Do you want to know how to sell a car in California? There are many ways to sell your car in California. In this article, we will tell you about the methods that you can use to get more money for your car. We believe a private sale is a much better way. However, if you want to sell your car quickly, then you have to choose the option of the dealership.
Selling a car in California
If you want to sell a used car in California, then make sure you are well-aware of the state’s laws. For example, having a good knowledge of smog certificate, a liability release, and pink slip is essential.
Besides that, selling your car in the state of California has the same procedures as in other states of the country. So, you can list your car on a car buying/selling website and prepare it for sale. Make sure you properly communicate with prospective buyers. It will allow you to make the entire process easy. Remember, communication is key.
The California Smog Certificate
You need to acquire the California smog certificate. It is crucial for turning over the title to the new owner of the car. If you don’t have a hybrid car, then getting the certificate is mandatory. Otherwise, the state’s DMV won’t allow you to sell the car.
If you have a car older than 1975, then you need the certificate. Vehicles that run on diesel, natural gas, or electric assembly also require the smog certificate. If your car has GVW over 14,000 pounds, again, you need the smog certificate.
It is easy to get the smog certificate from the shop that provide such services. The laws of California requires the seller to provide the smog certificate. The state does not require the buyer to give or submit the smog certificate. So, getting the certificate is mandatory if you want to sell your car in the state quickly.
California Release of Liability
Another relevant paperwork is about the state’s release of liability. It is a document that informs the DMV that the seller is not responsible for fees, tickets, and penalties incurred by car operation.
In case you fail to file this, then, the state will hold you accountable for any sort of trouble. The new owner can also sue you for the irresponsibility. So, this can get you in trouble. Make sure you acquire the release of liability document and fulfil the requirements.
The best way to get the document or form is from the DMV website. Download the form, fill it and then submit it back to the site. Also, you can email the document to the DMV. Filling the form is secure.
For example, you need to mention the number plate and the VIN. It is a five-digit identification number. Next, mention your name, contact, and address as well as the details of the new owner.
California Legal Release
It is an essential part of the car selling process. It requires you to sign the document of legally release ownership of your car. The procedure focuses on the transfer of the car to the buyer.
Once you have transferred the car, it is crucial to complete and submit the form of release of liability. Thus, you will finalize the sale and hand your car to its new owner. The legal release is an essential and mandatory part of the process as it allows you to remove all the accountability from the car.
California Certificate of Title
The certificate of title, also known as the pink slip, is an essential document in the car selling process. California State does not recognize the difference between the legal owner and the lienholder of the car. So, when you require the change of car owner, the state will consider it as sale, donation, or inheritance.
In case the title is missing, it is essential to fill out a REG 227 form so that you can complete the process of transfer. You must also notarized to confirm the validity of the lienholder release.
Determine the car market value
After preparing all the necessary documents, you have to list your car for sale. Everyone wants the best deal for their cars. You can check the worth of your car on NADA or Kelley Blue Book. These are fantastic resources, which give ideas about the worth and value of your car.
It is likewise essential to visit a few markets in California to determine the fair price. You can check local listings and determine the price of similar cars. Make sure you find out the number listed cars. If you think the market is heavily saturated, set a lower price for your car. So, it is an excellent way to get the attention of the buyers.
Collect Your Documentation
Make sure you collect all the documentation before you sell your car in California. The most important aspects are the title, maintenance records, as well as release of liability. At the same time, you need a document called the release of ownership and smog certificate. We also recommend having a bill of sale, warranties and repair receipts.
Service your car
It is always an excellent idea to service your car. After all, you can attract buyers when you have a clean car. Make sure your car is in the best condition. Consider both the interior and exterior of the car.
Contact a competent car maintenance service, and they will take care of your car. Although you will have to spend some money on car maintenance service, if you want to get more money, this is the only option. A clean car and plenty of pictures showing the clean condition of your car will help you sell it fast.
Many car owners take a few sample photos and then post them on the online listing. Well, we think this is not the best practice to sell your car. You have to make an informed decision and go step-by-step. It is because you want a good deal for your car.
So, if this is the case, you have to keep your car in good condition. At the same time, you have to take some quality pictures to attract more buyers. The more buyers, the higher chances of selling your car quickly.
It is essential to take a side profile picture as well as photos of the front, back, exterior, and the engine. The photos of your car’s engine are significant. It is because most buyers want an engine that is in good condition.
When it comes to the interior, make sure you open the doors of your car and take some photos of front and back seats. All these photos will show the buyers that your car is clean and you have done a brilliant job.
List Your Car
The Internet allows you to sell your car quickly. There are various online platforms where you can list your car. Some of the most popular ones in California are Auto Trader, Facebook, and Craigslist. Our recommendation is Facebook and Instagram, where you can deal with the buyer directly without the involvement of third parties.
While writing up your car listing, it is essential to provide all the information. Don’t forget to mention the engine, transmission, make and model, as well as mileage and VIN. Likewise, we recommend you to mention the issues of your car. Don’t hide anything. Make everything smooth and transparent. Also, you must provide the history of your car repair documents.
Screen Different Buyers
When you have everything in place, you will get more responses from buyers. Some buyers will contact you, communicate with you about the car, and then disappear in the last minute. So, the first question you must ask the buyer is whether or not he or she is serious about purchasing it.
In general, serious buyers ask specific questions about the car. They will also ask you directly about the final price. In such a situation, ask them what they offer. If you agree to price, then respond to the buyer.
On the other hand, if the buyer mentions a low price, then it means he or she is not serious. In such a situation, you can skip the buyer and talk to another one. Negotiations are good, but you have to sell your car for a fair price.
Make sure you accept cash only if you are selling your car privately. Don’t handle the car over to the new owner or sign the paperwork without taking the money. Some buyers will offer half the money up front and half after a week. Don’t finalize the deal with such buyers.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.