Here are 10 simple steps that will help you turn your used car into cash. Everything from pricing to advertising and negotiating is covered in this short, easy-to-follow process.
Step 1: Know the Market
Is your car going to be easy to sell? Is it a hot commodity? Or will you have to drop your price and search out additional avenues to sell it?
Here are a few general rules to answer these questions:
- Family sedans, while unexciting to many, are in constant demand by people needing basic, inexpensive transportation.
- The sale of convertibles and sports cars is seasonal. Sunny weather brings out the buyers. Fall and winter months will be slow.
- Trucks and vans, used for work, are steady sellers and command competitive prices. Don’t underestimate their value.
- Collector cars will take longer to sell and are often difficult to price. However, these cars can have unexpected value if you find the right buyer.
Your first step is to check on-line classified ads to see how much other sellers are asking for your type of car. Keep in mind that dealers will have different prices than private party listings. The eBay.com classifieds and other Internet
Great fuel efficiency and used cars are no longer mutually exclusive.
Scores of vehicles with combined mileage ratings of 30 mpg or greater have been entering the new-car market over the past few years, a result of increased consumer demand and automakers wanting to meet tougher federal fuel economy requirements. Now, from Acura to Volkswagen, those 30-mpg-plus vehicles are making an appearance in the used-car market.
There are conventional hybrids, EVs and plug-in hybrids — as you’d expect. But there also is an ever-growing selection of standard gasoline and diesel models as well.
Edmunds.com lists all the new models with great fuel efficiency in our regularly updated story, “Fuel-Efficiency Finds: Cars That Get at Least 30 MPG Combined.” Now we’re also bringing you a list of late-model used vehicles with excellent fuel economy.
This list is arranged by model year, manufacturer and model, with EPA fuel-efficiency ratings included at the end of each entry. It will help you tailor a search to just those models that are EPA-rated for at least 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Remember, of course, that in real life your mileage inevitably will vary. For vehicles that do not use gasoline or diesel, and for those that
When the first plug-in vehicles hit the market, buyers had little choice in the home charging devices they got. General Motors, maker of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and Nissan, maker of the Leaf battery-electric vehicle, each had partnered with a charging station manufacturer and installer.
Car buyers got a garage evaluation and installation quote before they took delivery of their vehicles. They bought the charging stations (usually through their car dealers) that the automaker recommended.
Fast-forward a few years and the marketplace has wrought its magic. Today, there are more than a dozen EV and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles on the market and more on the way. Owners and prospective owners of these plug-in vehicles can choose from dozens of home car-charging stations from more than a dozen manufacturers.
You can shop direct from the maker online, from various home-improvement retailers or via mass-marketing sites such as Amazon.com. Or you can do it old-school and go through your car dealer.
A recent survey of plug-in vehicle buyers by Ford Motor Company found that about half still use the dealer-supplied, one-stop service that provides the charging station and installation for one price. The other half now do their own shopping, both for the home
The following steps will show you how to locate, price and negotiate to buy the new car you want. Using this information could save you thousands of dollars on a new car and make the process quicker and enjoyable. It also puts you in charge of the deal-making process — and that feeling of empowerment is a good one.
But first things first: You need to decide what car you want to buy. If you haven’t done that yet, please check out our “10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You.” Then head back here once you have chosen the right car.
And if you have any questions along the way, please reach out to the Edmunds.com Live Help team for free assistance. The team will work hard to make your car shopping experience the best one yet. You also can be paired with an Edmunds car-buying expert who can help you wherever you are in the shopping process. This service also is free from Edmunds.
Step 1: Get Approved for a Car Loan
A powerful first step in the car buying process is to get approved for a loan. (If you have decided to lease your new car, things proceed a little differently, so please read “10 Steps to
Until recently, the question of when to change your oil was usually answered by your local garage, which had a vested interest in servicing your car every 3,000 miles. Your alternative was to crack the owner’s manual to see whether your driving habits fell into the “severe” or “normal” category. And then you’d let the listed interval be your frequency guide.
But increasingly, the change-interval question is being answered by a vehicle’s oil life monitoring system, which signals the driver through the instrument panel. This alert usually arrives anywhere between 5,000 and 8,000 miles.
So how does the system know when it’s time for a change? Electronic sensors throughout the drivetrain send information about engine revolutions, temperature and driving time to the car’s computer. The data is run through a mathematical algorithm that predicts when the oil will begin to degrade. The light comes on well in advance, giving the owner time to get the car serviced.
Oil life monitoring systems have been around for several decades. They were introduced in General Motors vehicles in the late 1980s and have been phased in slowly, said Matt Snider, project engineer in GM’s Fuels and Lubricants Group. “We are very confident in the accuracy of
If you are one of the many people who let a windshield reminder sticker govern when they get an oil change, here’s our advice to you: Drop that habit. Instead, follow the automaker’s recommended service intervals. In many modern cars, your best bet is to rely on the vehicle’s oil life monitoring system to let you know when it’s time for a change.
Let the Manual Guide You
Oil change information is in the maintenance chapter of your owner’s manual. If for some reason you’ve misplaced your owner’s manual, many automakers have put their manuals online. You can also search our Edmunds Maintenance Schedules. We have an extensive maintenance database on vehicles dating back to l980.
In many instances, you’ll find that the owner’s manual lists two service schedules. These are based on “normal” and “severe” or “special” driving conditions. Read the descriptions carefully to see which schedule reflects how you drive. In our experience, the vast majority of people fall into the normal schedule.
Trust Your Oil Life Monitor
In recent years, a number of automakers have installed oil life monitors of varying complexity in their vehicles. The more basic versions are more maintenance minders than actual systems. They’re based on mileage,
When you’re talking tires, consumers often stand to lose a lot of money. You want to drive safely, but don’t want to break the bank just to put a new set of tires on your car. To keep you informed about how the tire business works, we talked to a tire industry expert. This insider’s account will help guide you through this important automotive transaction.
My first job was bustin’ tires for Firestone here in L.A. I started from the very bottom, changing tires and belts and doing oil changes. I went to work for another tire store and the service manager took a shine to me and said, “Come on up front, and when it’s slow, I’ll show you how to deal with customers.”
Since then, I’ve spent about 20 years in the business and worked in a lot of different stores — some of which I didn’t like much. But I learned a lot about that all-important moment when a customer comes up to the counter and says, “I need a new set of tires but I’m not sure what I want. Can you help me out?” What I know can help you get the right tires on your car
Calling a paintless dent remover instead of taking your car to the body shop can save you significant amounts of time and money. But choose carefully — the job is far trickier than it looks. We managed to track down and speak with the Obi-Wan Kenobi of paintless dent removers, Los Angeles-based Sean McMullan of Crayford Coachworks, as he massaged a complex ding out of a Subaru Impreza. His keen and entertaining insights are below.
I tell people I’m the McDonald’s of the automotive world — I make everyone happy for a lot less money. To be specific, I can usually fix your dent for a third the cost of a body shop. Sometimes it’s even a tenth the cost, if you add in the car rental and down time. But you have to know what you’re doing, as you almost have to be an artist to know how to do this job. The dent on this Subaru Impreza — caused by a baby seat falling onto the car — looked like it was going to be borderline impossible to fix.
The number-one thing causing dents is people driving into trash cans. Number two is irate girlfriend/boyfriend incidents. When I show up,