How do you sell a car & what do you do when youve sold it but don't have another yet

Suppose I try to sell my car, what is the best way to go about doing that? Is autotrader a good idea, or should I just put a for sale sign in the winshield? How long should it take to sell it?

What do I do in the meantime after I sell my car but don’t have another car? Do I just sponge cars off of others, do I rent a car, or should I buy another car before I sell my old car?

Well Wes, there are many places in the world where a car is a luxury rather than a necessity. There is an age old mode of transportation called walking. Many medical professionals reccomend it. If I get in a pinch, I prefer to ride a bicycle. Cars have only been around for about a hundred years. People have always found ways to get from point A to point B, use your imagination.

There is a line in a song (I won’t mention the name) that goes, “I don’t go real fast, but I go pretty far!”

Brilliant. I’ll have to try this ‘walking’ because all this time I thought the only reason I had feet was so I could paint my nails when I wear flip flops.

It is my experience that most people acquire “new car” before they get rid of “old car” except in situations where “old car” is gotten rid of abruptly and in an unplanned manner (such as as the result of a CRASH).

This enables many people to sell old car by placing in street with “For Sale” sign in window and hoping for the best.

I’ve never had to dispose of a car and therefore can not give advice on such matters.

One way to sell a car is to call around to mechanics. Even good mechanics have clients whose cars are unrepairable or on the verge of collapse.

That’s how I bought my current car. My old car had a massive mechanical failure and I was talking to my mechanic about it when a guy called and asked if he sold cars. My mechanic said “no… but what kind of car is it?” He brought it over, I had it inspected and paid cash the same day.

The other places I looked for cars were in the newspaper and word of mouth (friends-of-friends).

The hardest thing about shopping for a car when you don’t have a car is getting around to look at them (people have this habit of living all over). I begged rides from friends for car-looking and kept on the DL for everything else. If you can afford to buy a new car without selling your old one, it’s much easier to deal with. I would recommend doing it that way if you can.

If your car is a Japanese model 100 -150K miles in reasonable repair selling around book value, and you live in a college town, I would expect to sell it in 2-3 days out of the newspaper (in Ann Arbor a Toyota with 150K for about $2k sells the day it is listed). If it is American with over 100K miles or has a major mechanical fault, it will take much longer.

Are you set on buying from a private seller, or could you trade yours in?

Private seller. What I could do is give my truck to my parents and take their old geo metro. Then I’ll put ads up and let them take care of the buyers. That could work.

I bought both of my cars after finding them on craigslist. It’s basically a free classified service that started in the San Francisco Bay Area, but has expanded to lots of other areas. And if autotrader is free (or cheap), I’d list there, too. I’d also suggest a classified ad in your local newspaper. They’re usually quite reasonable, and will spread the message to those who don’t regularly use the internet to find information.

How long it takes to sell will depend on what kind of car it is and what price you are willing to accept.