How to price a car for sale

Selling a car on your own is the best way to make the most money, but setting the car price can be tricky. Price it too high and you won’t be able to sell your car; price it too low and you cheat yourself out of money. If you plan to sell your used car on your own, there are a few key points that you need to remember when it comes to determining the price.

1. Comparison. First, use Web sites that list cars for sale, such as, to find similar cars to your own. Sites like these can help you set the car price fairly because it shows how much cars like yours are selling for.

2. Condition. Examine the condition of your used car before determining its price. The better the condition, the higher you can price it. The same goes for mileage -- the lower the mileage on your car, the higher the price.

3. Fair market value. Keep in mind that the fair market value for a car is somewhere between trade-in value and retail.

4. Similar pricing. Remember, as you compare your car with others online, potential buyers are doing the same thing. You may think your car is worth more than other people are selling theirs for, but if you price yours more than the others, it can make your car harder to sell.

5. Cushion. Give yourself a $500 cushion when setting the car price. People like to haggle when buying a car. It is unlikely you will get a full price offer, so don’t list the car for the lowest amount of money you’ll accept.

6. Patience. When you set the car price, be realistic with it, but also be prepared to wait. Have the patience to wait for the right buyer to find your car. Keep in mind, though, that if you have to wait too long, it may mean that the car is priced too high.

7. Best offer. Listing the car price along with “Or Best Offer” (OBO) may not be a good idea. On the one hand, it tells potential buyers that you are willing to negotiate. But, it also tells them that you are not serious about your car price. If you include OBO, just know that you are certain to get less than the indicated car price.

With a little legwork, you can find a fair car price for your vehicle that will help you get the most money and sell it in a timely fashion.


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