By now it’s redundant to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives, and continues to throw a wrench into just about everything. Case in point? Buying a new car. Once upon a time, heading to the dealership for the latest make and model might have been a relatively straightforward procedure. But of course, that has changed with COVID.
The Supply Chain Disruptions
The long and short of it is this: The pandemic has resulted in some major supply chain disruptions, which in turn means there’s a real shortage of new cars or auto parts. The implications are probably pretty obvious. The average price for new vehicles has gone up considerably. And as new vehicles are both pricier and more difficult to come by, demand for used cars has surged.
Of course, used cars are also commanding higher sales prices than before, particularly cars that are in decent condition. (According to an article from Consumer Reports, “used car prices are 42 percent higher than they were in the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic caused widespread closures and market disruptions.”) This is good news for anyone who was hoping to sell a vehicle. Simply put, now is a really great time to put your car on the market, and potentially to get a really nice price without much hassle or haggling.
But even if you’re ready to sell, actually going through with it can be daunting. This is especially true for those who’ve never sold a car on their own, and who may wonder about the best ways of doing so.
How Do I Sell My Car in California?
For California residents, there are a few good options for selling your used vehicle on your own. First, it might be wise to consider a few basic car-selling tips.
Gather All the Right Paperwork
Nobody likes the bureaucratic aspect of buying and selling cars, but alas, it really can’t be avoided. Whether you’re selling to a private buyer or to a dealership, you’ll need to hand over the title and other registration information. Documents showing that your vehicle is up-to-date with routine maintenance can also be a way to instill some confidence in your buyer.
A more detailed list of documents you’ll need to sell your car in California include:
- Official transfer forms, which you can get from your local DMV
- Smog certification
- Certificate of Title
- Up-to-date odometer reading
- Any valid warranties or as-is documents
- Records regarding routine maintenance and upkeep
Clean Your Car
Naturally, you’ll want to appeal to sellers by presenting your vehicle in the best light possible. We recommend having it cleaned inside and out. You might even spring for a professional waxing or detail job. And don’t forget to vacuum the upholstery and the carpets.
Take Care of Maintenance
Even in a seller’s market, you may run into trouble selling your car for top dollar if there are obvious areas of neglect. A good way to avoid this is to have the vehicle inspected; if you pass the inspection without issue, provide proof of inspection to potential buyers. And if you do need to take care of something like an oil change or tire rotation, do so before you list the vehicle. Again, try to provide documentation to potential buyers.
Get a Smog Check
Generally speaking, when a vehicle changes hands in the State of California, the DMV will require a smog certificate. You must obtain this from an authorized test station. Note that your smog certificate will be valid for 90 days.
In some cases, you can skip this step, but only if:
- The car was made before 1975.
- You’re selling a natural gas-powered vehicle.
- You’re selling an electric car.
- You’re selling a car that’s less than eight years old.
Decide Where You Want to Sell Your Car
As for where to sell your car in California, there are a few options worth thinking about. These options include:
- Social media marketplaces
- Online forums and message boards that are car-specific
- Online auto dealerships
- Classified ads
Of course, another option is to simply sell or trade your car at a conventional dealership. Doing so may be easier than these other options, but will probably result in you getting less cash, too.
Take Some Photos
Assuming you decide to sell your car online, you’ll want to take some photos that cast the vehicle in a positive light. Make sure you collect as many angles as you can, featuring both the inside and outside of the vehicle. And don’t forget to take some pictures of the engine itself!
Write Some Sales Copy
In addition to photos, online auto listings will also require some text. Give some basic stats, including the age, make, and model of your car. Denote the type of engine. Also make mention of any upgrades you’ve made to the car, along with an honest assessment of its condition.
How Do I Sell My Car Faster?
Clearly, selling your car can be a long and involved process… but thankfully, there is a way you can make the process a lot more seamless and expedient.
If you’re ready to sell, you can sell to BestBid, where you can not only fetch top dollar, but you can get funding same-day.
Some of the perks of selling your car to BestBid include:
- BestBid accepts all makes and models. No matter which category your car is in, from luxury cars to classics, from SUVs to pickup trucks, BestBid is interested in making you a really nice offer.
- You can get money quick. Once the offer is finalized, the BestBid team will provide you with a cashier’s check right then and there, meaning you can have money hit your bank account on the very day you sell.
- You can get great value. BestBid doesn’t do lowball offers, nor do they have a model where you’ll lose value to pay off middlemen. BestBid understands the value in modified vehicles, too, and will make you a generous offer accordingly.
- BestBid offers a pressure-free sales experience. When you sell to BestBid, there’s no haggling and no obligation. Just reach out to learn more about our offer, and then decide whether this is the right way for you to sell your car.
FAQ About Selling to BestBid
Still have some questions about selling your car to BestBid? Here are answers to a few of the most common inquiries.
What are the steps involved with selling my car to BestBid?
You’re welcome to get the ball rolling by submitting your vehicle information online, or by contacting one of our team members to walk you through the process. From there, we’ll send you a quick and easy offer. You can accept it, and then we’ll arrange for you to receive your same-day payment. We will also schedule a time for you to drop off your car to us.
What information do I need to provide about my vehicle?
To get an instant offer, you’ll just need to provide us with the following details about your car:
- Vin Number
- List of options and accessories
- Pictures of the Vehicle
- Previous Damage
Can I sell my leased car to BestBid? What about my financed car?
Yes, you can! Our team of financing experts will work directly with your banking institution to pay off your loan or lease.
I’m Ready to Sell My Car Fast!
Ready to hear our offer? We can’t wait to hear from you. Learn more about selling your car to BestBid: contact us directly.