Never accept out-of-state or personal checks, and never agree to installment payments.

Shake on It Once you’ve agreed on a price and accepted payment, sign and date the contract and sign over the vehicle’s title. If your state requires it, remove the license plates and return them to the DMV. (Pro tip: Bring a screwdriver to your meet-up with the buyer just in case.)

…And One Last Thing… Remember to remove the vehicle from your insurance, and prepare for what comes next. Allstate's car buying service, powered by TrueCar, can help you find your next ride. Your new wheels can also help you lower your insurance rate. Save up to 30% if you're the first owner of the vehicle and the car is only two years old.