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Smart steps to take to sell your car now as demand for used cars skyrocket

Posted at 8:55 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 08:55:10-05

Since the pandemic, you may be finding your car sitting around collecting dust.

So, is now a good time to make money selling your car? Consumer Reports says your timing actually couldn’t be better, as the used car market has become red hot as people avoid mass transit and car-sharing apps.

“With the pandemic, dealers are having trouble getting enough used cars in to sell. Even the least desirable used cars are now selling quickly, and for prices higher than they would have seven or eight months ago," said Consumer Reports Autos Editor Keith Barry.

For the quickest and easiest sale, your best bet is to sell your car to a dealership or large dealer chain, like Carmax. You’ll need to do some homework before you shop it around. First step, find out your car’s value.

"I would look at some services like Truecar, Kelley Blue Book, and see how much cars like mine are selling for. And that gives you at least a starting point," said Barry.

Next, take your car around to two or three different places that purchase used cars and get a written offer. Having that written offer on hand will help you in negotiations with other potential buyers. You can also sell a car privately, by listing it on a site like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

And while you might get a better deal, during a pandemic, this comes with extra challenges.

“That is a little tricky during a pandemic because you’re not going to get more than 6-feet away from someone on a test drive of a car," said Barry.

And finally, giving your car a thorough cleaning before showing it to a potential buyer can translate into a quicker sale and possibly more dollars in your pocket.

Consumer Reports also says to consider online services like Carvana. They can offer to pick up your car and pay you on the spot right from your home – perfect for selling a car while social distancing!