How to Safely Sell Your Car Online

woman using cell phone to sell her used white car online

Selling a car online isn’t like selling your old clothes or devices on a second-hand site. Vehicles are expensive and with any sort of major purchase between two parties there will be questions from both sides that need answering and risks involved.

Of course, not every potential buyer has good intentions, and because it’s difficult to get a good read on strangers you meet over the internet, it’s a good idea to take some basic precautions into account throughout your online sale process. After you figure out the best way to sell your car online, check here for tips on the safest way as well!

Follow these car selling safety tips to ensure you don’t end up getting scammed (or worse) when trying to safely sell your vehicle online.

Avoid Facebook Marketplace

african american lady sitting at table with laptop shopping online

Social media marketplaces are synonymous with scammers. This is because there’s no actual digital store and buyer/seller protection policies are lacking, to say the least. As a result, you sometimes don’t know who you’re dealing with — and what their motives really are.

Plus, Facebook Marketplace is a vast, well, marketplace and it wasn’t designed for vehicle sales.

There’s no help, no tips, no tutorials and no advice on how to properly purchase or sell a vehicle. To them, your vehicle is no different than a baseball card or used baby clothes. And, there’s no guarantee anyone will see your listing or respond to it.

Avoid Craigslist Too

Craigslist is known to be popular among private buyers and sellers of mainly junk, near junk or title history problem vehicles. It’s also very well known for scams and even assaults. Do a quick online search for Craigslist scams and you’ll find pages and pages of people who have been scammed when trying to sell items.

Again, you never truly know who you’re dealing with on these vast marketplace sites.

shopping online with a fake shopping cart and boxes

Don’t Meet Up with Strangers Alone

This is an obvious one but it’s worth mentioning: DO NOT meet up with strangers by yourself, DO NOT allow strangers to come to your home, and DO NOT allow anyone to drive your vehicle alone.

simple city map with public locations

If you’re going to meet a potential buyer or seller of a vehicle, always meet in a well lit public place where you’ll feel comfortable. Meeting in the daytime is always better as well. Savvy private vehicle sellers often give potential buyers the street address of their local Police department and meet the buyer there. You know this parking lot will be well lit, it will most likely be under video surveillance and it should scare away people with less than good intentions.

You can also take extra precautions by installing a hidden GPS tracker on the vehicle. This can help the authorities track a stolen vehicle.

Don’t Give Out Private Information

One top safety tip is to be careful who you share your private information with. It’s never a good idea to give out your home address or banking info to a stranger. When showing your vehicle or completing a sales transaction always insist on meeting somewhere else.

computer and technology secure from not giving out private information

Get All of the Proper Documents from the Buyer

person filling out paperwork to purchase used car

Before selling your car, you need to have the proper paperwork in order. This includes providing a title, bill of sale and a few other things. You can check with your local DMV to find out exactly what is needed for a legal transfer of ownership and if you’re still paying the car off, check with your lender as to how to proceed with a release of the title.

The buyer, on the other hand, should have all the basic documents, such as a current driver’s license and auto insurance.

Know Exactly How Much Your Car is Worth

Another way to safely sell your car online is to know exactly how much it’s worth. This way, you won’t have to deal with potential buyers who might be looking to purchase the vehicle for less than it’s worth.

You can start by using a valuation guide, such as our free valuation tool! From there, you’ll want to take into consideration your car’s current needs; such as mechanical repairs, maintenance and any required body work or paint repairs. You can always find ways to get more money for your car before you list it too!

cash, car key, and small blue car

Safely Sell Your Car with Motobyo

Trying to sell our vehicle on generic online marketplaces like Facebook or Craigslist and others is a total crap shoot. You could be potentially scammed out of your money, your vehicle, both – or worse. Instead of dealing with that, simply use a trusted online car auction platform, like Motobyo.


When you sell your car with Motobyo you don’t have to worry about those stressful issues. Every buyer and seller is verified using ID Verification software to weed out the scammers. We also streamline the entire sales process to ensure your car is sold for the best possible price in the most efficient way.

Learn more about our hassle-free ways of selling used cars online and put your pre-loved car up for sale today!