How to Post Your Vehicle on Craigslist

Our Guide to Selling Your Vehicle Online

Craigslist, the classified advertising website, is a super popular place to buy and sell used cars. When I search for used cars near me, I like to check Craigslist first and then the used car dealerships in my area to get a good idea of what’s on offer.

Selling your vehicle on Craigslist can mean you get a higher return than selling it to a dealership, as the used car dealership always needs to make a profit on the sale. However, there are a few things you should get right about your Craigslist posting to make sure things go smoothly.

1—Get the vehicle paperwork in order

Each state has different requirements, but to transfer ownership of your vehicle to another person, you’ll need to have some paperwork in order. The most important thing is the vehicle title, which should be in your name. The title will also state whether you have any liens (outstanding loans) on the vehicle. You’ll need to clear these loans before you can sell your car.

In some states, you also need to complete a bill of sale, odometer disclosure, and/or a damage disclosure statement. Check with your state DMV to find which you need so the deal can go smoothly when you find a buyer.

2—Clean and fix up your vehicle

It’s time to make your vehicle presentable. Clean, polished, uncluttered vehicles sell much faster, so dealerships always perform a full detailing of the cars they’re trying to sell. Remove all your knickknacks so the buyer can see themselves in your vehicle.

Fixing up minor issues with the car before you try to sell it means there are fewer reasons for buyers to hesitate. Generally, getting all those little issues like loose screws and switches fixed pays off in the amount you can get for the vehicle.

3—Decide on a selling price

You can get an idea of how much you should be selling your car for at Kelley Blue Book. Another option is, which gives you an idea of how much dealerships are selling the same type of car for.

Remember that these prices are just a guide, and you will find the actual prices vehicles sell for on the private market in your area are higher or lower. Some states prefer used trucks, whereas others prefer passenger cars, for instance. If you’re unsure, it’s better to set the price a little higher than too low, as buyers will always try to get you to drop the price either way.

4—Write your Craigslist post

The best vehicle classifieds on Craigslist are descriptive. People prefer you to write as much as you can about the vehicle as it shows you have nothing to hide.

Include things such as the year, make, and model of the vehicle, the engine size, colors, transmission, and exact mileage.

Then you can start really selling the vehicle by pointing out all the features it has. Does it have ABS, power steering, or cruise control? Air conditioning, sunroof, tinted windows? Every additional feature you mention can entice buyers more.

Include why you’re selling the vehicle, the exact condition it’s in, and specific details of any cosmetic damage it has. List your expected price and how best to reach you.

5—Include great pictures

Take as many pictures of your vehicle as possible from several different angles. Take the photos in a well-lit area. Include photos of the dashboard close up with the mileage clearly visible and some shots of the engine compartment. Include lots of pictures of both the interior and exterior, and be sure to take photos of any damage the vehicle has had.

As long as you clearly show the damage and explain in your post that your pricing already includes a discount for it, buyers have no reasonable grounds to attempt to drop the price even further when they meet you.

6—Meet with potential buyers

If you’ve followed the above steps, be prepared for many calls as soon as your Craigslist posting is live. Put the advertisement live at a time you will be available for the coming weekend.

Buyers will attempt to haggle off the bat, so just let them know you have other interested buyers, and your pricing is set. If you find that after a week, you’ve few takers, it may be time to negotiate further.

Though many people meet with buyers outside their homes, it’s safest to meet people in a public place like a busy parking lot. Similarly, you’re not obliged to sit in the car with someone when they take it for a test drive. As long as you have comprehensive insurance, even in the improbable case the driver decides not to come back, you’ll be completely covered.

Time To Sell! 

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to sell your vehicle on Craigslist! 

Ellen Hollington

Ellen Hollington is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.