While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect millions of people worldwide and keep millions more in isolation at home, many of us are trying to find new ways to deal with day to day tasks. If you’re stuck at home with a damaged car in your driveway, or if your car is totaled and you’re looking for extra money in the wake of a pandemic economy, selling your car might be a good option for some easy cash.
However, the process of selling your damaged car has changed just like everything else. Pre-pandemic, going to dealerships or salvage companies, or meeting with individual sellers was the standard. You may not have thought twice about meeting up with strangers and letting them inspect your car for a potential sale.
Now, with social distancing measures in place, many people are looking online to conduct business. Selling your car online is the quickest and safest way to make money off of your damaged vehicle while protecting the health of you and those around you.
Step One: Prepare Your Car
Your first step in selling your car is to clean it out. Remove any personal belongings and do a general clean up of the vehicle.
You’ll be using pictures to sell your car, so even if you’re unable to do a full detail, it should look as nice as possible in photos. A dirty car looks less valuable and certainly won’t inspire confidence in health-conscious potential buyers. Paying extra attention and sanitizing high-touch areas like the steering wheel, gear shifter, and dash is a helpful extra precaution.
Next, make sure you have a copy of your title available. You’ll also want to write down your car’s VIN number, which can be found in your dashboard on the driver’s side. The VIN number is a 17 digit combination that’s unique to your car.
If you have a mechanic’s assessment of your car’s damage or an estimated cost of repairs, that’s helpful to have as well. You can get a decent estimate of your car’s value by subtracting the estimated cost of repairs from the estimated market value of your vehicle. Having this information available will also assist you in communicating with potential buyers about the car’s status and repair needs.
The last step to ensure you’re ready to sell your car online is to take pictures of your car. Photograph it from many angles, and include pictures of any damage. Try to keep in mind what you’d want to see in a listing if you were a potential buyer – clear, bright images. Take your pictures on a sunny day to make the best use of your smartphone’s camera.
Step Two: Selling Your Car
With your great photos, your title, and your VIN number, you have everything you need to make your listing. The only problem now is there’s so many websites to choose from, and they’re certainly not all equal. Some websites will have hidden fees, or outright attempt to deceive you by offering you a high quote and changing it out for a lower one at the time of sale. The costs of towing and re-titling your vehicle are also factors to consider.
Fortunately, companies like DamagedCars.com can save you that stress by finding you the best quote in your area and guaranteeing that quote for seven days. When searching for quotes for your vehicle online, make sure you choose a reliable company with a good reputation — do your homework before completing the sale.
A good company’s quotes take into account your vehicle’s make, model, year, and trim and offer market value prices accordingly. By picking a company that takes the full picture into account, you won’t have to worry about having your vehicle undervalued or being lowballed.
The benefit of selling a car online is you can generally complete the entire process without bringing your vehicle in for appraisal. Completing the entire process online means you don’t have to fit an appraisal into your schedule or come into contact with more people than you have to. In most cases, the only person you might come in contact with is the person who will pick up your vehicle.
Speaking of which, make sure you take steps to protect yourself when the tow truck driver does arrive to fetch your car. Wear a mask and sanitize your keys, please! Manual keys can be sanitized using hand sanitizer or soap and water, but electronic fobs should be wiped down with a sanitizing wipe instead. Gloves may also provide you a layer of protection and comfort.
When the driver arrives, make sure you have all required materials handy. Typically, this means your car keys and your vehicle’s title. Depending on the company you choose, you may receive payment on the spot or be paid electronically later on. Make sure to sanitize your hands before and after meeting with the driver.
Congratulations! You’ve sold your damaged car from the comfort of your home without all the fuss, and kept yourself and your loved ones safe while you did so.