Thinking of selling your car and buying a new one? While trading it in may be the quickest way to get rid of it, you may make several thousand dollars more if you sell it yourself instead. Here are five easy car-selling steps I wanted to share with you. You can find additional helpful tips by visiting

Step 1: Calculate the sales price – There are various websites that will provide you with an estimated value of your car. One of the most popular is the Kelley Blue Book at They will ask about make and model, the mileage, the overall condition and if you have any unique extras. Then add $1,000 to $1,500 to that price to allow for negotiation.

Step 2: Write an ad – If you are planning to post on a “car-for-sale” website or social media pages, write a detailed description that includes the price, make, model, mileage and the condition of the car. Does it have any extra features like a “towing package”? Describe the interior. Did you make recent repairs? Replace the tires? Do you have maintenance records? Mention that in your ad! Oh, and if you park your car with a “for sale” sign, tape the description you have written to the window of the car for people to read.

Step 3: Prepare the car for sale – Remove your personal items, wash the exterior, vacuum the interior and dust the dashboard area. If you have service records, make copies of those for prospective buyers to review. Check your insurance coverage to make sure the car is covered if you are allowing people to test drive and they get into an accident.

Step 4: Display & show the car – Put a for sale sign in the window. Park it in a location where there is a fair amount of traffic. Provide a phone number so people can get in touch with you to ask questions. If someone wants to test drive it, meet them in a public location and bring a friend. Ask the buyer to show you their valid driver’s license. Ride along with them. If they want to test drive it without you, ask to hold on to their credit card while they go for a spin.

Step 5: Negotiate and finalize the sale – When you have negotiated the sales price, prepare a “bill of sale.” You can find forms online, such as Ask for payment in the form of a cashier’s check and verify with the bank that the money is legit. If you have to pay off a loan to get the title to the car, call the loan company and ask they how long it will take to get the title and advise the buyer of the car.