Much of getting a good price for your used car depends on getting the word out. After all, if only a handful of people know your vehicle is for sale, the demand is low. Using a site like Autotrader spreads the word about your car to a larger audience, increasing the perceived demand for your used vehicle, so you can get a fair price on the sale. Here’s what to do to prepare your car, how to navigate the website, and how to monitor incoming offers so you can sell your car.
How to sell a used car on Autotrader
Through Autotrader, you can choose to sell your used car to a dealership or an individual. The process to do both is virtually the same, but expect a lower payment for your car through a dealership as opposed to potentially waiting longer for an individual to pay an amount closer to your car’s actual value.
Step 1: Prepare your used car for sale. Thoroughly clean your car inside and out, and take a critical look at its condition.
Note any damage, including small dings or stains on upholstery. Also, note any mechanical issues with the vehicle, and save these notes for making your sale listing on Autotrader.
Step 2: Take quality photos. When selling a car online, it is vital to have clear photos from multiple angles of the vehicle because it is the only way potential buyers can see it.
If you do not have a good quality camera or smartphone, borrow someone else’s. Then, take photos from the front, back, and both sides of the exterior.
Also, take a few photos of the interior and of any cosmetic damage you previously noted.
Step 3: Choose your selling option on Autotrader. Go to Autotrader, press the “Sell My Car” tab, and then input your zip code.
On the left side of the browser screen, you have the option to get an instant cash offer from a dealer for a straight sale or trade-in that is valid for three days.
On the right side of the screen, you can place an online ad for your used car that will appear on Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book.
The benefit of selling to a dealer is a quick sale while the benefit of selling to an individual is likely getting more money from the sale. Decide whether speed or profit is most important to you, and then select the appropriate option on Autotrader.
Step 4: Follow the guided steps on the Autotrader website. Once you have selected your selling option, the website will guide you to enter various information about your car.
You will enter data like the make, model, and year of your used vehicle, and you can also upload the photos you took in Step 2. When prompted to describe your car’s condition, be honest and include any damage or issues you noted in Step 1.
Step 5: Keep an eye on your email, and accept an offer to purchase if you desire. When a dealer or individual makes an offer on your used car, you will receive an email alert along with a link to that offer.
Press the link to review the terms, weigh the pros and cons of the offer, and then make a decision to accept or decline the offer.
After you sell your used car on Autotrader, bear in mind you can also shop for a new (or new to you) car there. When you have purchased another vehicle to drive, make sure you have the right insurance coverage for you, especially if you bought a different type of vehicle than you had before.