How to Sell My Car Online

The used car market is booming. As a seller, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that the sale can be completed in a timely manner. But here’s the big question, “How to sell my car online?”

You could go through the hassle of finding a dealership to buy your car from you — but obviously, the final check you receive may be less than you hoped for. So why not try selling your car to potential buyers online? Below, we will give you some basic tips on how to sell your car online in just a few simple steps. By following our tips, you’ll be able to sell your car online in no time!

Selling your car online step-by-step

In the past, buyers needed to look through many classified ad listings to find their ideal vehicle. Now, online search tools help to filter out vehicles that don’t match the search criteria users set, which means you need to advertise your car in a way that makes it easily found by potential buyers.
shopping online

Step 1: Research Your Car’s Value

Knowing what your vehicle is worth is a good place to start, and there are many ways to find your car’s value.

  • Use an online book value tools. There are many book value sites around that can give you their opinion on what your vehicle may or may not be worth. All of these are different and very few are accurate, so checking a few of these and having a range in mind is not a bad idea.
  • Use Motobyo’s used car valuation tool to find out what your car is really worth right now. All Motobyo cash offers are based on real-time market conditions and are backed with a real offer to buy your vehicle immediately. In addition to a guaranteed cash offer, Motobyo also provides all sellers with a private party sale estimate to let you know where you stand with your vehicle’s value on today’s private party market.

Step 2: Decide Where to Sell Your Car Online

woman typing on the computer


If you’re selling a run-of-the-mill, slightly beaten-up 15-year-old commuter car, Facebook could be the place. Most base listings are free, there are no post-sale fees, and you can post numerous pictures.
However, Facebook tends to not attract quality buyers. Because most Facebook Marketplace sellers use it to sell old household items and furniture, most car buyers don’t even know you can shop for vehicles there. For that reason, cars go unsold for months and sellers deal with a lot of lowball offers and a number of time-wasters.


For all the things that Craigslist is great for (used furniture, flexible part-time work, etc) we wouldn’t recommend using it to sell your car.

Here, you’re also likely to encounter time-wasters and scammers. You will need to be prepared to weed out those who are serious about buying your car.

Vehicle Listing Platforms

Most vehicle listing platforms are not made to help you succeed as a private seller. Sites such as Autotrader, and, Cargurus and others are sites dedicated to helping car dealers succeed. That’s their customer and how they get paid. Private sellers can list their cars there, but it’s usually a waste of time. Dealers from around the country pay these sites for premium placement, so your private party ad ends up hundreds of pages deep and no buyer can ever find it. These sites also do nothing to help you as a seller, which is why private party cars sit on these sites for months.
webpage with cars for sale
motobyo logo
Motobyo is 100% dedicated to the private party marketplace and offers no advertising space for dealers.
We offer a 100% safe and secure platform monitored by a team of experts who work hard to keep scammers off our site. We also offer every product and service that a private party buyer needs to complete their transaction, such as instant auto financing, easy online insurance quotes, extended service contract availability, 50 state DMV services, door to door vehicle transport quotes and more. Making these services available to buyers helps the private party sellers complete a transaction in a faster, more hassle free manner.

Step 3: Getting Your Car Ready for Sale

person washing a car

Clean it up

You never get a second chance at a first impression. So even if your car’s engine is still purring like a dream, if the exterior and interior don’t look the part, buyers might not bite. Before listing your used car online, give the vehicle a total clean: up and down, front to back, inside and out.
Friendly tip: if you invest in a professional detail service, you’re likely to make that money back in the final sale.

Fix mechanical issues

Would you want to buy a broken car? Probably not. So when selling a used car online, it’s important to make sure that all of the mechanical systems are in good working order. This includes the engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, and tires.
3 cartoon men working on a car

If there are any issues with these systems, it’s best to get them fixed before listing the vehicle for sale, especially if it’s going to go through a certified inspection like it would here at Motobyo.

The car’s working condition impacts both the price you can get for it and a potential buyer’s propensity to pay. Don’t give any would-be purchasers a reason to doubt the value. Making the necessary repairs and then noting the repairs and maintenance history in your listing is always a best practice.

List Your Car

woman holding a camera

Take good-quality photos

Now that your car is clean and in good running condition, it’s time to take some photos. Think of what you’d want to see if you were buying a used car online — be sure to take pictures of the exterior, interior, trunk and engine bay.
You should also take close-up shots of any features that you want to highlight and any notable defects that you disclose in your advertisement.

Write a good description

The photos of your car will appeal on an emotional level, but it’s the detail you put into the written description that will help close the sale.

Don’t skimp on the information to provide at this stage. A used car’s description should include all of the important information about the vehicle, such as its make, model, year, mileage, and any features or upgrades that it’s had.

someone typing at a computer
Where possible, it can also help to detail how the car has been used while you’ve owned it. Has it been garage-kept, serviced locally, state inspected, etc? Providing the most detail here as possible is important. The description builds confidence for potential buyers and also saves you from having to answer the same questions over and over to different buyers.

Include a vehicle history report with your listing

cartoon report

A vehicle history report is one of the most important pieces of information to include when selling cars online. This report includes details about the car’s history, such as reported accidents that it may have been in, previous title problems, limited service history info and more.

More on the types of questions buyers might ask in just one second…

Making it easy for potential buyers to check the vehicle history report can help speed up the selling process as well. Potential buyers will feel more confident about buying a car when they have access to this information and they’ll need to come to you with fewer questions.

Choose a selling price

Remember those valuations you got in the first step? Now’s the time to decide what value to place on your vehicle. Be sure to research the prices of similar private party vehicles before setting your price — you want to be sure to set a reasonable selling price so your vehicle doesn’t go unsold.

It’s important to be realistic when setting your price. If you price your car too high, it may not sell. However, if you price it too low, you might end up walking away with less than your car is worth.

price tag
Finding that sweet spot price can be difficult on your own, so make sure to lean on Motobyo’s pricing tools for the most up to date vehicle values. Let our data center do the research for you.
2 people, one asking questions the other answering them

Answering questions about your used car

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: any car is a large investment. That’s why you should always have patience for the questions a buyer will ask (while exercising caution if someone is asking too many questions and potentially wasting your time).

It’s important to be honest when answering a buyer’s questions — if you aren’t, there’s a good chance that they’ll find out anyway, further down the road. And if you’re not sure how to answer a question, you can always ask a friend or family member for help.

The types of questions a genuine could-be buyer might ask are:
  • Could I drive the car home if I bought it? (As in: is it safe and roadworthy?)
  • Is there any unpaid finance on the car? Do you have the title in hand?
  • Do you know who owned it before you? (If you bought it used as well)
  • Has the car ever been involved in a collision?
  • What sort of auto insurance premium do you pay?

Payment and handover

Selling a car online doesn’t always happen overnight, so you’ll need to be patient. Motobyo online listings last for up to eight days, but private party buyers can make cash offers anytime – so you’ll need to be ready to sell from day one.
people shaking hands making a deal
Once you have found a buyer for your car, then it’s time to finalize the sale. This includes arranging payment and taking care of the paperwork. Once the sale is complete, you will need to hand over the keys and any other documents that are required. Selling your car online is a great way to get the most money for your vehicle. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that you sell your car quickly and easily! If you’re looking to sell your car online, Motobyo can help. We are a trusted online used car marketplace and the only one dedicated to private party automobile transactions. We can also take care of all the paperwork and make the process easy and hassle-free! Contact us today to get started!