Where to sell a very used car?

Howdy, we bought China bambina an Infinity G35 sedan. It was great. Took her twin sisters to school for a couple of years. China bambina went off to University sans car, and now we want to unload the vehicle.

Craigslist uncovered the related scams with the first “I’m really interested in your 2006 Infinity G35”, ya right. Just sign up for a car history check, and by the way hand over all sorts of personal information, car specific info and credit card details. Ya, right, ya sure, ya betcha turnip truck driver.

Anyhoo, where should I try to unload the kid’s car? Craigslist ain’t great, at least around here. Car has a few dents and scratches out of the way, it’s safe, passed the emissions test, and all that jazz. Good first learners car…

university noticeboards

Regular old want ads. Do you have a shopper sheet in your area. Put it on Facebook. If you’re into that.

If it not worth much you might consider donating it.

Otherwise free shoppers/advertisers, local newspapers, Craigslist, putting a for sale sign on the car.

We had a poor tired old 80s Cadillac inherited from my FIL. We donated it to Make-A-Wish, and they came and towed it away, leaking fluid as it left.

Later they sold it at auction, and it realized $1200, which is about $800 more than it was worth.

Moved from CS to IMHO.

You’ll never do better than a private sale, but if you don’t want the hassle you could just take it to CarMax and see if they’ll buy it.

There’s an emission inspection station near us. It’s common for people to park their for sale vehicles in the lot near it. I did this (but ended up going another route). The guy running the place knew that the stripmall owners weren’t going to do anything about the practice and had suggested it to me.

Note that such informal places just pop up and perpetuate themselves. The main issue is making sure the lot owner’s not going to tow it.

Be prepared for idiots who mistake the make (and therefore the value) of the car, don’t know what “manual transmission” means, etc.

Try local Facebook garage sale groups. People have to identify themselves and there is some level of moderation. If you do Facebook, post it on your own wall, for that matter - we sold our last car that way to a friend’s aunt, who wanted it for her own college-age kids.

If you’re fit to sell a car on your own, I use autotrader.
If you are not suited to dealing with private commerce, sell it to a business. They will charge a hefty premium to insulate you from the buying public.

If you decide to donate it somewhere, make sure to do the title transfer properly and KEEP COPIES OF ALL THE PAPERWORK.
["When choosing which charity to donate a car to, keep in mind that anyone who asks you to leave the buyer section of the title blank, does not have your best interest in mind. “](https://www.cardonationwizard.com/blog/2012/01/18/are-you-still-liable-for-your-car-signing-over-your-car-title/


I think what happens is the place you donate it resells it, and just gives the title to the new owner - who’s not in any rush to register it in his/her own name.

There are loads of stories of people donating cars, and the recipient organization failing to file it, and the donor getting nailed for unpaid parking tickets and the like, many months later. It happened to a friend of ours. Fortunately he had copies of the donation paperwork - but it was quite a hassle.

If you wish to donate it, the National Kidney Foundation is the best-known organization which does this. My local NPR and Habitat for Humanity affiliates also do this.

I recently sold a car, a 2002 Volkswagen with 130k+ miles. I took it to Carfax to get a baseline value. Then I listed it on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and Facebook at 3x that value. Carfax made a fair trade-in offer, and the listed price was towards the higher end of the private sale price estimates (why start low?) I think I put it up on a Thursday evening, and it sold Saturday afternoon when I got an offer in my acceptable range.

Every contact opened with “is the car still available,” even when the ad had gone up moments before. The second question was always “has it been in an accident.” As far as I know, I wasn’t contacted by anybody trying to scam me. Nobody asked if they could send a money order for more than the amount, or anything like that. I didn’t even get the people asking if I’d take $500.

I didn’t bother to ask where the buyer had seen it. He called, so it could have been from any of the places. People on Facebook tended to use Facebook messenger, and the others were all by text, so I don’t know where they saw the ad. As soon as it sold I took them all down, and haven’t been bothered since. I get 0-3 telemarketing scam calls per day anyway, so I’d have no way to know if placing the ads increased the frequency.

For better or worse, I just met people at my house. I let the guy who bought it do a test drive after I took a picture of his license and insurance. He didn’t object, and then he paid cash.

2006? That’s like almost BRAND NEW in my lexicon. My current ride is a 1998 Mazda pick-up (known as a UTE in Aus)


I used Autotrader.com. It’s a good platform but there are a lot of barracudas out there. After I advertised my car for sale, I got the following responses:

[li]Three emails from three different email addresses that were identical except for the signature line, including typos. They all claimed to be U.S. Army posted in Germany and wanted to buy the car for their dad. They would pay the asking price ($12.5K). All I had to do was take their cashier’s check, wire payment to the company who would pick the car up, and keep the rest.[/li]
[li]One email like the ones above but this was a from a woman who worked for a tech company in California.[/li]
[li]One phone call from a buyer in NJ (his assistant, actually) who offered me $11K sight unseen. I think he was a broker. I said I could get $11K from CarMax, so why should I deal with them?[/li]
[li]One phone call from a buyer who lowballed me $9K sight unseen. I gave him a similar answer.[/li]
[li]I got one serious buyer, but by that time I just decided to keep the car for my son to drive.[/li][/ul]

If you live anywhere near a CarMax I would get a quote from them as the price to beat. They don’t charge for a quote, it’s good for 30 days, and it took about an hour. No games.

I just recently sold a 1999 Hyundai on craigslist without much problem.

Sure, you get a few spam/scam emails. They’re pretty quick to figure out and ignore. Don’t measure success by the percentage of real responses you get, measure it by how many real responses you get. The fake ones should take, collectively, 30 minutes of your time.

I’m sure a newspaper ad would have had fewer scammers, but also probably fewer legitimate buyers.

Fwiw, I sold my 03 G35 on Craigslist this past spring for $4000. Granted I had tons of service records and it was clean. But the model is desirable among the younger go fast sleeper set.
My criteria was 1) phone calls only no texting. That got rid of most of the scammers. 2) cash in person only got rid of the rest.

Yeah, that would be my advice as well, unless you want to donate it and get the tax write off. To me it’s too much hassle to try and sell an older used car the old fashioned way, unless it’s a classic or and expensive one with a lot of market value. Easier to go into Carmax, have them take a look and write you a check or just donate the thing.

Yeah, my current is '04, bought 3 years back. All my friends were looking at it and going ‘Ooh, bit posh and modern for you isn’t it?’ :smiley: My previous one was 1996.

From the buyer end, I’ve got most of mine from local online ads on the local (I think better moderated) equivalent of Craigslist.

Is this an expression I’m supposed to understand?:slight_smile: