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When you buy a car, you hope that it is going to serve you for as long as it takes. However, this is not always the case as many other factors come into play during your time with the vehicle. As time goes by, newer models will hit the market and you will wish to acquire one.

When this happens, you will have to unload your current vehicle either to finance your new one or for convenience purposes. If your want to sell your car, regardless of what your reasons might be, selling to a car dealership is a wise idea.

The Process of Selling a Car to a Dealership
The Process of Selling a Car to a Dealership

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What are the Steps of Selling a Car to a Dealership?

While it is true that selling a car to a dealership is a good idea, you have to be very careful of how you go about the process. Here are the basic steps that you should follow:

  1. Determine the Value of Your Car

Before pulling up into a car dealers shop, take your time to determine the value of your car. Do not go into a deal hoping that the dealer will offer you a good deal without knowing what a “good deal” is in the first place.

If you do not know more about cars and their values, you can search for information online. Here, you will get calculated values of similar vehicles to yours.

Consider the cash value as well as the trade-in value of your car. This will put you in a good position of negotiating with your dealer.

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  1. Have the Necessary Documents in Place

It is increasingly hard to sell a vehicle without having its legal documents.

It therefore follows that if you are going to sell your car, especially to a car dealership, you must have its legal documents such as the car’s title and other valuable accessories such as extra key fobs.

Remember, having all the extras in place will allow you to negotiate for a better deal.

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  1. Locate the Right Dealer

While it is true that car dealers are widely available, not all of them will have the right terms for you or deal with your type of vehicle.

Take time to determine the perfect dealer for you. If you are unsure, check for information online. Read what the previous clients has to say about certain dealers and settle for one with the best reputation.

You can consider one that has been in the game for longer and has better terms. On the other hand, you can inquire from your friends and family who are well versed with the car dealership process.

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  1. Car Inspection

When you find a car dealer that you believe is good for you, it is time for the actual selling of your car to begin. The person in charge of car dealership will inspect your vehicle, write down your car’s identification number and check its history in the database.

Checking your car’s history is important for the car dealer as the database shows whether your vehicle has damage histories or has been involved in an accident/s. in some cases, the person in charge of the car dealership (title varies) will ask you whether you are selling your car as a trade in for a new one.

This determines the amount of money that dealer will offer you “on paper.”

  1. Getting the Offer

The offer that your car dealer will give you will depend on several factors such as the common prices for similar vehicles, similar cars already in lot for sale, the condition of your vehicle and whether further repairs will be needed before re sell. Also, the dealer will also take into account any other pending deals pertaining your car.

  1. Closing the Deal

Once the dealer has look at your car and ascertained that everything is okay, the paperwork will begin. Depending on whether you have all the necessary documents at hand, you should be able to close the deal by the end of the day.

However, most car dealership processes take an average of 48 hours. The process will take more time if you owe money for the car because the dealer has to get its title from your lender first before the process can be completed.

The process can take as long as ten business days.


If you have a car for sell, choosing to sell it to a car dealer is a wise idea. However, before driving into any of a car dealership station, first determine the value of your car using the many estimation tools available online.

Look for the dealer with the best terms online by reading the various reviews available. After finding the right one, the process is relatively easy if you have the car’s legal documents at hand.

These may include the car’s tittle and accessories. However, if you still owe money for the car, the process might take up to ten days, especially if the lender has to be consulted.