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How to Sell a Car on Craigslist

  • Auto Refinance
  • Nova Kainen
  • 6 minutes

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Do you want to know how to sell a car on Craigslist? Selling a car on Craigslist can help you save money much more than you would with a trade-in or through a dealership. This article will give you a clear idea of how you should sell a car on Craigslist.  

how to sell a car on craigslist

What are the different steps to sell your car on Craigslist?

If you plan to sell your car on Craigslist, following the below steps can be useful.  

(i) Find your car’s estimated market value

After proper research, figure out the worth of your car. Similar listings that are available online can help you get a better idea about the car’s price. Before finalizing your decision, get a mechanic’s advice on whether there are any issues with your decision.  

(ii) Gather the car paperwork

Gather the car title, all the additional paperwork, and other documents to prove your ownership and to include important features in your Craigslist ad. Some essential documents include original sales paperwork, vehicle service records, and vehicle history report.   

(iii) Develop a detailed Craigslist ad

It is through a Craigslist ad that your buyers get to know about your car. A clear and detailed ad with relevant pictures of your car can attract your buyers. The description that you provide should include the answers to the common questions. Following this procedure, the buyers who want your car will approach you. 

how to sell a car on craigslist

Photo by Jose Carbajal on Unsplash

(iv) Meet potential buyers

When you meet potential buyers, be cautious about your interactions. Get their contact information and discuss the payment mode. It is always safe to make the payments in cash and get proof of their ID.  

(v) Fix a price and be open to negotiate

If you follow these steps, you will be now set with your car’s market value. Now you will have to decide the price you are going to ask from your buyer. Remember that this price is slightly higher than what you expect from your buyer. Be open to negotiating if the buyer wants it. The price that you set should not be too high as it can even drive the buyers away from you.  

(vii) Prepare a bill of sale

Once the deal is fixed, the buyers will require a bill of sale from your side to transfer the ownership.  

(viii) Notify your insurance and the DMV

Even though you have received the funds, the deal is not yet complete. You must protect yourself from legal responsibility for the new owner’s actions and the expense of maintaining insurance on a vehicle you no longer possess.  

You’ll need to submit a release of liability form to the DMV in most states, and there may also be other forms you need to fill out. Contact your auto insurance company to terminate your policy once you begin the procedure.  

Also read How To Obtain Your Car’s Title After Loan Payoff 

What are other alternatives to selling a car on craigslist?

Craigslist is not your only option if you want to sell your car. Here are the other options for you: 

Facebook Marketplace 

Since the buyers on Craigslist are anonymous, you will doubtful about the dealings. But when it is the Facebook marketplace, people have their profiles and pictures, which gives you more confidence in selling your car. 


You might be able to negotiate a title-for-cash agreement at a dealership that can be finalized in very few hours, but the offer you receive won’t compare to what you’d get if you sold privately. Additionally, you may be required to pay off the remaining balance on your auto loan or the holding fee at a bank or dealership before receiving a cash payout. 


Cars.com is completely focused on automobiles and can be the right place to sell your used car.  


While the eBay selling process is more difficult than the Craigslist option, it does allow you to access a larger pool of potential buyers. Before creating a listing, you’ll need to sign up, create a seller’s account, and supply payment information such as a credit card or debit card number and your bank account details. Both the listing and sale of the vehicle will include fees, which you’ll need to account for. 

Online car buyers 

 Online car-buying websites like KBB and Autotrader can give you an instant cash offer, making the selling process easy. But the offer they give is lower than that offered by private buyers, and there can also be additional charges.  

How can you protect yourself when selling a car on Craigslist

When you sell a car on Craigslist, there are chances that the wrong buyers will get you in trouble. To protect yourself, here are some points to keep in mind.   

  • When meeting a buyer, it is always advisable not to go alone. Take a friend with you for more security, especially when you enter the car with the buyer who takes your car for a test drive.  
  • Ask the buyer to give proof of their driver’s license, and you can take a picture of the ID. 
  • Get their contact information. 
  • Discuss the mode of payment, whether it is via cash or some other mode.  

Bottom line

It is not a complicated task to sell a car on Craigslist. Do some research before posting an ad on Craigslist. Through good effort from your side, you can easily sell your car on Craigslist at a price higher than that at a dealership.  


How do I sell a car on Craigslist without getting scammed? 

To not get scammed, have a better understanding of Craigslist, make a face-to-face deal with the buyer, and examine the product in detail without relying on pictures. If you are dealing with a local buyer, cash payments are the best mode. Also, remember not to share your personal information. 

Is Craigslist still good for selling cars? 

If you are planning to sell your car locally or privately, Craigslist is the best platform. You can save more cash through Craigslist.  

Is buying a car on Craigslist a good idea? 

If you are looking for cars, Craigslist is a good choice. It’s the same as looking for a car on any other website. When buying a pre-owned car from a private seller, it’s important to perform research to ensure the car is in the described shape. 

How do I put a car ad on Craigslist? 

Visit the Craigslist website, click “post to classifieds” in the top-left corner, click the “for sale” button, choose “Cars & Trucks – by Owner,” and write a title for your post. Later, enter the asking price and the vehicle’s location. Enter your email address in the “Reply To” field and add a description in the posting description field. Click the “Continue” button and then the “Choose File” button to select an image of your vehicle.  

Finally, click the “Continue” button and receive an email for verification. After verification, your ad will get published. 

how to sell a car on craigslist

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