9 Steps to Sell Your Car on Craigslist

When you decide to dispose of your used car, getting a credible buyer will always be an issue. Luckily, sites like Craigslist allow you to list your used car on their website for free. Whether you want to sell a fancy car like a Bugatti or everyday ride like a BMW, you will always find interested buyers.

If you’re thinking of selling a used car, we’ve prepared a lot of information on how to sell your car on Craigslist as well as precautions to take to avoid being scammed.

Steps To Sell a Car on Craigslist

Step 1. Create Account

If this is your first time selling on the platform, you will have to create an account. Go through this guide to find out how to create a Craigslist account before you read on.

Step 2. Get Certificate of Ownership Ready

Before posting an image of your car or sourcing for buyers on Craigslist, its important to get all your paperwork ready. Because, even if you end up getting a buyer, the deal might collapse if you’re unable to provide some key documents. Also if you’re pardoned for misplacing some documents, a car sale deal can never fall through without the certificate of ownership.

This is the only document that clarifies that the vehicle is truly yours and not stolen. Also, if you’ve taken any loan, it’s important you call the lender and finalize payment with them before putting your car up for sale.

If your title is lost, you can watch this video to know the steps involved in getting a replacement from your DMV.

Step 3. Get Car in Order

You should check for any default that might go against you during the transaction. Inspect every corner of the vehicle for scratch or dents. All faulty parts should be repaired, and broken parts should be replaced as well.

If you can’t coat the body with new paint, it’s recommended you wash the car to get rid of stains and enhance its appearance.

Step 4. Take a detailed Photo of the Car

Take a detailed Photo of the Car

There’s no limit to the number of photos you can post. The more photos you have, the more details the buyer will get. On Craigslist, the buyers want to see a photo of every part; else, they assume that there’s something wrong with it.

Don’t limit your shot to the exterior. Take photos of the steering, driver’s area, stereo, Engine, Backseat, wheels, roof, and even the spare jack. With this, you don’t have to waste your time showing the buyer around when they eventually decide to buy.

Also, don’t try to hide any damages to the car. The buyer will fish this out during inspection, thereby putting you in a bad place. One thing you should never do is taking an image of your plate number. Due to the number of scams on this site, it’s recommended you blur your plate number when taking photos.

Step 5. Set a Price

If you have no idea of the right price to set, you can check other sites to find out the price of a similar listing. When you set a price at Craigslist, keep in mind the deficit of the car and be honest enough to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.

For instance, you might want to knock off a few dollars if there’s an issue with the dashboard or if the doorknob is broken. You don’t want to fix a price that drives people away and remember that you can’t recoup everything you paid when purchasing the new version.

If you find a buyer that’s willing to offer more than you quote, don’t get excited about it, this is likely a scammer. And never fall for offers that are too good to be true.

Step 6. A detailed Description

Don’t write your description as you post. Ensure you write during your spare time and proofread before uploading. We always recommend you treat your description as a sales letter. Endeavor to counter any objections the buyer might have about the car, but this doesn’t imply that you should lie.

For instance, if your car has any stains or scratch on the surface, mention them in your description. Also, if the car has issues that will be discovered during the test drive, note them down in the description. Tell your buyer everything they need to know, so nothing takes them by surprise.

Step 7. Create Post and Submit

Your headline should be catchy yet informative. Use short sentences and mention the properties of the car. The information provided here should include model, year and miles covered. Go through this guide to find out how to create ads on Craigslist.

Step 8. Schedule Test Drive

Schedule Test Drive

After submitting your post, you will start receiving notification from buyers within a week. When calls start coming in, figure out the most convenient time for a test drive. We recommend you allow a minimum of 40 minutes for each interested buyer.

Before you schedule a test drive, you ought to be 80% confident that the person will show up. You don’t want to hold up others for someone who isn’t interested in buying.

Step 9. Tweak Your Ads

Normally, calls start dropping in after few days of posting. If that doesn’t happen, this is an indication that your price is either too high or your description isn’t convincing enough. One thing we always tell people who want to learn how to sell a car on Craigslist is to always repost. Viewers hardly go beyond the first page; hence, your post becomes useless when it goes to the second page. Reposting regularly helps you stay on top.


Craigslist has a lot of serious buyers as well as scammers. When it comes to how to sell a car on Craigslist, the bad guys will always try to tap-into your greed by offering you more. Also, don’t transact through money wiring and keep in mind that it doesn’t take long to attract a serious buyer.

If you have experience selling used cars in Craigslist, share your thoughts in the comment session below.