Skip to main content

Are you planning to sell your car but don’t want to deal with the hassle of posting it on sites like Autotrader or Craigslist? Don’t worry, nowadays, you don’t really have to. Thanks to the invention of online-only, third-party used car dealers like Carvana, Vroom, and Shift, you can easily off-load your car without needing to go anywhere. But what do you need in order to sell your car to one of these retailers?

Getting an appraisal quote from Carvana and Vroom is easy

The logo for Carvana Co. is displayed on a laptop computer.
The logo for Carvana Co. is displayed on a laptop computer. | Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

If you’re planning to sell your car to a third-party used car retailer like Carvana or Vroom, you’ll be delighted with how easy the initial steps are. For Carvana, all you need to do is log onto the website and click the “sell/trade” tab. After that, the process is pretty straightforward.

The site will ask you to fill out all of the information you can about your car, including the VIN, mileage, and color. It will then ask you a series of questions regarding the car’s condition as well as some of your personal information. After it’s all filled in, you click the button to get your offer.

The main benefit to both of these sites is that your offer comes up instantly and you have seven days to decide if you want to move forward with the deal.

A computer monitor displayed available vehicles inside the Carvana Co. car vending machine.
A computer monitor displayed available vehicles inside the Carvana Co. car vending machine. | Photographer: Laura Buckman/Bloomberg

When you decide to sell your car, it could take a few days

If you do decide to move forward with selling your car to Carvana, then you’ll have to create an account and log into the portal. From there, you will upload certain documents needed like your driver’s license, a photo of the car’s odometer, a photo of the vehicle’s registration, and a photo of the title or the 10-day payoff (if you still have a loan on it).

After uploading the necessary document, a Carvana representative will review the documents and contact you within a day or so. From there, the representative might ask you for more information on your car, if needed. If your car has some damage, then they may ask you to send them photos of all the dents, dings, and scrapes.

After uploading that information, you might have to wait another day for them to get back to you. When they do, they will most likely send you an updated appraisal offer based on the new information you gave them. This offer may or may not be different than your original quote. But once you accept that offer and tell them how you want them to pay you (via check or direct deposit), then it’s time to schedule a pickup.

Saying goodbye to your car has never been easier

You can typically schedule Carvana to pick up your car around three days later or even the following week, whichever timeframe works best for you. On the day of your appointment, you’ll want to gather up the keys that you have for the car, its registration, title (if you have it), and your driver’s license.

When the Carvana representative arrives, they will go over the process and the paperwork with you and then check out the car. At this point, they will drive the car and then have you sign the documents needed for transfer. When that’s done, they will hand you the check for your car and that’s it!

If you opted for the direct deposit route, that could take longer depending on your financial institution. Either way, there’s almost not easier process than selling your car to an online used car retailer like Carvana or Vroom.


Carvana or CarMax: Which Online Car Sales Site Offers a Better Warranty?