How to sell your used vehicle

Saying farewell to my old scooter

In 2017 I purchased a used scooter for $1,200. It was cheap to run and I thought I could use it to get dates. 😎

It probably worked, because now I’m married. πŸ™‚ Since I live in the suburbs and no longer need a second vehicle, I sold my scooter earlier this year for $1,300. I used all the proceeds to buy some investment-grade wine that will hopefully appreciate in value over time. 🍷

In this post I’ll share how I prepared and sold my vehicle quickly.

 

How to sell a used vehicle

Preparation

  • Do some research and decide on a listing price.
    Before you sell your vehicle, look up its value on Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book, and check your local Craigslist and Kijiji postings for what price similar models are asking for. Set your price above the current market value, but still within reason. For example, I thought the market price for my scooter was $1300, so I listed mine for $1500 to make room for price negotiation.
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  • Make it presentable.
    Give your vehicle a good wash and vacuum. Remove any junk that may have accumulated over the years. If you have a more expensive vehicle, consider giving it a professional detail. It’s not a bad idea to also take it in for servicing.
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  • Take some high quality photos.
    Photograph your vehicle parked in a nice location just before sunset for great results. Aim to get at least 10 quality shots of your vehicle. Don’t forget to take pictures of the interior, trunk, and odometer. Appealing photos build confidence in the buyer’s mind so your ad will get more attention. This is how I made my Derbi scooter stand out from the others.
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    Sell your vehicle online

 

I used a Canon M50 with the basic kit lens to take the photos. If you don’t already have a camera you can ask your amateur photography friend for a favour. And smartphone cameras have gotten much better over time. If you have an iPhone 12 or Pixel 5 you can get some excellent images with good angle and lighting.

 

Listing the vehicle for sale

  • Post your ad online.Β 
    Use sites such as Craigslist, Autotrader, or Kijiji. Present your vehicle’s best features. Consider who would be interested to buy it. For example, I described my scooter as easy to ride for beginners, fuel efficient, cheap to maintain, and ideal for urban mobility.
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    I also mentioned the scratches on the plastic. It’s better to be upfront about the vehicle’s condition in the ad to minimize surprises for potential buyers. Don’t forget to give a reason for why you’re selling the vehicle, or buyers may assume there’s something wrong with it.
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    Price your vehicle 10% to 20% above what you think the fair market value is so you have some room to negotiate.
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  • Show your vehicle to interested buyers.
    This can be done around your home. But if you’re not comfortable giving strangers your address you can agree to meet at a mall or coffee shop. Join them for a test drive and answer any questions they may have. If asked “What’s your best price?” I like to respond with, “I think my asking price is fair. But I’m open to any serious offers.” If they give you an offer resist any impulse to sell right away. Tell them you’ll consider their price and get back to them.
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  • Close the deal.
    After receiving multiple offers you should have a pretty good idea what your vehicle can go for. You can decide to continue showing more people, or negotiate with an offer that’s already on the table. I got 5 different offers in the first 2 days of posting the ad. It ranged from $1000 to $1300. I felt like $1300 was a good deal for me. So I called that person and we got the deal done. πŸ™‚ That’s basically how to sell your vehicle privately. Don’t forget to cancel your insurance afterwards.

The ownership transfer process varies depending on where you live. In B.C. the seller has to give the buyer the vehicle registration, and a transfer document which you can grab at any auto insurance broker.

 

Getting around town

I still think scooters, (motor or electric) are great alternatives to cars for urban living.

Exploring different ways to get around can be a fun and exciting way to discover new things about your city. The right mode for you will depend on where you live, and what type of experience you want to have.

Tune in next week for my new options trading update. πŸ™‚

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Random Useless Fact:

People had pets as early as 11,000 years ago.

 

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Bip
Bip
06/22/2021 8:36 am

Love you are sharing these ideas. It is important. One point to add. when you sell, be sure the ownership has been transferred and/or the provincial ministry has been notified of the sale in writing. Without that, any incidents arising out of the use of the vehicle by the new owner could still accrue to you, including toll charges or liability claims.

David @ Filled With Money
06/22/2021 7:01 pm

Whoa, what a chick magnet πŸ˜‰

From your post and Financial Panther’s post on e-bikes, I’m really considering forgoing my car altogether and just spending a couple thousand bucks on cheaper transportation like that haha.

Money Mechanic
06/23/2021 10:37 am

I love our scooter. I ride it for every town errand that doesn’t result in excessive cargo. I found ours 9 years ago dead in someones driveway. They just wanted it gone and accepted $100. I took my tools over and managed to get it running well enough to ride home. $600 worth of parts and my labour invested at the beginning, and it’s still running like a champ today.

maplethrift
06/24/2021 6:56 am

it’s amazing or I guess “bizzare” to see that for once a depreciating asset like a vehicle is actually being sold for more than you paid for it… I guess you can credit this to the massive sell-offs car rental companies conducted during this pandemic to stay afloat, I think in this environment if you have assets available you’re gonna have a wonderful time πŸ™‚ now… if only I’d make my BC move faster so I’d zip around on my electric bicycle haha

Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
06/24/2021 10:21 pm

This is why I love buying used! You can often sell the item for the same or more than what you paid. I love it! Thanks for sharing your tips. We may eventually sell my husband’s car (NOT the classic Mustangβ€”the 2008 one!) This post will come in handy then. πŸ™‚

Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
07/26/2021 1:15 pm

Hey Liquid, I can’t believe it, but my husband’s decided to sell his car! We’ve never sold a car privately… and I have a question. What form of payment did you accept?

When my husband bought his used classic Mustang, the seller accepted a bank draft. But I’ve heard that those can be forged.

Do you have any helpful hints to share?

Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
07/26/2021 9:15 pm

Yeah, I was also surprised by my husband’s sudden change of heart, LOL. Your article was the springboard for all of it. You mentioned Kelley Blue Book, so I decided to check how much his car might be worth, just for fun. The estimated value was more than double what my husband had estimated! Then I started hearing from different sources how hot the used car market is right now and that used cars are selling for much more than a year or two ago. I mentioned all this to him, let it percolate, then he made the decision on his own. (After a *little bit* of nudging/reminding on my part, hee hee.) So… he is now detailing the car and getting it ready to sell. Hopefully, it’ll be listed in the next couple of weeks. Thank you so much for all the ideas for how to accept the payment. I’ve only ever sold stuff for $300 or less on Craigslist, so this is all new to me! Your suggestions are both creative and sensible. We’ll have lots of options to offer the buyer when the time comes… and now I’m confident that we won’t be ripped off, LOL. I’ll… Read more Β»

Graham @ Reverse the Crush
06/25/2021 2:28 pm

That’s amazing you were able to sell it for more than you paid. I was talking about getting a scooter with my gf the other day. Seems like a fun and affordable way to get around. I will keep this article in mind if I ever need some tips for selling down the road.