Common Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Car

Mistakes to avoid when selling your car

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

Are you in the process of selling your car? Is it not quite going the way you planned? The Original 1-800 Charity Cars program wants to help you in the car selling process. We offer the following list of the most common mistakes people make when selling a vehicle so you can avoid them:

Never present a dirty or cluttered car

If you are showing your vehicle to prospective buyers, make sure that it is clean and free from any of your personal items. A dirty or cluttered car can make a buyer less likely to want to purchase it. The car will seem less appealing and can appear to have less room if it is cluttered. Take some time to wash your car, give the inside a good vacuum, wipe down the entire interior, and clear out all your personal items.

Use high-quality pictures

One huge mistake people often make when selling a car is using poor quality pictures. If you are placing ads in papers or online, be sure to use the best pictures possible. Use pictures that bring out the best in your vehicle. Make sure they are bright, clear, and a good resolution. A blurry, dark, or distorted picture could mean the loss of a potential buyer.

Don’t break the bank, but fix it up

Selling a car in poor basic condition can be troublesome. Some minor repairs and maintenance can help a car to sell. There is no need to do major interior, exterior, or mechanical repairs or upgrades. Be sure all routine maintenance is up to date and anything unsightly that can be easily rectified (scratches, scuffs, stains, etc.) are taken care of. A car that looks like it is falling apart will turn away buyers quickly.

Allow room for negotiations

People love to negotiate and it can make a person more likely to buy if they feel they have haggled the price down. Be reasonable when choosing a selling price, but add a little cushion to allow for negotiation. Adding an extra couple hundred dollars to the asking price will give you some wiggle room for the potential buyer to try and negotiate the price down. This also prevents negotiations from cutting into the price that you really want to achieve from the sale.

Make sure your listings are complete and accurate

Far too often people list their vehicles for sale and do not provide enough information, or they provide inaccurate information. We live in a fast-paced time and people will just move on to the next listing if your vehicle’s listing is lacking information. Be sure to provide all pertinent information about your car and your complete contact information. Do not exaggerate, sugarcoat, or leave out any important issues with the car. Always be upfront and honest, so that potential buyers coming to view your car will not be let down. It’s like trying to sell a well-worn coat for instance but you say it’s “gently used.” Always be truthful, so that people know what they are really going to look at and not wasting time. If you are in the market for a used vehicle, be sure to read How to Avoid Buying a Flood Damaged Vehicle.

If you’re tired of trying to sell your vehicle, (or are looking for another way to get rid of it quickly) consider donating it to 1-800-Charity Cars and help change the lives of struggling families. We accept all types of vehicles throughout the United States, running or not. We offer free towing nationwide, and you will receive a full “fair market value” tax deduction, if we can provide your vehicle to a family in need.

Just visit our donation site and fill out our quick online donation form or call 1-800-242-7489 and make a donation today! You can also make a monetary donation by utilizing our online donation services using JustGive or PayPal at