Selling your car can mean cash in your pocket and to put towards your next vehicle. But how you go about selling it can make all the difference. Your options include selling the car to a dealer or making a private sale; each method has its pros and cons.

Selling Your Car to a Dealer

This is the quickest way to sell your car. It’s generally an easy process and, besides, the dealer is a business that relies on trustworthy transactions and reliability to ensure a positive reputation.


• The dealer manages all the paperwork, including bill of sale, title transfers, and DMV documents.
• It’s the fastest way to get paid for your vehicle, as dealers often pay for used cars the same day.
• Drive to the dealership and make the sale; there’s nothing more convenient than that.
• In some states, there are tax deductions that factor in the difference between the trade-in price and the price of a new car.


The downside of selling your car to a dealer is there’s often less of a payout. Since dealers pay wholesale prices for used cars, you won’t get as much cash compared to selling the vehicle to a private party. Then again, there’s less effort for you to put into selling the car, whether you decide to trade it in or sell it to the dealership and walk away.

Selling Your Car to a Private Buyer

Some car owners decide to sell their vehicle privately. There are some advantages to this, but some downsides as well.


• You can get more money for the vehicle; a dealership is a business and benefits from offering a lower payout.
• The older your car is, the more sought-after it may be, and the more a buyer may be willing to pay (and you are in control of setting the price).
• You can easily advertise using online resources such as, Auto Trader, or even Craigslist.

The buyer may be at an advantage too. By purchasing a vehicle from a private party, they may find a better deal than was offered at a dealership. They can buy a car at less-than-retail value.


• Selling a car privately takes a lot of time, so even getting more money for it may not compensate for the work involved.
• Driving around with a FOR SALE sign on the window is often ineffective, and scammers are prevalent on many classified sites.
• You must take time out of your schedule to meet a potential buyer in person, with no guarantee they’ll agree to the sale.

To improve your chances for success, budget your time accordingly. It’s best to assume you’ll need more time than you’ll put into the sale. Decide on suitable meeting places in advance, preferably in public areas, and bring a friend with you. And ask for cash or a bank-certified check to protect your profits.

Hawthorne Auto Square

If there’s any uncertainty about selling your car, Hawthorne Auto Square can be trusted to meet your needs. We’re the largest buy here, pay here dealer in the area. To make things easy, we can appraise your vehicle online so you get its True Market Value®. The process takes less than a minute. Prices vary by location, make, model, age, and mileage among other factors. We can also help you find a high-quality, low-mileage, multi-point inspected pre-owned vehicle you can depend on. For assistance, call our sales department at 866-707-7664 or visit us at 11646 Prairie Avenue in Hawthorne, CA.