How to Sell My Old Car for the Most Cash — and Where?

Selling a used car can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you're looking for cash or trade-in value, this guide will walk you through the process of selling your old car and getting the most money possible. We’ll also talk about where to sell a car to get the best price.


If selling your car yourself feels like too much work, you can always take the easy route and let a professional company like Pull-A-Part handle it for you. You can sell us your old clunker today. It can be that easy. 


It takes some time to research and determine how much money someone will pay you for your used car. It's essential that you know what factors affect the value of your vehicle (for example, mileage, condition and features) because that's ultimately what determines its worth. However, if these factors are overwhelming for you, it might be easier to use an online service like KBB to give you a good idea of how much cash people are offering in your area. If you have a junk car, something so old and damaged you know nobody wants it, then contact your local Pull-A-Part. We will tell you how much cash you can get for your old car, no matter the condition, within a few minutes. You’ll be surprised, as most junk cars will get $500 and more.


If selling an old car is too much work, and it’s not a piece of junk, you have other options for getting rid of it. It can be helpful to think about these options when trying to determine what the best way to sell my old car would be for you. You might get more if your car isn't too old (and in decent condition) because some people buy damaged cars to salvage their parts (a practice known as "junking"). If your vehicle is on its last parts or has been severely damaged by fire or floodwaters, then we might be your best option. Other options include, but are not limited to:

  • Sell the vehicle to a dealer — dealers will only pay wholesale prices for vehicles and often won't buy vehicles where there's an open recall (because they're required by law to fix them). However, if the recall has already been fixed and your car is in excellent condition, then dealing with a dealer may be worth it for you.
  • Sell the vehicle to an individual — you can always put a sign in the window and park your car somewhere on a busy intersection and wait for a call. Classified ads are always available, as well as good old word of mouth. You’re going to deal with negotiation and likely need to talk to many people before you actually sell your old car.
  • Sell the vehicle online — selling on eBay? List on Cars on websites? Do you want to sell your car on Facebook? Do some research and decide which option best suits your needs. There are many apps and directories out there that you can use to sell your old car. 


If you're dealing with a dealer, don't expect to get the price you see in new car advertisements. There are some exceptions, but they probably won't apply to your specific situation as an individual seller. If you want cash fast and you have a newer vehicle (under five years old), then selling it at retail value is an option worth considering.

Unfortunately, if your car isn't relatively new, has high mileage, has been in a severe accident, or is in poor condition, then you probably won't get much for it. Still, there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of getting the highest price possible from a dealer:

  • Include all of your options: Some dealers will offer more money if they have the opportunity to sell your used car somewhere else. That's why it's essential to include all of your choices (for example, private sales, online services like Craigslist and eBay).
  • Build trust — when selling my car to a dealer, keeping them informed about interested buyers (especially if they're making repeated visits) might make them more likely to pay top dollar for your used vehicle.
  • Show the whole car — If you don't mind parting with your vehicle for good, then you might want to include everything that it came with (for example, floor mats, owner's manual). It could help you get a better offer because dealers don't always access the original parts.
  • Be honest — don’t try to sell someone something they're not looking for. If they ask if your used car comes with air conditioning, tell them the truth. They'll see right through your lies and will lose all interest in purchasing from you.


Craigslist is probably the most popular online service for selling vehicles to individuals, but there are others out there as well. You'll get the most money out of private sales, but you'll also have to deal with the most headaches.

Selling your car to an individual is probably best if your used vehicle meets one or more of these qualifications:

  • It's above average condition (for example, no dents, scratches, or unusual wear on tires )
  • It has very low mileage. It was only owned for less than five years. By keeping these points in mind, you can increase your chances of getting top dollar for your used ride.
  • Also, ensure they know how reliable it is.
  • Sell the whole car — having the option to buy the entire car might make your buyer more likely to pay you top dollar. If they can sell off parts of it for profit, then so be it.
  • Include all original paperwork — you probably don't need to include your owner's manual and maintenance records, but if there aren't any available and your documentation isn't in excellent condition. You should give them a copy before selling your used vehicle.


If you're not sure what to do with an old junk car that you don't drive anymore, then donating it to a charity is another way to get rid of your used car while putting a smile on someone else's face. Many charities will accept your vehicle.

The downside is that you can't expect a tax write-off. Also, some car donations may not be accepted because the charity doesn't have room for it or require another model. However, if your vehicle qualifies and you choose wisely, then you should be able to make at least one person happy when receiving nothing in return (except maybe an official tax receipt).


Whether you want an excuse to get rid of your used car or you're trying to help someone out, giving away a motor vehicle is another way to do it. Not to mention that it's completely free.

By freeing yourself of your old car, you'll be doing the environment and your wallet a favor. While selling is probably the best way to get money for your vehicle, giving it away or donating it may be a great option. The choice is yours! Just make sure that whatever you decide, you're not stuck with your old car for too long. Just letting it rot does nothing to help the environment, and is wasted dollars that could be in your pocket.

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