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Consumer Reports' guide to selling your car

Happy couple getting car keys from a seller
Posted at 7:46 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 17:58:43-05

As the pandemic continues, demand for used cars is skyrocketing as people avoid mass transit and car-sharing apps. But how do you do it? Consumer Reports reveals the tricks of the trade to help you get the most bang for your buck.

For the quickest and easiest sale, your best bet is to sell your car to a dealership or large dealer chain like CarMax. But you’ll need to do some homework before you shop it around.

First step is to find out your car’s value using a service like TrueCar or Kelley Blue Book. Seeing for how much cars similar to yours are selling gives you a starting point.

Next, take your car to two or three different places that buy used cars and get written offer. Having that on hand will help you in negotiations with other potential buyers.

You can also sell your car privately by listing it on a site like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. While you might get a better deal, during a pandemic that method comes with extra challenges. It’s a little tricky to stay six feet away from someone on a test drive.

And finally, giving your car a thorough cleaning before showing it to a potential buyer can translate into a quicker sale and possibly more money.

Consumer Reports also says to consider online services like Carvana. They can pick up your car and pay you on the spot right from your home. It’s perfect for selling a car while social distancing.