As you might remember from a previous article, the best time of the year to buy a car is in December. But, did you know that the best time of year to sell an automobile is in the late summer/early fall? This week I’m sharing some tips on how to get the most value out of your car when it’s time to sell it.
Maybe you’ve had another baby. Or, your new job is on the other side of the city and the commute is causing you pain at the gas pump. Whatever the reason for selling your car, you’ll need to do some preliminary work before you tack a ‘For Sale’ sign on the dashboard. http://www.dmv.org/buy-sell/selling-your-car/paper-work-when-selling-a-car.php The first thing you need to do is gather up all the necessary paperwork. In addition to the title, you’ll need an Affidavit of Purchase Price form from the Department of Revenue (if you’re in Kansas) or a safety inspection certificate (if you’re in Missouri).
Granted, these are more likely things you’ll need to take care of if you’re doing a private sale, rather than through a dealership. Regardless of how or where you make the sale, it’s still best to have all the forms and information within reach. You’ll thank yourself later.
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Buff Your Stuff
After you’ve acquired all the necessary paperwork, resources like the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) https://www.nada.org/ or Kelley Blue Book http://www.kbb.com/ can help you determine the worth and gauge the condition of your vehicle so you can price it accordingly. The value of your car can vary wildly depending on mileage, condition and even your ZIP code. Doing your research will give you an edge.
If you’re conducting a private sale, take your car to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection before you set your price. You should also consider getting your car detailed while it’s in the shop. A clean, newly appraised car will be worth more to potential buyers. If you’re selling your car to a dealer, you will typically get more for a trade-in but the same rules apply – get the car cleaned and serviced before you pull into the lot. http://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/10-steps-to-selling-your-car.html
Make the Exchange
When it’s time to hand over your keys, you’ll need to take some precautions. For example, make copies of the buyer’s identification (which you may need for paperwork anyway) and bring a friend or family member to witness the transaction. You’re also much better off dealing in cash or through a financial institution. There is too much fraud out there to risk this big a transaction on a counterfeit check.
If you’re unsure of the process, a financial advisor http://cacu.cudlautosmart.com/ with experience in auto loans and sales can be extremely beneficial. Don’t hesitate to reach out. While you’re there or have them on the line, you can get the information you need to purchase your next vehicle. Now that’s a good deal!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.