How Much Should I Sell My Car For?

If you want to maximize money in your pocket, sell your car directly to the end user and bypass the dealership. The first step: decide how much to sell your car for.
You could trade in your car at the dealership for quick cash. They’ll assign a trade-in value, and it will almost certainly be lower than you could get if you sell your car yourself. Let’s assume you’re not going that route because you’re smart.

Why Is It Better To Sell Your Car Yourself?

“Highly recommend. I saved a ton of money by selling my car myself compared to what the dealership was offering on trade in.” —Konner (Google reviewer, 5 stars).

Selling your car privately rather than trading it in at the dealership will put more money in your pocket. Here are the advantages of skipping the dealership and buying from a private party:

Dealerships offer lower trade-in values so they can resell at higher retail prices. They make their money by buying low and selling high. Skip the middleman and pocket that cash yourself.
You have access to a wider pool of potential buyers by selling privately. More buyers means more competition and better offers.
You drive the deal on your terms; you can control pricing and negotiate the best deal directly with buyers.
PrivateAuto gives you an easy private party sales experience complete with digital payments, verified identities, and vehicle history reports.

By cutting out the dealer, you can sell your car faster and at a higher price point. Our technology simplifies private sales, so you earn more from your vehicle.

What is the Correct Price?

There's no definitive "correct" price. You are in control: price it lower if you’re in a hurry to sell, and higher if you can afford to wait and want the best possible offer.

Whether you decide to price it for a quick sale or not, you’ll need to get a sense of the vehicle’s fair market value (FMV). Research similar listings (same make, model, year, and mileage) to see what others are asking. Also, use Kelley Blue Book to help pin down your car's FMV.

PrivateAuto allows private buyers to make offers below your asking price. This is key because it allows you to start a bit higher, with the option of accepting lower offers if you choose.

If you don’t think a buyer is offering a fair price, PrivateAuto gives you the option to make a counteroffer. You never know if a buyer is going to accept until you try.

What is Kelley Blue Book?

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is a trusted source for vehicle valuation and research. Plug in your car’s info, and it will suggest a FMV range. Here are the details you’ll give to KBB to get your suggested value:

1. Make, model, year
2. Mileage
3. Current vehicle condition rating
4. Packages and options
5. Zip code

Here are some suggestions for getting the most from Kelley Blue Book.

Be honest about your car’s condition. Don’t say that it is “Excellent” when it has paint chips and scuffed upholstery.
Note that KBB gives a value range based on your inputs. Price your car at the lower end of the range for a faster sale, or at the higher end to optimize for price.

How Can I Get Paid for My Car?

There aren’t a lot of great ways to get paid for your car—until now.

Cash: inconvenient and risky.
Check: inconvenient and slow.
Bank transfer: inconvenient and slow.
Peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo or Paypal: transaction limits, sometimes fees (inconvenient).

The only hassle-free and safe way to get paid is PrivateAuto Pay.

What is PrivateAuto Pay, you may ask? PrivateAuto Pay is pure magic. There’s nothing else like it.

Your PrivateAuto Pay account is actually an FDIC-insured bank account you own, accessed via your PrivateAuto dashboard.
Receive fee-free payments up to $1M.
Instantaneous transfers enable real-time deals—no waiting or coordination. Close the deal when you meet for the test drive.
Instant payments work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No coordinating around the banker’s hours.
Easily move money from your bank account to PrivateAuto Pay and vice versa.
No exchange of contact information or banking info—your sensitive info stays safe, protecting you from scammers.
Encrypted data protects you from hackers.
Self-service safeguards eliminate the need for an escrow service.
You can even sell or buy a car remotely with our escrow-like protections.

OK, so PrivateAuto Pay is great and all, but it’s a service for users of PrivateAuto’s transactional marketplace. What if you're selling your car on another website, such as eBay Motors?

Enter our DealNow fast-track solution, created to give you access to PrivateAuto’s extraordinary transaction capabilities. If you're selling your car on a platform such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, this is for you.

Where Can I Sell My Car for the Most Money?

You can get more money from your car by going direct to the end buyer and skipping the dealership.

The best place to sell your car is on a transactional marketplace that gives you all the tools you need to get the deal done. PrivateAuto is the only transactional automotive marketplace. Where other listing sites are “meetingplaces,” we give you technological solutions for every step of the sale, from meeting the buyer to getting paid..

For more information, take a look at how PrivateAuto stacks up against competitors.

“PrivateAuto really provides all the tools you need to sell your car safely.” —Tanner (Google reviewer, 5 stars)

Sell Your Car on PrivateAuto

Ready to sell your car? It's easy. Here’s how the PrivateAuto selling process works:

1. You create an account on PrivateAuto.
2. You list your car with our easy, step-by-step guided process.
3. You set your pricing and terms and screen would-be buyers.
4. You vet incoming offers and choose a buyer.
5. You meet the buyer for a test drive.
5. You and the buyer e-sign documents from your PrivateAuto mobile app.
6. You get paid instantly.

So easy.
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Looking to buy a car? Shop used cars for sale by owner and find the ride of your dreams today!

Selling a Car FAQ

How secure is PrivateAuto Pay?

PrivateAuto Pay is very secure. It is a direct banking integration that transfers up to $1M instantly between two users via an encrypted gateway. Buyers and sellers don't need to exchange banking info, so everyone is protected.

How does PrivateAuto help me manage offers when I sell my car?

How does PrivateAuto vet sellers?

Does PrivateAuto provide the necessary paperwork for a successful transfer of ownership?

How to protect yourself when selling a car privately?