How to Get Rid of an Old Car for Cash

1.

Look up the value of your car in a reliable source like Kelly Blue Book (see Resources, below). Take the condition of your car, as well as its make, model and year, into account when determining how much to ask for the vehicle. Kelly Blue Book provides values for vehicles in excellent, average, fair and poor condition.

2.

Look for free or low-cost ways to advertise your vehicle. Bulletin boards at your church or local grocery store are a good idea, as are online classified ads. Set the price in the ad a bit higher than what you actually will take---this will give you room to negotiate.

3.

Insist on cash when negotiating a deal for the car. There are a number of scams involving money orders, cashier's checks and other forms of payments. If the buyer wants the car, he or she will bring cash.

4.

Visit used car lots in your area and ask if they buy cars to resell. Many car dealers routinely buy old cars for cash, then fix them up and resell them. When negotiating a deal, use the Kelly Blue Book values as a guide, but keep in mind that the dealer may offer a lower price than you could get from a private individual.

5.

Find a Notary Public in your area and go there with the buyer of the vehicle. If you are a member of AAA, your membership fee includes free Notary service, otherwise you can pay for the cost of the title transfer and Notary fee yourself. Most car dealers have a Notary Public on staff, as do many attorneys and CPAs. Many individuals also perform Notary Public functions out of their home offices. Sign the title in the presence of the Notary and complete any required paperwork.

Tips and Warnings

  • Research the laws in your state before putting your old car up for sale. Each state has its own specific laws regarding the private sale and transfer of privately owned vehicles. To research the laws in your state, log on to the DMV website for your state. Typing the words DMV and the name of your state should provide a good link to your state's department of motor vehicles.
  • If you have a car you no longer need, selling it will free up space in your driveway and put cash in your pocket. But no matter how much or how little you think your car is worth, it is important to protect yourself when you sell it.