10 Mins
Jan 19, 2024

Selling Your Car On Craigslist: A Step-by-Step Guide

Selling a car can be a daunting task, but with the popularity of online platforms, the process has become more accessible and convenient. When it comes to selling your car, you have various options. The first option is to advertise and sell it on your own. Another route is to trade it in at a dealership. However, there's an alternative method worth considering: selling your car on Craigslist.

Craigslist, a popular online classifieds platform, offers simple ways to sell their vehicles. However, selling your car online requires careful consideration and planning.

In this detailed guide, we'll walk you through crucial things you need to know about selling your vehicle on Craigslist, covering everything from the benefits and drawbacks to a step-by-step selling guide.

What is Craigslist?

  • Craigslist is one of the best places to sell a car. In this internet-based marketplace, you can sell various items, ranging from homes and furniture to plants and pre-owned automobiles.

  • Established in 1995, this platform initially focused on neighborhood and classified advertisements.

  • Now, localized Craigslist websites cater to around 700 cities spanning 70 countries. Moreover, users can conveniently access Craigslist through its mobile application, which is available for both Android and Apple devices.

The pros of using Craigslist to sell your car

  • Craigslist hosts an extensive inventory of pre-owned vehicles.

  • The listings on Craigslist are localized, providing information on specific geographical areas.

The downside of using Craigslist to sell your car

  • When using Craigslist, you may encounter challenges in filtering out unrelated products, such as collectible car stickers, car maintenance kits, and toy cars.

  • Minimal information is available about owners who want to sell their cars on Craigslist, which can pose challenges in assessing the credibility and reliability of the transaction.

  • It's important to note that not all locations have a Craigslist website, potentially limiting the platform's availability in certain areas.

  • Selling or buying on Craigslist involves interacting with strangers, necessitating caution and attention to safety and security.

How To Sell A Car On Craigslist - A Step-By-Step Guide

Here is the best way to sell your car on Craigslist. Consider this step-by-step guide to learn about the complete procedure.

Step 1: Determine Your Car's Fair Market Value:

  • Use sources like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, or the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to estimate your car's fair market value.

  • Avoid pricing your car too high or too low to attract legitimate buyers.

Step 2: Create a Detailed Craigslist Advertisement:

  • Include essential details such as year, make, model, engine size, mileage, and upholstery type in the advertisement.

  • Disclose any damage, issues, or additional features, and include photos for transparency.

Step 3: Plan Meetings with Potential Buyers:

  • Choose a safe meeting spot, like a public space or shopping center, to meet the potential buyer.

  • Be prepared for test drives and screen potential buyers while allowing sufficient time to discuss crucial information.

Step 4: Gather Necessary Paperwork:

  • The first document you must locate is your car's title; if there's a lien, consult your lender for guidance.

  • Obtain or create a bill of sale, adhering to state regulations.

  • Consider additional documents like a release of liability form, warranty records, and maintenance history.

Step 5: Set a Competitive Price:

  • Conduct thorough research to determine the actual price of a vehicle.

  • Consider the best way to sell your car by listing the vehicle slightly higher to allow room for negotiation, as buyers often seek to secure a better deal.

  • Be prepared to adjust the price during negotiations and decide on the offer you are willing to accept.

Step 6: Draft a Bill of Sale:

  • Recognize that the completion of the sale and the process of transferring ownership may vary by state.

  • Sign over the title (pink slip) and provide a bill of sale as the buyer's receipt.

  • The buyer will need to initiate an ownership transfer through the DMV.

Step 7: Notify DMV and Insurance Company:

  • After receiving payment, take immediate action to prevent liability and unnecessary insurance expenses for a car you no longer own.

  • File a release of liability form with the DMV and follow any additional paperwork requirements.

  • Contact your insurance company to cancel the policy for the sold vehicle.

What to do if the buyer of your car is out of state

As many people are exploring the fastest way to sell a car, a significant portion of them conduct their searches beyond their home state. If you receive inquiries from a buyer situated across state borders or even in a different region, there's no need to worry.

Professional auto transport firms like Bold Auto Transport specialize in transporting privately owned vehicles. They possess the expertise and equipment to handle various vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, trucks, SUVs, and ATVs.

You can choose our enclosed car transport services, offering additional protection against adverse weather conditions. Alternatively, choose open car transport for an affordable car shipment option.

Distance should not hinder the sales process. Determine the cost of shipping a car cross country by requesting a free online quote.

Get a free, instant quote by using our car shipping cost calculator!

How do I accept payment on Craigslist for a car?

Choose secure payment methods like cash or cashier's checks. Be wary of potential scams, and never release your vehicle until payment is verified.

What to be careful of when selling a car on Craigslist

To ensure your safety while selling a car on Craigslist, consider the following precautions:

  • Use a proxy email address or phone number consistently.

  • Choose for public meetings and bring a companion along at all times.

  • Prioritize safety when arranging meetings with buyers at your residence.

  • Prearrange the specifics of the transaction in advance.

  • Choose a secure method of payment.

  • Rely on your instincts when evaluating potential buyers.

What Alternatives Are There For Selling A Car?

There are various options to sell a car beyond Craigslist that might better align with your preferences:


While a dealer's offer may not match a private sale, negotiating a title-for-cash agreement with a dealership allows for swift deal completion.

Facebook Marketplace:

Unlike Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace offers a platform where users have identifiable profiles and pictures, enhancing confidence in the selling process.


Selling a car on eBay offers access to a broader audience, although the process is more intricate than using Craigslist. Registration and the provision of payment details are necessary.


As a dedicated online platform for automobiles, Cars.com can serve as an ideal space to sell your used car.

Online Car Buyers:

Platforms like Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, focusing on online car buying, provide the convenience of an instant cash offer. However, it's essential to note that the offered amount may be lower than that from a private buyer.

Choose Bold Auto Transport For Seamless Car Shipment

Whether you're selling your car through Craigslist or any other online car-selling platform, Bold Auto Transport offers door-to-door auto transport nationwide. We ensure the safest Texas auto delivery of your vehicle, ensuring a swift and seamless car shipment process. With extensive experience transporting thousands of vehicles nationally, we specialize in optimizing the car shipment process smoothly and stress-free.

Use our instant car shipping cost calculator to know the precise cost of your car shipment.

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