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How to Safely Sell your Car Privately

How to Safely Sell your Car Privately

We say this often but it’s worth saying again, the vast majority of private car sales complete without a problem. Only a small proportion of sales end up with the seller losing out. But there are enough of those to make selling a car privately a nervous time.


Which is why we wrote this post. It isn’t our intention to put you off selling your car. Our intention is to alert you to the potential risks and help you safely sell your car privately.


Selling privately isn’t as safe as selling your car to a dealership but it’s our responsibility to give you the information you need to make informed decisions, hence this post.


Here are a few tips to help safely sell your car privately.


Protect your identity


While it may seem a little extreme, we recommend using a burner phone and new email address for your car ad. These keep your real phone number and email address separate from the transaction.


Even if scammers don’t contact you, web scrapers are designed to harvest this data from websites and add them to spam lists.


Creating a new Gmail address and using a burner phone means you can complete the transaction without having to worry about spam.


Screen your callers


If you have spent ages creating the ad, preparing the car, taking loads of pictures and setting everything up, the last thing you want to do is spend more time on timewasters.


You will get them though. Some will call to see how quickly they can knock the price down, some will test to see how much of a soft touch you are while others will assess how aware you are.


Things to look for include people from out of province, people who won’t give you their full name, people who hide their caller ID, people who say they don’t need to see the car or people who say they will send someone else to check it out.


There are also the obvious signs like ‘how much will you take?’ or ‘Will you take [insert silly offer here]?’


Don’t sell alone


Don’t be home alone when selling your car. Have someone around and make sure they are visible. If that person can also take a photo of the potential buyer and the car they arrived in, even better.


When it comes to the test drive, have someone follow you or be in the car with you. Legitimate buyers will understand and will probably also have someone with them.


Anyone who has a problem with it should be politely sent on their way. The risk is too high to do otherwise.


Be selective in how you get paid


State in your ad how you want to be paid. Cash, cashier’s cheque, bank transfer or whatever.


Don’t accept personal cheques. Only accept banker’s cheques or cashier’s cheques if you are there in the bank when they are cut and the buyer accompanies you to your bank to deposit it.


Otherwise, a direct transfer between their bank and yours is the safest way to get paid.


If you want to avoid all risk, sell your car to a dealership. If you want to sell privately, use these tips and others we share to minimize the risks involved.


Good luck out there!


For any questions, concerns, or inquiries. Please don’t hesitate to contact us here!


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Categories: Sell Your Car