How to Make the Most Money Selling Your Used Car

Used car prices have skyrocketed. This isn’t great for consumers, but you could make a major profit if you are looking to sell your vehicle. When it comes to selling a car, there are plenty of ways to leave money on the table as well. Here’s a breakdown of how you can make the most money selling your used car.

When should I sell my used car?

A used car lot.
A used car lot | Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

If you are looking to get rid of your used car, there is no time like the present. Thanks to a global chip shortage, vehicle supply is extremely strained. It is so strained that automakers have had to slow down production. The “supply and demand” your high school economics teacher taught you about has changed the used car market completely. The demand is high, and the supply of vehicles is historically low. You should sell your used car as soon as possible.

There are many ways drivers can sell used cars. According to CNN, there are several rules drivers should abide by when selling used cars. Before even considering selling your used car, you should make sure you have a backup plan for when you need some new wheels. Unless you’re ok with being car-less for a while, you need a good plan of action.

When you have decided to sell your used car, you’ll want to make sure it’s in the best shape possible. You need to convince buyers that your car is desirable. This may mean doing some mild detailing, getting an oil change if needed, and checking your tires. Are your car’s fluids topped off? Would you buy a car in this condition? Be sure to make a small checklist of things that may need fixing. Before even considering selling your car it should be in good condition.

What is the best way to sell a used car?

A white 2013 Toyota Tundra parked outdoors.
2013 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

So your car is shined up and ready for a new owner, now what? One surefire way to get the most money from selling your used car is by bringing it to an auction. Serious buyers who either know what they are looking for or came to leave with a good deal often frequent auctions. If you set a reasonable reserve price and your used car is in good condition, there is a high likelihood of your vehicle selling at the auction.

Another way to get the most money for your used car is through a private sale. Private sales are trickier than auctions because most inquiries don’t end up being from buyers willing to pay the price you set for your vehicle. People will try to bargain with you, and you will ultimately waste time on folks who are looking for a steal instead of a deal. That being said, a private sale could be extremely lucrative. It just requires holding out for the right buyer.

The last way to get the most money for your used car is by selling it to a dealership. Normally this wouldn’t be ideal, but used car prices are at a record high. Some dealerships are offering decent payouts for used cars so they can flip them themselves. Beware, car dealerships aren’t in the business of losing money. Thanks to the chip shortage, this last resort may produce more green than you think.

What is the best used vehicle to sell right now?

A blue 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 parked near trees.
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 | GMC

Trucks may not be the most popular vehicles on the market, but they are experiencing unprecedented markups. Trucks like the GMC Sierra 1500, Ram 1500, Toyota Tacoma, and Toyota Tundra have all been selling for more money as used vehicles than as new vehicles. This sounds outrageous, but since the supply chain has been affected by the chip shortage, these trucks have become more scarce and rare. The summer of 2021 is a great time to sell a truck.
RELATED: The Dumbest Mistake You Can Make When Selling Your Car