The Pros & Cons of Selling a Car Privately

Vancouver Car Buying Service

When it comes to selling a used vehicle, it’s always seemed like the only way to do it effectively is to put an ad in Auto Trader, Craigslist, or Marketplace, and hope for the best. If you’ve got a highly sought-after vehicle with a solid fan base of enthusiasts, you simply take the highest bidder.

Nowadays, however, used car buying has become increasingly competitive as buying a new vehicle isn’t as affordable as it once was. This means that more and more people are selling their used vehicles to help pay for a new one, instead of just trading it in. It also means that there is a bigger demand for used vehicles than ever before. As a result, selling a used car may not be as easy as it once was.

Online Car Buying Starting to Decrease Since Covid 19 Recovery

If you’re selling a vehicle in Vancouver, it’s important to carefully explore your options. Online car buying took off big at the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic but started to dwindle down since Covid vaccines were mass distributed. With restrictions being lifted across the globe, many people are stepping away from online car buying to get a more personal experience when selling a vehicle. Between the many ways you can sell a car these days, the whole process of selling a vehicle can be a bit overwhelming.

Your Options to Sell a Car:

  • Selling it privately on platforms like Craigslist or Kijiji
  • Selling it through a social media platform (like Marketplace)
  • Selling it on a used car buying and selling website like Auto Trader
  • Selling your used vehicle to a dealership
  • Trading in your vehicle to a dealership
  • Selling it through an online car buying company like CanadaDrives or Carvana

This is why we’ve put together a pros and cons list about online car buying, as well as the other alternatives, to help you make a more informed decision about how you want to sell your car.

Tips for Selling a Vehicle Privately in Metro Vancouver

It’s a common misconception that if we sell a vehicle privately, we’ll get more money for it than we would if we were to sell it to a dealership or a professional vehicle buying service like Cash For Cars BC. The truth is this myth couldn’t be more wrong.

When you rely on the experts in any field, you get better results than if you don’t. The same is true when it comes to selling a car. If you rely on the experts like Cash For Cars BC, you’ll turn a much better profit than if you sell it on your own.

Used Car Buyer Vancouver

Selling a Used Car on Privately VS a Licensed Car Buyer

This doesn’t mean, however, that selling a car privately is all bad. It just means that you’re going to need to put in a lot more research and effort into selling your car when you’re not using a licensed professional to help you do it right. If you are successful though, you’ll definitely reap the rewards.

When selling privately, make sure to:

  1. Get a car fax to present to potential buyers. Nothing eases a buyer’s mind like having the vehicle’s history report. Plus, you’ll snuff out any sort of counteroffer that they might make based off the fact that the car could have been in an undisclosed accident.
  2. Get a 100-point vehicle inspection from BCAA. This is something that is both great to do as a buyer, but also as a seller. This will allow the prospective buyer to see what possible mechanical issues are on the way, if any, and what parts of the vehicle are in extremely good condition. BCAA vehicle inspections are around $100 and worth every penny for both parties. After all, if you can prove your vehicle is in tip top shape, you won’t have to spend as much time haggling over the price.
  3. Clean your car inside and out thoroughly. Some buyers can be extremely particular when it comes to buying a used vehicle. So, take the time to have the inside of your car detailed (including shampooing the upholstery) and give the outside a good scrub until it shines. Nothing brews excitement in a person than a shiny new toy, right? Fork out the extra bucks to get a better sale price on your car.
  4. Research the value of your vehicle before selling. Not only is this a good starting point for determining the value of your vehicle, it’s also a great way to make sure that you are getting the most cash for your car, without ripping of your buyer. You’ll also want to explore various car buying and selling sites online to see what other vehicles like yours are going for. This will further help you when it and if it comes time to haggle.
  5. Take great pictures when posting your vehicle online. The pictures you take of your vehicle should be clear, focused on what buyers want to see, and without filters. You want them to be eye catching, but adding filters could dilute what your prospects will actually be faced with upon an in-person inspection of the vehicle. Take photos of the front and back seats, the console and dash, and pictures of all sides of the exterior of the vehicle. Make sure that if there are any bits of damage, like dents or dings, that they are reflected in their own photos by themselves.

What to Watch Out for When Selling a Car on Your Own

Selling a Used Car

Prospective buyers are always on the hunt for the best deal when it comes to buying a car. Not only will they look for anything and everything that could help knock a few bucks off the sticker price, they’ll invent things. You may know yourself how your vehicle drives and what kinds of quirks it has, if any. Just because your vehicle has its own unique little traits, doesn’t mean there is actually anything “wrong” with it to warrant offering a discounted price.

So, when a potential buyer takes your car for a test drive and points out that there’s a pull to one side, it comes to you as a shock. But often times things like this will come up during a private sale because the person buying the car is just looking for a discount. If they can say the vehicle needs an alignment, they are usually hoping that they can convince you to knock a couple hundred dollars off the price.

Don’t fall for it. If you know for certain that your vehicle doesn’t need an alignment, don’t let consumers convince you otherwise. This is where having something done like a preliminary vehicle inspection can come in handy. Because if there really was an issue with your car, it would be present on the inspection papers that you can provide your buyer.

Don’t Get Scammed by Prospects Who Can’t Pay Up Front!

When you’re selling a car for cash, your goal is to get paid the most for it. And if you’re selling a vehicle that isn’t all that old, and has a lot to offer its buyer, you know that the sticker price can be a bit much for some people to pay all at once. However, that’s not your problem. So, don’t make it yours either.

If a person is serious about buying a vehicle, even a used one, they will have taken the time to get the necessary finances in order. Whether they’ve been saving up, got a loan from the bank, or simply came into money some other way; if they are planning to buy a car, they are prepared to pay for it.

If someone asks to make payments on the vehicle that you’re selling, politely decline. The minute you sign those transfer papers, you are surrendering your ownership. Even if they offer you a substantial deposit, don’t agree to a payment plan. Unless you are prepared to sell your car for the amount of the deposit, you can’t count on them to actually pay you the balance owing. Especially if the vehicle has already been transferred into their name.

Pros & Cons of Using an Online Car Buying Service

Selling A Car Online

Many people think the next best alternative to selling a car privately, is selling a car online through a used car buying service. While it may seem is convenient and simple, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, you can procure a quick sale, but you won’t get as much as you might think. Plus, online car buying businesses are in the industry not just to buy, but to sell. They will offer you considerably more for your car when you commit to buying a new one from them. And while it might seem like a great deal at the time, there are many hidden fees, higher interest rates, and a bit of run-a-round with getting the new vehicle to you.

Here is our list of pros and cons of online car buying to help you make a more informed decision before you go that route.


  • Instant offers on your vehicle
  • Less haggling over pricing if you’re willing to purchase a new car from them
  • They come to you and get your vehicle to them
  • You are paid relatively quickly and in full
  • If you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, you can check it out online


  • You won’t get as much money for your vehicle, unless you are purchasing a new one from the online car buying company that you’re using to sell your car
  • If you are, in fact, planning to buy a car as well as sell one, using a local used vehicle buying service is better than online car buying companies because you can see, and test drive the vehicles first
  • Going thru a licensed a local professional is always better because if you use online car buying, any sort of recourse regarding purchase or sales issues are harder to resolve from afar
  • If you sell a car to an online car buyer, you aren’t supporting the local economy.
  • You have to haggle over the price of your car with a person who is on the end of a phone, instead of in person. You shouldn’t have to haggle at all, but if you’re going to, it’s nice to do it in person. Especially when your vehicle is right there for them to see the value in person. You can’t do that with online car buying.

Make the Smart Choice to Use a Used Vehicle Buying Service in Vancouver

There are so many ways to sell a car in Vancouver these days. The best choice however is thru a used vehicle buying service like Cash For Cars BC.

Our used car buying specialists are all about customer service. They take the time to explain what your vehicle is worth, and why. They also provide in-person vehicle appraisals, so that you can have a real person look at your vehicle before making you an offer on it. That’s one of the biggest differences between Cash For Cars BC and online car buying. Real people, real CASH offers, we come to you, and NOBODY pays more!

Sell My Car Vancouver

If you’ve been putting off selling your car because you think it’s more work than you’re prepared to deal with; STOP! Call our team today and find out why more people in Vancouver choose our used car buying service over any other.

We’ll make you an instant offer upon an in-person appraisal, we come to you, we handle all of the paperwork, and we will pay the MOST cash for your car, truck, SUV, or van in the used car buying industry. Don’t waste your time trying to sell your vehicle privately, and don’t give online car buying the chance to swindle you. Trusts the services of Cash For Cars BC and we promise, you’ll be glad you did!

By Published On: November 17th, 2022Categories: BlogTags: ,

Have vehicle-related questions? Enter what you want to learn about in the search bar below

Share This Post With Your Friends, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: cashforcars

Cash For Cars BC is a Vancouver based used car and truck buying service. We make the process easy to sell your vehicle. We come to you and we do all the paperwork. We always offer the most cash and pay on the spot. GIve us a call, text or email today to see how we can help you sell your car in Vancouver for the most possible money.