Tips to Sell a Car on Craigslist

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 08/03/21 •  4 min read

There are many ways to do it, but there is one major problem: people lie. When selling a car on Craigslist, you have to be very careful. It’s a good idea to be armed with a bit of basic information about the car you want to sell before posting. In this article, I will explain how to sell a car on Craigslist.

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Tips To Sell a Car on Craigslist

The Car Is Free To Drive

The first thing to do before posting is to make sure that the car you’re posting is free to drive. It would be horrible if you drove a car on Craigslist and then had to pay somebody to haul it away. 

sell a car on Craigslist
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This also applies if you have to pay money to get rid of the car. Some Craigslist scams go like this. You list your car for sale on a Monday, and the buyer contacts you within a week to make an offer. You make an offer on Tuesday and never hear from them.

Necessary Information 

Before selling a car on Craigslist you should make sure that you’ve posted all of the necessary information. This means you need to know the year, make, model, color, vehicle identification number, mileage, and anything else that could help someone get in touch with you. 

You should also list the asking price in a reasonable amount of money. Don’t list your price too low if it’s below your reserve price or too high. This can end up making the buyer wonder why you’re willing to sell it so cheap.

No Dent, Scratches, Or Body Damage 

Next, you should make sure that your vehicle is free of dents, scratches, and body damage. It can seem like a simple thing, but too many cars on the site still have dents and scratches in them. 

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If you can wait until the car has been run through a mechanical service and make sure everything is working properly before posting a price on the car.

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Once you’re sure that your car is in good shape you can post pictures of your car. This is usually done by printing out pictures off of the Internet or from a digital camera. 

Before you sell a car on Craigslist, you should make sure that you have a reliable photograph of it, because people are more apt to buy if they see the real thing than a photo that doesn’t look real.

Do Proper Listing

The third item on the list of how to sell a car on Craigslist? List the car information properly. Use words that are easy for someone to understand. 

For example, instead of just saying “priced” use “price quote” or “flexible quote”. This way the person who goes to sell will know what it is you are looking for, which makes the whole process much easier.

Get The VIN Number

Next, you should be sure to get the VIN. You need this so you can obtain the history of the car and see if it’s stolen, or has some repairs or such. 

Also, if you have a current warranty on the car you want to sell, mention this as well. If you don’t you could end up paying twice for a vehicle. Craigslist users all over the world use this option and usually pay far less than the dealer.

Have All Paperwork In Place 

And finally, you should have all the paperwork in place. This includes a complete and accurate description of the car, the VIN, and any other special information. Even though you’re selling your car, you still have to comply with local laws.

 This includes information about the city or area where you live. When you have all of the papers in place and you’re ready to start marketing, you can advertise in the search engines by typing in the appropriate keywords. You should get a decent amount of traffic and responses in a short period of time.


It is safe to sell a car on Craiglist , but you should be cautious as there are scammers with fake accounts. So, make sure to do a thorough search before considering to sell a car on Craiglist. Do not give your personal or bank information and that way you’ll be able to tell legit offers from the not-so-legit ones.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.

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