Getting a shiny new set of wheels is always a great feeling. However, purchasing a new car also means that it is time to let the old one go. Your previous automobile was probably a trusty companion for many years. Now the old clunker is just an obtrusive encroacher on your parking spot. Functional or not, the old faithful may yet have some value (other than sentimental). Here are some ideas on how to part with it with dignity and some profit.

Contact a dealer

Used car dealerships are a quick way to sell an old vehicle. One can simply drive into a dealership and leave with cash. Many dealers offer to pick-up the old car directly from your place. As expected, used car dealers don’t offer the best prices upfront. The seller must get the vehicle valued by a reliable source before heading to a dealership. If you prefer used cars in Sacramento, getting such details won’t be a big deal.

One way to get an estimate is online. Sites like Kelley Blue Book excel in giving quick and reasonable car valuations. Sellers need to supply just the basic information such as make, model, condition, and mileage. Some valuation sites have a network of participating used car dealers. The site provides a ‘cash offer certificate’, which the seller can redeem at a participating dealer. Retailers such as CarMax and AutoNation also buy used cars all over America. Sometimes sellers’ descriptions of their used cars are skewed by too much optimism and owner’s pride. This is quickly corrected via a rationalization process during a dealer visit.

Sell directly

Selling a used car directly to another buyer can usually fetch a better price. Sellers meet buyers on sites such as AutoTrader and Craigslist. Talking to a potential buyer necessitates that both parties are realistic about their expectations. With thousands of listings these platforms are the ideal places to get a sense of market sentiment and suitable pricing. Sellers are advised to do some basic research before listing an automobile for sale. Post flattering pictures of your auto, list its best features, and quote a realistic asking price. You can also find a direct buyer offline via message boards and peer-to-peer networking.

A more innovative way to sell directly is to find an overseas buyer. Many American cars are simply not sold in smaller foreign countries. Foreign nationals buy and import their favorite cars because there is no other way for them to acquire these. Foreign buyers send money online to conveniently pay the sellers.

Selling privately takes more time, effort, and patience than driving to a used car dealer. Some buyers might show interest, agree to meet, and never show up. Others may take a long time to make up their minds. However, sellers that persist can get very good deals.


Many new car dealerships are happy to relieve you of the old car – at a discount. Selling a new car is an incentive for a dealer. To earn that incentive dealers offer discounts according to the value of a buyer’s old car. This is a great option for those who want speed and convenience. Both deals occur on the spot simultaneously, minimizing the time and effort required from a customer. Trade-in discounts are almost always better than the prices offered by used car dealers.


Let the old rust bucket live out the rest of its days serving a good cause. Donate it. It would save you the hassle of advertising and haggling with buyers. The beneficiary institution may use the car or sell it. Besides the altruistic factor donating your old car may bring you some benefit in the form of a tax deduction. According to new IRS regulations the donor is eligible for a tax deduction based on the amount that the charity eventually sells the car for. To get this benefit simply ensure that your beneficiary has a 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS.

Sell as scrap

Sometimes an old car truly comes to the end of the road. It might get too old and broken to fix, or won’t pass the state emission inspections. Nevertheless, most cars have a good deal of metal in them, which has scrap value. Hundreds of junkyards in America are willing to pay for old, dilapidated cars. Contact someone like Junk Car Medics or SellMAx to get a few final bucks out of your old ride.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.

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