To learn how we buy cars, read about it here or click to watch the video below.
Selling a car, van, truck or SUV has never been easier. It all starts when you fill out the simple Get a Quote form. We evaluate the condition of your vehicle, look at the comps (comparable transactions) and email an offer for your vehicle within 30 minutes. And best of all, there's absolutely no need to talk to a representative. Our form is ready when you are 24/7/365. How cool is that!
Review your offer when it's convenient for you. It'll be in your inbox, ready when you are and valid for the next 3 days. Go ahead, kick the tires a bit, mull it over, talk to your significant other, shop around. Whatever it takes for you to make up your mind. When you're ready and confident that the offer makes sense for you, give us a call. That's when the magic and Customer Satisfaction begins! Read what our customers have to say about RPM
We're fairly certain that getting paid for your vehicle is the one single step that's the most important to you. We get it, really, we do! That's why we partnered with Escrow.com more than 11 years ago to process all customer payments. It doesn't get any easier or for that matter safer for you. We want you to be certain that when it's time to get paid, the funds will be there when and how you want them paid to you! Visit Escrow.com
We will make arrangements for an inspection of your vehicle at a shop close to your home or work. A thorough vehicle inspection from a AAA Approved Auto Repair Shop gives you the peace of mind that your vehicle is inspected by a trusted, independent third party! The inspection assures you that the price we have offered for your vehicle is consistent with the condition of the vehicle. Read more about this step.
When the inspection of your vehicle is completed, the inspection shop will prepare and fax to us a complete report about the condition of your vehicle. We review it and then email it to you for your approval. Shortly after we email the report to you, your personal representative from RPM will call you to discuss the condition report and confirm the purchase offer for your vehicle. Now comes the best part!
It's time to get paid and close the sale. Yippee! Send the title to Escrow.com in the prepaid FedEx envelope that was emailed to you. Escrow.com will pay you according to your payment instructions as soon as they receive the title (next day). If you do not have the title, we will guide you toward quickly completing the sale. Here are some examples of closing your sale when you do not have the title.
Life serves up a steady stream of humor. It's there for the taking if you look for it. For the past 13 years, I have found a mixed bag oh humor in the thousands of emails and comments customers have sent me about their cars. Most were looking for a way to put a positive spin on a bad situation, to make their vehicle sound more attractive.
I kept some of the best to share.
Getting Things Mixed Up
It's a Great Car but......
It's not my fault....No, really
Automobiles as Anthropomorphized Objects
Selling a car, van or truck on your own is a slow and demanding process. It is realistic to allow yourself 4 weeks to complete the sale. By following the suggestions listed below, you will be better able to negotiate a fair price for you car when you do locate a buyer.
Questions to Ponder
These are just a few of the many questions you will need to answer if you are going to be a successful DIY Seller. Be prepared for lots of phone calls, missed appointments, tire kickers and lowball offers. Be brutally honest with yourself because selling a vehicle is not for the faint of heart.
If you would rather skip the drama, Get a Quote to Sell Your Car Today
Give your car some curb appeal!
Selling a car is competitive. There are literally hundreds of similar vehicles for sale at any time in your market. If you want to compete, you want your car to stand out from the others. Buyers will look at many cars before making a decision. If your vehicle does not rise above the crowd you will only be able to compete on price. Why bother at all if you are just going to end up selling the vehicle for about the same price as we will pay you today?
Get a Quote to Sell Your Car Today
Pricing a car for sale is part art and part science. The science is easy to master by following the suggestions listed below. The art of pricing a vehicle comes with practice and common sense. Some factors that influence the pricing of a vehicle are esoteric and others such as pricing a convertible in the winter are more practical. Use common sense and you will do just fine.
Be prepared to negotiate the price with your buyer. Everybody wants to think that they are getting a "good deal" and nobody pays asking price when it comes to automobile sales. Regardless of the price you choose, the market is going to tell you if it is a fair price. The market does not care what you think. If you pick an asking price, advertise it in the online classifieds and find that nobody calls, you will know that the price is too high. Listen to the sounds of the market and above all stay flexible!
Is this process starting to sound like a time vampire?
Sales Strategies to Consider
You will want to be creative with your marketing strategies. Gone are the days when you could buy a classified ad in the Sunday paper and wait for the phone to ring. Today's car buyers have the entire world at their finger tips. Keep it simple, keep it local and keep it upbeat when your phone finally rings! On the other hand, you might have decided that the whole DIY process is more than you care to tackle.
Why not Get a Quote to Sell Your Car Today
Effective Showings of Your Vehicle
After spending days or even weeks locating a buyer your attention will turn to the form of payment you are willing to accept for the vehicle. This is usually dictated by the value of the car being sold. Let's take a look at the options and the challenges faced with each payment method.
Each state establishes their own regulations surrounding a vehicle sale. Be sure to check with the department of motor vehicles (DMV) before you sell your vehicle.
The Federal Odometer Act requires the disclosure of your vehicle's mileage. Your state may require additional disclosures. In some states, the license plates are transferred with the car and in others they stay with the seller.
You should furnish a release of liability statement to your buyer and keep a copy for your records. It's also a good idea to keep a bill of sale for the transaction.
The title (when present) is signed by the seller and given to the buyer. In some states, the signatures of the buyer and seller will need to be notarized -another good reason to close the sale at a bank. A new title will be issued and mailed to the new owner.
In many states, both the seller and the buyer have additional responsibilities during and after the transfer of a vehicle. Contact your local DMV field office to learn of the requirements in your state.
To avoid all of these aggravations Get a Quote to Sell Your Car Today
In most states, the sale of a used car is considered "as is" and no warranty is provided or implied. The old adage "buyer beware-caveat emptor" applies. Therefore if you sell a car and it breaks in half the buyer will own both halves. You are under no obligation to repair the vehicle.
That is not to say you are protected if you purposely conceal or lie about the condition of the vehicle. Be honest about the condition of the car before the sale and give the buyer an opportunity to obtain their own professional inspection.
As with most things in life, be fair, be honest and do the right thing. Our advice here is provided for your own personal use and to aid you in deciding if you want to undertake a DIY sale of a used car. It is not intended to provide you with legal advice. If you feel you need legal advice about the sale of your vehicle, you should seek it from from competent professionals in the jurisdiction where you reside.
If you have read this far, you are determined and just might be successful with a DIY sale of your car. None the less, you may still want to consider getting a free quote to sell your car. You might be surprised how simple it is to Sell Your Car Today!
Your vehicle is worth whatever somebody will pay you for it!
Like it or not, it's true. The answer is not a flip response to the question, but the only answer possible until you know the buyer group that you choose to buy your vehicle. Your first goal should be to determine which buyer group you are targeting and then to rephrase the question so that it includes your target buyer group.
Your vehicle is valued differently by the three primary groups who buy used cars. Let's take a look at the three different groups of buyers, how to market your vehicle to each group and the amount of time and effort required if you are to realize the best sale price to each group. Generally speaking, the higher the value you are seeking for your automobile, the more time, energy and aggravation you will need to expend to reach your desired outcome.
Once you know the buyer group you are willing to target, you can turn to the question of how much cash you should expect from a sale of the vehicle and how to determine that value.
The 3 primary groups of buyers of used vehicles include: retail auto dealers, private parties and wholesale auto dealers. First, we'll take a look at the difference between the groups and then turn to the expected sale price for each group.
Retail Auto Dealers
Wholesale Auto Dealers
Private Party Buyer
Whether you are selling privately, trading in to a dealer, selling to a wholesale buyer or just plain curious about what your car is worth, it is important to know how to get an accurate valuation. Fortunately, there is no shortage of websites devoted to providing this information. As you will see later in this post, there is a great deal of variation in the pricing that comes from each of the sites listed below. This is partly due to the methodology used by each to produce their pricing models. Keep in mind that most derive a substantial if not lion's share of their revenue from Retail Auto Dealer advertising and paid inclusion in listings on the site. It's best to keep an open mind and do a lot of sleuthing at each site to determine how relevant and accurate their data really is.
When using these sites it's equally important to be as accurate as possible about the condition of your vehicle. Otherwise, you are walking away with an unrealistic valuation for your vehicle and you will expend a great deal of energy and aggravation trying to sell your car for an unrealistic price.
In no particular order of importance some of the more popular sites include: Edmund's TrueMarketValue, Kelley Blue Book, Cars.com powered by Black Book, RPM's Fair Value and NADAguides Used Car Values. Our personal favorites include Black Book and Edmund's. Our experience has taught us that the prices obtained from these two sites will provide you with the most relevant pricing data.
Pricing Models Put to the Test
We decided to test drive the 5 sites listed above to learn how they compared to each other in terms of valuing a popular used car. For our test, we chose a 2010 Honda Accord LX Model 4DR 4 Cylinder Automatic with no extra equipment and 60,000 miles in a white color. We used the zip code of our office location which is 94607 and we conducted our survey on May 12, 2015. Here's what we learned.
Understanding the Price
Regardless of the websites you use to appraise your vehicle, you will be given some valuable information to help you make an informed decision of which sales method best suits your personal lifestyle and temperament. If you visit all 5 listed above, a very clear picture of your used vehicle's valuation will begin to emerge. With a clear and honest assessment of your vehicle's condition and a range of prices such as those shown above, a clear path to selling your old car will begin to emerge.
When you know the buyer group you are going to target and are equipped with a realistic understanding of what it takes to market your vehicle to each of the three groups, you will be able to know the answer to the question; "What's my car Worth?"
It's Easy To Be Real
Getting a realistic valuation for your used car is key to what you do next. Whether you choose to sell to a private party, trade it in, sell to a wholesale dealer or even keeping it for a while longer, having knowledge gives you the power to make the intelligent choice for your personal situation. By being honest about your vehicle's condition, you'll have a clear-eyed assessment of your car's real worth, not a number based on guesswork and high hopes.
The Vocabulary of Our Automobiles
Ride: A substitute word for a car; Have you seen my new ride?
Chariot: A synonym for a vehicle; He's out riding in his chariot.
Wheels: A synonym for a car; I'm picking up my new wheels today.
Rig: Any vehicle but typically reserved for modified trucks; I'm hopping in my rig and heading to the desert tomorrow.
Beast: Typically reserved for fast, muscular vehicles; The '68 Plymouth Hemi Cuda was a beast!
Eye Candy: A vehicle that is aesthetically pleasing; For my generation, the 1967 Mustang GT Fastback was the epitome of eye candy.
Sled: An older, decrepit vehicle with limited value; He’s riding around in an old sled.
Hoopty: Synonym for sled; I don’t know how that old hoopty gets her to town.
Bucket: Synonym for sled and variant of Rust Bucket; I wouldn’t be caught dead in that bucket.
Clunker: Synonym for sled; She’s sporting an old clunker these days.
Beater: Synonym for sled; I can’t afford anything except this old beater.
Jalopy: Synonym for sled; Have you seen that old jalopy?
Toad: Synonym for sled; I don’t know why he keeps that old toad.
Bomb: Synonym for sled; You can’t miss her with that old bomb she drives to town.
Iron: Seldom used today. A term that referred to a vehicle when they were primarily made from steel (an alloy of iron); I’m slinging iron these days was a phrase often used by a used car salesman to describe his current vocation.
Drop: An expensive car; That is one expensive drop! Possible evolution from dropping (spending) a lot of cash on a vehicle.
Drop Top: A convertible vehicle; Have you seen the new BMW drop top?
Point: A mustang with a 5.0L engine; I'm getting a point for my new ride.
Boat: A large car, one of enormous size; I wouldn't want to drive that boat through town.
Land Yacht: Synonym for Boat; Typically, a land yacht is an expensive boat with many luxury features.
Tank: A large and typically unattractive vehicle; The 1985 Jeep Grand Wagoner was a tank.
Puddle Jumper: Co-opted from aviation slang. Typically a small vehicle that appears inadequate for the job; You driving that puddle jumper on your road trip?
Deuce Coupe: 1932 Ford Coupe lionized in hotrod culture and inspiration of Beach Boys 1963 hit "Little Deuce Coupe".
Bimmer: Cars manufactured by BMW. Often confused with beemer which is a motorcycle manufactured by BMW.
Benz: Any vehicle manufactured by Mercedes-Benz; He's tooling around in his new Benz.
Lambo: Luxury Sport Vehicles manufactured by Italian brand Lamborghini.
Vette: Chevrolet Corvette;. She's driving the new Vette.
Whip: Inter-generational slang. First steering wheels were called whips. Today, a whip refers to an expensive car. Dang nice whip!
Lemon: Any vehicle with mechanical problems. Derived from Consumer Protection Laws known as Lemon-Laws.
Sneakers: Tires of an automobile; She put some new sneakers on her car today.
Boot: In Great Britain, the trunk of an automobile. In America, a boot is a wheel immobilizing device attached to the wheel by parking enforcement to immobilize the vehicle until a fine is paid.
4 Banger: A vehicle with a 4 cylinder motor; I picked up this rad 4 banger at the car show yesterday.
4 on the Floor: Does not refer to the rhythm pattern of disco music. In the days before 7 & 8 speed transmissions, it referred to a floor mounted 4 speed transmission.
Econo Box: Inexpensive and usually poorly made vehicle; Typically an econo box comes with a 4 banger as standard equipment.
Bottom End: Parts of an internal combustion engine below the cylinder head. Typically refers to crankshaft, cylinders, pistons and rods.
Top End: Refers to cylinder head and intake manifolds.
Stock: Refers to an unmodified vehicle that is being driven with original factory equipment; He's running that whip stock.
Custom: The opposite of stock. A vehicle that has been modified in performance or visually to gain attention.
All Show and No Go: A highly modified or custom vehicle that emphasizes form over function; That Mustang is all show and no go.
When it comes to the value of a used vehicle, there are many factors that will play a role in determining how much someone is going to pay you for your used car. Some factors are beyond your control, but, many items influencing the value of your vehicle are squarely on your shoulders.
Age and Mileage: Typical mileage on a vehicle ranges between 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Any more than that and you are going to see a significant reduction in the price the market is willing to pay you for your used car. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to sell a high mileage vehicle. It simply means that the vehicle will have to be priced significantly lower than an identical vehicle with lower miles in order to gain interest from shoppers. Here's some good news for sellers of high mileage, late model, luxury vehicles. Some buyers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford your model will consider the high mileage vehicle because it is now affordable for them.
Condition: The condition of your vehicle may be the single most important factor that will determine the price a buyer is going to offer you for the car. It is extremely important that your vehicle is impeccably clean and maintained. The tires should have 50% or more tread on them. They should all be the same brand (avoid cheap brands) and the wheels should be clean and complete. All scheduled maintenance should be completed, any broken or chipped glass repaired, all warning lights extinguished, any needed body repairs completed and the interior should be clean and absent of odors and stains. Anything less than near perfect and the buyer will automatically start discounting their offer heavily. Either your price compensates the buyer for the inconvenience of repairs you should perform or they will buy another vehicle.
Accidents: Nearly every buyer today is aware of CarFax and AutoCheck reports that reveal a high percentage of all accidents sustained by a vehicle. They are not 100% accurate and many times a simple parking lot ding that was turned in as an insurance claim will bear the same warning as a high speed collision on a freeway with dual airbag deployment. Yes, we know it’s not fair but it doesn’t change the fact that they are present and pervasive. As a seller, you need to be aware of them and adjust your price accordingly. If you are trying to sell a late model truck with a negative report for the same price as another identical truck in your market, you are in for a rude awakening. Simply deal with it and adjust the price accordingly. You will be much happier and in the end, sell your vehicle much quicker than if you try to ignore this market fact. If your vehicle title carries a salvage, rebuilt or other similar notation, be prepared to discount your vehicle as much as 50% below the value of a similar vehicle without this notation.
Vehicle Use History: CarFax and AutoCheck reports also reveal if your vehicle was used for commercial purposes such as a rental car or taxi, used by a government agency such as police, fire or military. These factors also play a role in determining how much the market will pay you for your used car. The discount you enjoyed when you purchased your used vehicle as a former rental etc. will now get passed on to the next owner. Just be prepared and price your vehicle accordingly. Many states also require the title to carry a notation of this type of former usage and state laws may require you to disclose the use to a prospective buyer.
Supply & Demand: This simple concept is often misunderstood by both buyers and sellers. In the “real world” with “all other things being equal”, supply always equals demand at the market clearing price. Translated into English, it simply means that when you place the correct price on your vehicle, it will sell quickly. Learn how to determine the value of your car here. You will find some notion of supply and demand entering into most of the factors listed here. It’s that important! Many folks assume that a quick sale means you priced your vehicle too low but that could not be further from the truth. You may have to test the market a bit in order to find the correct price (market clearing price) for your vehicle but this has never been easier to do in the history of the world. Today’s technology and access to information provides both buyers and sellers with the tools needed to properly price anything for sale including an automobile. Some factors to be aware of, especially if you are selling a late model vehicle include; rebates and special financing incentives. These factors will pull buyers out of the used car market and into the new car market thus lowering the price you will realize for your vehicle. Economists call this shift in buyer attitude a shift in the demand curve. Nothing has happened to the supply of used “Brand X” (insert your car here) automobiles up for sale. Simply stated there are fewer buyers looking for used Brand X vehicles due to the incentives, therefore Brand X sellers will have to lower their price in order to sell their vehicle.
Style: If your vehicle is a 4 door convertible, most likely there are fewer buyers than if it was a 2 door convertible. The same holds true for 2WD trucks in snowy regions of the country and minivans with seating for 5 instead of the standard 7 or 8 passengers. Being different may do wonders for your personal sense of well being but does little for you when it comes time to sell a used vehicle. When it comes to selling just about anything, being boring and normal will find more buyers than flamboyance. A factor completely out of your control occurs when the manufacturer of your vehicle completely revamps the styling of the vehicle the year after you bought your car. You will be punished particularly hard (in most instances) the newer the vehicle you are selling. Sometimes the manufacturer reads the market incorrectly as in Old Coke vs. New Coke but don’t count on that to bail you out most of the time.
Equipment: Certain factors are givens in the vehicle marketplace and equipment is an area where this creed is particularly true. If you own a vehicle with different equipment than the market is expecting on a vehicle of your type, be prepared to adjust the price accordingly. An example would be a ¾ ton pickup with a regular cab, short bed and 6 cylinder stick shift. That truck may be your definition of ideal but falls short of most used truck buyers’ expectations of a serviceable vehicle. You can sell the truck but the price will need to be adjusted accordingly to find a buyer!
Accessories: This particular factor influencing value is the most misunderstood in the industry. It stems from the fact that when you customize your truck to suit your lifestyle, be prepared for most buyers to disagree with your idea of luxury or necessity. A classic example is the truck with the $6,000 custom stereo and $8,000 lift package. Quite simply, most truck buyers want a truck for a specific purpose and do not want to pay for your luxuries that they do not want or need. Point in fact; many buyers will avoid this customized vehicle due to increased insurance costs and greater probability that a thief will target the vehicle.
Season or Region: Most folks are familiar with the notion of white shoes after Labor Day (maybe not but keep reading to become familiar). There are certain things in life that one should not do. One of those would be trying to sell your Corvette convertible on December 1st in the northeast or midwest regions of the country. Like white shoes, convertibles aren’t used during the winter months. For most buyers they are second cars, toys or luxuries. Very few buyers are looking to purchase a depreciating asset in December that they aren’t going to be able to use until after the Spring Thaw. There are fewer buyers at certain times of year for certain types of vehicles. Try to avoid selling a seasonal vehicle off season or you will end up feeling like Macy’s with a huge clearance sale on your hands. Ouch!
Color: According to vehicle paint giant PPG Industries, white was the leading color on new vehicles sold in North America in 2014. With 22 percent of cars painted white, followed by black (18 percent), gray (16 percent) and silver (15 percent) there wasn’t much room left for the other colors in the rainbow. In fact, only 29% of new cars sold last year were not one of the top 4. You may be in love with your two tone teal and gold car with the bold red pinstripes. And, we are not here to begrudge you this luxury. But, just don’t expect the market to agree with your sense of fashion and intrigue. If nobody is calling, the price is too high! Adjust accordingly.
Selling a vehicle with an existing lien is not difficult but it does add an additional step or two to the process. It’s best to know the ins and outs of this type of transaction before you get started with any sale. Most importantly, you’ll want to avoid the 5 common mistakes listed below!
The first step in preparing yourself for the sale of a vehicle with an existing loan balance is to contact the lender and speak with an agent. Ask her to provide a 10 day payoff. 10 days is the standard length of time quoted in payoffs because it takes time to locate a buyer and get the payment to the lender. Ask the lender’s agent for the payment types accepted, how they prefer to receive payment, the necessary paperwork required and if they hold a physical title or an electronic title.
Armed with the 10 day payoff, compare the outstanding loan balance to the expected sale value of your used vehicle. Learn how to properly price your vehicle. If you owe more than a realistic sale price for the vehicle (negative equity), you’ll want to carefully consider your options. At this stage, it’s critical to avoid a situation where emotions cloud your marketing strategy. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where the payoff becomes the tail wagging the dog! The outstanding loan balance on your vehicle is not the market value of your vehicle. If you owe more than the car is currently worth, you are either going to come out of pocket with the difference or delay selling the car until the opposite is true.
5 Mistakes to Avoid
Allowing a dealer to roll the negative equity into a new car loan: If your credit is strong and you have a good amount of income, a new car dealer will find a way to sell you a new car. They may “offer” to pay off your existing loan and can even make it appear on paper that they have paid you the full amount of the outstanding loan balance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your car’s value to a dealer is lower than it is to a private party. They might be able to make you feel good about the transaction and even have you believing that you are making the right decision. But is this really in your best interest? Most likely it is not. A new vehicle depreciates as much as 30% in the first year. If you owe more on your current vehicle than the private party value it is because you bought it when you could not afford it and are now trying to do the same thing again. A year from now the new vehicle loan balance will be further away from its’ market value than your current vehicle. Of course there are always exceptions to any rule. Try to avoid this situation most of the time but go into it with very open eyes if your personal situation dictates buying a new vehicle as a necessity.
Assuming that a trade-in is your only sales option: Owing money on a vehicle is a common situation. As many as 60% of new cars leave dealer inventory with a loan. Just because you have a lien on your car does not mean you have to trade it to a dealer. You will always sell a car for more cash if you sell it privately than if you trade it to a dealer. It will take a little longer and will require a bit of effort if you sell it yourself but your patience and determination will be rewarded.
Offering to let someone take over payments: Automobile loans all carry a due on sale clause. Taking over a loan payment or a lease payment is an urban legend that originated in the days of assumable mortgage loans on real estate. You might be able to “fool” your bank by letting someone else make the payments on your loan but the obligation still belongs to you as does the need for you to insure the vehicle. In fact, the person taking over the loan would not be able to obtain an insurance policy since they do not have an insurable interest (don’t legally own the vehicle). If someone wants the car, they will need to obtain their own loan or pay you cash.
Accepting a cashier's check for payment: If someone gives you a fraudulent or stolen form of payment for your vehicle and you turn it over to the lender or pay the loan balance with personal funds, you are the person who is left holding the bag. The lender is not going to release the lien and relinquish the title until the payment has completely cleared.
Releasing the title without first paying off the loan: Many states (New York and Michigan are two) record a lien on the title and then send the title to the registered owner (you). A common fraudulent scheme in these states is to give the seller a fraudulent form of payment and ask for the title to the vehicle. They leave with the vehicle and the title never to be seen again. They continue the fraud when they forge a lien release and obtain a new title so that they can then resell the vehicle to an unsuspecting third party.
We buy cars from private parties nationwide. We never meet our sellers in person and commonly purchase vehicles with outstanding loan balances. One method we employ to protect ourselves is processing the entire transaction through the escrow company, Escrow.com. You too can use them when selling a vehicle. The protection you receive is well worth the additional cost of the transaction!