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6 Tips for Selling Your Car During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique situation for car owners. Many are spending a lot more time at home and are considering selling extra vehicles they don’t use. Meanwhile, others are finding that they have a new need for reliable transportation because they no longer feel comfortable taking public transit to get to work. These workers may not see the need for a brand new car because the need will likely be temporary, leading to what has become a great market for used cars.

This is an excellent time to sell a used car and get a good price for it, but there are some concerns that come with selling during a pandemic. Here’s what you need to know to get a good price and sell safely during the pandemic.


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1. Know the car’s value before you sell

Before you step up to sell your car to any chain or dealership, know its value. You want to get a fair price, and not all places will offer that.

Kelly Blue Book is one of the most trusted sites for researching a car’s value. Input your make, model, year, and condition, and see what cars like yours are selling for. Keep in mind that a dealership will need to make a profit, so you may not get this top dollar for your car, but the Kelly Blue Book value can give you a starting point for your car’s value.

2. Sell fast to a dealership or chain car buyer

If your goal is to sell your car quickly, the best option is to sell to a dealership or large dealer chain. This can be through a trade-in, but sometimes these locations will buy cars outright.

Many dealers are having trouble getting enough used car inventory to meet the demand of their customers. This makes now a good time to sell your car in this way. By selling to a dealership, you can avoid some concerns about social distancing and virus exposure that make selling during a pandemic more challenging.

Ask for a written offer, then use that offer as leverage at the next place you go for a quote. Remember that these prices are somewhat negotiable, and that written offer is of high value as you search for the right buyer for your car.

3. Clean the car thoroughly

While it’s always a good idea to clean a car before listing it for sale, during a pandemic this becomes even more important. In the COVID-19 world, people are more concerned about cleanliness, and thus are more likely to walk away from a car that feels dirty. To get top dollar for your used car, clean it thoroughly, inside and out.

4. Sell privately by listing your car online

If you wish to sell your car privately, list it on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or a similar online selling platform. Keep in mind that COVID-19 has created some unique challenges. For example, you may find that sellers are unwilling to get too close for fear of the virus. This can make a test drive a challenge. It’s nearly impossible for you to ride along on the test drive without getting within six feet of the buyer, which brings us to our next tip.

5. Arrange for socially-distanced test drives

To overcome this obstacle, arrange for socially distanced test drives. Allow the buyer to drive the car alone, but before they do, take a photo of their driver’s license and insurance card. When the buyer returns, delete the photo from your phone while they watch. This protects both of you and allows them to drive the car without COVID-19 concerns.

If you or the buyer are not comfortable with this option, another possibility is to record a video of you driving the car while pointing out important information about the vehicle, and then sharing that video with prospective buyers. Yet another option is to have the car fully inspected by a reputable local mechanic and provide the inspection report to prospective buyers in lieu of a test drive.

6. Get your paperwork in order

Once you find a buyer, make sure you have your paperwork ready to go. A Car Bill of Sale is required in all states, and some states require a Notarized Automobile Bill of Sale. Research your state’s laws, and make sure you have the right paperwork to legally transfer ownership of the car to its new buyer.

Now is a great time to sell your used car, but like all times, there are plenty of scams out there. Do your homework, have your paperwork in order, and contact a Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorney for fast and affordable legal advice and answers to your everyday legal questions. With the right research, you can get a good price for your used vehicle.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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