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How to Sell a Car That Isn’t Paid Off?

It is possible to sell your car even if it is not paid off. It can be a pain in the neck, but it can be done. Let’s have a look at some of the steps you will need to take.

Contacting Lender

Your first step should be to contact your lender. You will want to find out your pay off and how much interest accumulates each day so you know what your minimum selling price for the vehicle will be. While you have the lender on the phone, tell them what you are wanting to do and ask what the procedure is for clearing the title. You will want to know what documentation you will need, where to go to pay off the loan, and how long it will take to get a clear title. You will need to be able to give the new owner an approximate timeline for the title. You should also call the local motor vehicle bureau to see if the buyer can get a temporary tag while they wait for the title to clear.

Value of Vehicle

Next, with your pay off in mind, find out the value of your vehicle. Kelley Blue Book and NADA Guides are two very reliable sources for vehicle valuation. Depending on how long you have had the car, the price you paid, and your interest rate, you may owe more than the car is worth. Being upside-down on the loan may prevent you from selling the vehicle immediately.

The Devil is in the…DETAIL

Your third step should be to detail your car. The more attractive and clean the car is, the easier it will be to sell. Put a sign in the car, ads in the local newspaper, and online. Craigslist is a great resource, but keep in mind you may encounter a few flakes. Find a nice spot where you feel safe to show the car to interested people and wait for the right buyer to come along. What’s more, if you have a lot of modifications done to your vehicle, it’s almost always more profitable to bring the car back to stock and sell the aftermarket parts on forums, Craigslist, or eBay.  Buyers are wary of modified cars, and it’s rare to get anywhere as much extra money out of the car as you will get selling the parts separately.

Buyer/Seller Communication:  Be Upfront!

You will want to let serious buyers know that the title is not clear and how long it will take them to get a copy of the title. If they are financing the vehicle, the new lender may clear the title for you. If not, you will have to follow your lender’s process.  Good luck!