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With demand skyrocketing, it's a great time to sell your car

Posted February 5, 2021 4:21 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2021 11:29 a.m. EST

— If there's ever been a time to sell your car, now is a great time to maximize potential profit.

As fall-out from the pandemic, the demand for used cars is skyrocketing.

In the early months of the pandemic, auto plants temporarily closed for safety – and fewer new cars available pushed people into buying used cars.

“With the pandemic, dealers are having trouble getting enough used cars in to sell," said Keith Barry, the autos editor for Consumer Reports.

Even the least desirable used cars are now selling quickly, according to Barry. And they are selling for prices far higher than they would have seven or eight months ago.

Bottom line: If you are in a position to take advantage of this economic shift – this is a great time to sell.

Get the most bang for your buck: Best methods for selling your used car

Consumer Reports revealed some of the tricks of the trade to help you get the most profitable sale.

Dealership or large dealer chain

For the quickest and easiest sale, your best bet is to sell your car to a dealership or large dealer chain like CarMax. But you’ll need to do some homework before you shop it around.

“I would look at some services like TrueCar or Kelley Blue Book to see how much cars like mine are selling for," said Barry. “That gives you at least a starting point.”

Next, take your car to two or three different places that buy used cars and get a written offer. Having that on hand will help you in negotiations with other potential buyers.

Selling privately, like on Facebook or Craigslist

You can also sell your car privately by listing it on a site like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

While you might get a better deal, during a pandemic that method comes with extra challenges. It’s a little tricky to stay 6 feet away from someone on a test drive.

Online car selling services and websites

Consumer Reports also said to consider online services like Carvana. They can pick up your car and pay you on the spot right from your home. It’s perfect for selling a car while social distancing.

One final tip: Give your car a thorough cleaning before showing it to a potential buyer. That quick clean-up can translate into a quicker sale and possibly more money.

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