Keep in mind that if you still owe money on your car, that outstanding balance has nothing to do with your car’s value. 3. If you’ve been thinking about trying to sell your car on Craigslist, this article has given you all the information you need to do so with your eyes wide open to be on the lookout for what can go wrong, and how to create an ad that will get you the exposure you need to reach a successful conclusion. Cars are embedded into the American psyche as a symbol of freedom and independence – what could be more freeing than cruising down the open road? There was no public transit, virtually nothing within walking distance to do for fun, and even riding a bike to work was out of the question. The best strategy is to make sure your insurance covers other drivers, remove valuables from the car, and set a time limit for the test. Do you like what you see so far? Visit Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to find out  what the car is actually worth based on the make, model, condition and area where you live. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Profile the buyer. As the buyer, you may prefer to pay in cash. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. One late spring afternoon, when I put my car into reverse, attempting to straighten out while I parked on the street in front of my apartment building, I felt something snap inside the engine. Avoid meeting someone at their home or in a deserted parking lot. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. If you’ve got a great car at a good price, chances are good that you will sell your car on Craigslist in a matter of days, sometimes in a matter of hours. There’s no phone number in the advertisement. These cookies do not store any personal information. Ask for clear, good pictures and information. Consider what you would like to see in car for sale ads and include as a minimum: As a buyer, look for Craigslist used cars advertisements with all of the above. We will even give you a ride after the sale. If a deal seems shady, go with your guts and walk away from it. You can stay safe while selling your car by using common sense and taking the right preventive measures. Clean your car. Next, you should wash your car and have its exterior waxed or buffed so it can shine as new along with its wheels. Check your local listings, too, and see what similar cars in similar condition are going for. By far the biggest problem with most used car ads posted to Craigslist is that they simply don’t give enough information about the vehicle being sold. Still, it was difficult for me to arrive at that decision. However, if they tell you an elaborate sob story, run! I could donate it to the local radio station and take the tax write-off. That means that crooks use the platform to profit on other people’s naivete. Vague information and unclear pictures make you look shady. Buying locally makes it easier to see and test drive a car before you buy. You'll get a better feel for them that way than in an extended email thread or exchange of text messages. Driveo is a cool new way to sell your car for more money without the stress and hassle of doing it yourself. LET OTHERS KNOW ABOUT THE MEETING: Give a friend or family member a heads-up about your meeting, including the location, time and your expected time of return. ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. Don’t try to write your full description online. Clean the consoles, cup holders and steering wheel with a good car cleaning product. Blog/ How to Safely Sell a Car on Craigslist. We’re going to start this list off with the potential downsides to selling your car on Craigslist, then show you how to do it right if you still want to give it a try. Criminals from well-known scam locations overseas use the platform to have money wired to untraceable accounts. As you start getting inquiries, you’ll want to protect yourself and stay safe when meeting up with people who want to see the car. Also, make sure that money orders are legit. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. If there’s an accident or event that occurs before the car is registered to the new owner, it could lead to disputes. Automotive enthusiast Josh Sadlier, a content strategist for, has been buying and selling cars on Craigslist for years. Scratches that go all the way through the clear-coat and into the color basecoat will have to be professionally repaired. Recent media reports from cities such as Fresno, California, and Edwardsville, Illinois, might make you think that everyone who lists a car for sale on Craigslist or other online sites gets robbed -- or worse. Some sources advise that you go along on the ride, but it's really not a good idea to be in a vehicle with a car thief. You wouldn’t see a car that looks dirty and old and still want it, right? Repairs aside, it was still a good car. But right after I fixed the clutch, Mother Nature dumped a thousand tons of snow on the city of Boston and I spent the next four months digging my car out of the snow every weekend, just so the weight of the snow wouldn’t collapse the windshield. Just having a friend come along will give you an extra margin of safety. You won’t have the title if you’re still making loan payments, which is okay as long as you have an accurate payoff figure from your lender. 6. There are many more incidents involving people who are attacked and robbed when they are looking to buy cars posted on Craigslist and respond to ads. And there is even more crime linked to Craigslist that doesn’t have anything to do with buying or selling cars. However, if you already have some of the right cleaning products on hand and don’t mind putting some elbow grease into the effort, do you own DIY detail job as follows: Vacuuming the interior thoroughly. Some states do require you to use a special bill of sale or a limited liability release. It makes more sense for them to sell the cars posing as private owners. I lived near a T stop and took the subway to work every single day. CLEAN OUT YOUR CAR: Remove all your personal property from the vehicle before turning it over to the buyer. You’re selling your car privately yourself because you expect a private buyer will result in more money in your pocket than trading it in or selling it outright to a dealer. And why are they so aggressive? Does it Make Sense to Sell Your Car Yourself During the Pandemic? There are a few standard indicators of a scam, including: Common scams on Craigslist include elaborate phishing scams whereby people offer incredibly well-paying jobs for simple tasks, just to get you to part with account information. You’d be surprised how many people fail to include the make of the car. If you leave out major negative information, this can come back to haunt you in the form of a fraud claim if the buyer feels you misrepresented the vehicle in any way, even if you didn’t outright lie about anything. They’re just sniffing around for potentially sweet deals. If you own the car free and clear and have the title, no problem. Be sure you’re accurate about the condition of your vehicle. And when you’re finally ready to make the sale, be sure to only accept safe forms of payment to avoid getting scammed. When you see a car priced at a ridiculously low price, be sure to find out exactly how much they want, and do your homework – find out what it is actually worth. Then, I needed to get the brakes done ($400). Listen carefully to the questions people ask. Suffer no fools. Use a conditioner specifically formulated for your type upholstery, whether vinyl or leather.