Is My Damaged Car Really Worth Selling?

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These days everyone is very busy rushing off to so many places and our time has become a commodity. We are all short of time and we’ve come to expect that people, processes, and our expectations are that we want what we want, when we want it. With the advent of technology and knowledge at our disposal and finger tips, we have increasingly taking on way too much activities and commitments so being valued as a customer or consumer is very important. Selling a car can be challenging, demanding of our time and money, and it may be the difference between a good or bad experience overall.

The old cliché that time is money is truer today than ever. Selling your damaged car is very easy nowadays but if you must sell it yourself, be prepared for the hidden costs. For example, the cost to have a typical car detailed is about $200 just to start, replacing old floor mats which have been worn or become dirty, a complete or small paint job for the car body, replacement of maintenance items such as filters, hoses, belts, or lighting, removal and repair of a dent, topping off of all fluids like motor oil and windshield washer fluid, repair or replacement of safety items, and many other expenditures.

This is why it easier for a dealership to spend hundreds of dollars for a car selling for thousands but most people is not as fortunate. There are repairs shops or public lots where car owners can leave their car and allow potential buyers an opportunity to view it along with your contact information if there are still interested. Your biggest challenge as a car owner is convincing the potential buyer that the car has been maintained and not a liability or risk. Never trade your car in because you will almost always gain more for your ride than trading it regardless of whether you sell it to a dealer, scrap yard, or personally online.

Maintaining your car is as important as saving all necessary documentation which helps to prove that maintenance was performed. Some other important factors include the time of year to sell and geographic location.

You should research the market to determine the type of buyer you could expect to sell your car to and how certain annual events such as holidays or graduation events that may become major deciding factors. For example, a high school or college graduate will almost instinctively look for a car in the spring while others may look towards the winter holidays for bargains and special cost savings. If your car is a sport sedan or van or truck you might be able to determine the type of buyer as well as whether or not your car is or has been popular with certain age groups.

If you are looking to sell your damaged car in the market place, beware of scams. There are consumer advocacy groups and government agencies which monitor certain business activities and transactions including receiving consumer complaints. A couple of sources include the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and your states’ attorney general. Become aware of the market place and understand your buyers’ concerns by learning of the technical car issues and complaints which are filed as a public record. You have so much to lose when you hand over a title so protect yourself and your buyer.

Regarding the taking of payment for your car and before engaging with the potential buyer, understand which payment option you prefer. Once identified, you can make this known to the buyer so that he or she can make the necessary financial arrangements. This may include personal check, cash, cashier’s check, or use an agreed upon escrow account. If the buyer request making payments or implementing a payment plan do not take proceed because this should set off warnings for you that if the buyer does not have the means or funds to purchase a car in the present then they may not have it for the future either.

Selling a car regardless of it’s’ condition requires that you de-personalize it. This means that you should remove any and all bumper stickers, placards, and markings including accessories found inside as well. There are some reports that more woman typically make the purchase decisions in relationships so focus on the details of your car and ensure that it is dressed for success — keep it clean!

Most people who are seriously interested in buying your car can be expected to carefully scrutinize every detail. They may look to verify the cleanliness, whether knobs or handles look worn or faded, look at the engine compartment just to see how dirty or how care was placed into owning it, and if it can pass all the buyers’ senses. You may need to include an air freshener right up until the buyer comes by to view your car. Making your car presentable, non-personable, appear as if it has been very well maintained, and if all documentation is in the right order you may be surprised to find that a buyer will quickly make you an offer.

Always remember that once you get passed the general interest stage with a potential buyer, they will want and expect to take a test drive. If you have had your car thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic or certification organization, this will also serve as proof of maintainability for the car and, in the event of an accident, will serve you well in seeking compensation for any damages incurred during a test drive.

Selling a car can be overwhelming and for some it can be an exciting and fun experience. However, if you value your time, prefer not to deal with all the many details of selling, and are looking to rid yourself of the hassle regardless of where you are located.