how to sell a car in california

How to sell a car in California on the best price

How to sell a car in California?

Selling a car on the best price sounds not as easy as said. If you are want to know how to sell a car in California then stay reading.

When it’s about to sell a car in California at the best price then the process becomes a little bit complicated. Because it contains some document complexities like DMV forms and certifications for certain tests (i.e. State Inspections, Smog Test) that are very necessary.

If you’ve fulfilled these requirements then your car is ready for sale. But don’t worry we are here to make it very easy for you. We’ll guide you about some tactics and strategies that would make your car selling in California much fruitful and profitable than you ever thought before.

We would also discuss some secrets of selling that many resellers and dealers use to grab their profit. We’ll also cover here how you can sell your car out of state while residing in California. So stay here and keep reading.

Well, are you ready to sell out your car and your target is to get the best possible price. Let it be done in the following steps.

Getting Ready a Car for Sale

Step-1: Title of Ownership

Since the vehicle selling legal requirements varies from state to state. In the case of California, if you are selling a car in your personal capacity then you need to meet some legal conditions to make your car eligible for sale. The first and foremost condition is the entitlement of ownership that proves you as an owner of the car you have to sell.

This document contains your name, it is proof that you are a registered owner and it legally permits you to sell your car.

If for some reason you’ve lost it don’t worry you can get the new one from DMV. For this purpose simply get the print of REG 227 (a duplicate title application form) and visit the nearest DMV office to get the new one. If you don’t own the title then first you need to get REG 262 (vehicle transfer from) from DMV office.

Step-2: Release of Liability

A Notice of Release of Liability (REG 138) must be completed. That’s very important documentation to inform DMV that you are no more responsible for this vehicle’s tickets, penalties, or fees that are paid to operate the vehicle. It also protects you from involving your car in a criminal activity once the new owner starts to operate it.

If you ignore this for any reason then you may be charged or panelized against any problem faced by the buyer in your car.

To avoid such issues simply download the above-said form from DMV and after filling it submit it back via mail. What you need to fill out this form is just the license plate number, last five digits of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and the name and address of the new owner.

In the part of Legal Release, you do signature as a seller to legally release your vehicle and transfer it to the buyer. After this, you have just five days to legally release and finalise the deal.

Step-3: State Inspection

That’s not necessary. But it’s better than a car must be inspected for any internal issue to avoid any inconvenience in the way of a successful sale deal. Normally, it is the buyer’s headache to pay for it but it is not a necessary sale requirement.

It’s your generosity if you do it on your bear to smooth the deal process. It may cost from $30 to $80 depends on the size of the vehicle. Don’t forget to include a copy of the inspection results with the deal agreement of the buyer.

Step-4: SMOG Test Certification

What is SMOG Test?

A smog test is an emission check-up that is performed to evaluate the quality of emissions from the engine of a car or any other vehicle at a licensed SMOG test facility centre. Normally, when the state inspection is performed the SMOG test is also done as an additional benefit. This test is also known as an Emission Test.

Its price ranges from $30 to $70 and it’s valid for a period of 90 days.

How to sell a car

Can You Sell a Car in California without Smog?

No, it’s not possible to sell a car in California without Smog. The rules of emission in California are very strict. Many people don’t know how to sell a car in California and also about Smog. So, you must have to follow them. Only the hybrid vehicles, Electric, Diesel, or Natural Gas vehicles and especially those old vehicles manufactured before 1975 are exempted from this test.

It is the sole responsibility of the seller to provide a SMOG Test certificate to the buyer.

Now your car has become eligible for sale to a potential buyer. No matter if it’s old, rusty, or dusty be proud and be confident! Because I’m going to tell you such amazing secrets to maximise the value of your car that you never know ever before. Let’s get started. . .

First of all, we discuss the available selling options and the pros and cons one by one.

Selling a Car to an Individual Buyer in California

This option can give you a maximum return and best price if you follow the tips given in the next lines. Because selling your car to an individual person in California doesn’t include any commission or fee so you can grab the full amount of profit from a potential buyer. You should have to follow some steps to make your car attractive to the potential buyer and to know about the worth of your car.

What to do Before Selling the Car in California?

This is our main target to teach people about how to sell a car in California post. Before going to market, first of all, see the condition of your car with an eagle eye and check which part of it needs more improvement or maintenance. If you find none of them then clean it inside and outside.

Now to get an idea about the worth of your car, go on Kelly Blue Book or NADA. But that’s not the ending mark. It will be helpful to find the reasonable price of your car. You can also follow the locally listed cars. According to the market if the competition is high then you can set a low price to attract the buyers.

Car Photo Session and Listing

Now it’s time to arrange a photo session of the car from each and every angle, inside and outside, forward and back, left and right with good lighting. In fact, this is the latest portfolio of your car that you can present in any market place for the buyers interested in your car. The next step is to list your car on different popular and well-known market places such as:

  • Auto-trader
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace

Don’t forget to specify complete and brief information about your car. What options your car have, engine, model, mileage, year of manufacturing or any other modifications. Any fault or repair history must be mentioned there. So that the buyer of your car may be familiar with what he is getting at the proposed price.

Buyer Screening and Getting Payment

If you get multiple proposals on your listing then screen those buyers who are serious in your car and offering you a negotiable price. If you like a proposal you can priority it on others. When a buyer is finalized then the last step is the payment that you can accept in the form of cash.

Can I Sell a Car Out of State in California?

If you want to know how to sell a car in California but also out of states then we have the information also. Well, there are many possible conditions such as if you own a car that is registered in California but you want to sell it out of California. In this case, first of all, you have to contact the DMV of that state in which you want to sell your car.

You can also visit their website to know about the selling conditions. In another case, if your car is registered in another state and you want to sell it in California then for the first step you must get it registered in California DMV. Such cars considered as “49-state car”. For this purpose you must get the required inspections and certifications as follows:

  • A California Emission Label
  • Get the Last Issued out of state title (Visit DMV website to request an out of state title)
  • Complete an Odometer Disclosure
  • Make a copy of Bill of Sale
  • Calculate Your Car Registration Fees
  • Get a Smog Test Certification
  • Verify Your Car’s Weight if Your Car is Used Commercially

Great! You have completed all the requirements for an out of state car registration. Now follow the following step to start your car registration in California.

  • Visit your local California DMV office
  • Complete the application for title or registration
  • Have your car verified at the DMV
  • Submit your application along with certifications and proof of ownership
  • Show your driver’s license and proof of insurance
  • Pay the required fees
  • Turn over your out-of-state license plates if required
  • Put your new plates on your car

Congratulations! Your out of state vehicle has now registered in California.

Tips to Get the Best Price on Car Selling in California

Now come to some tactics that can increase your car value in ninja way and may prove to be help on how to sell a car in California with the best price.

Washing Exterior

It is often said that “the first impression is the last impression”. No doubt if we do a comparison of two cars one of them is addicted to mud and second is very neat and clean. What does think is appealing to buyers? Yes, definitely the second one because its first look is very attractive.

Detailing Interior

The interior of a car has as much significance as well as exterior. So, getting a potential buyer interested in your car you need to detail your interior very gently and efficiently. Interior detailing includes car seats refurnishing, car air condition cleaning, dashboard cleaning, and removal of foul odors.

The improvement in the above factors adds value to the worth of the car. If your car is not getting rid of the smell that put a cup coffee beans under seats of the car. It will do the magic.

Fixing Small Dings, Dents and Scratches

Mostly car dealers and some buyers try to get the advantage of the small dings, dents, and scratches in your car. They normally minus $400 to $600 on account of minor dents. To stop them from eating up a massive amount of your profit, the best way is to take your car to a car body shop or you can avail of the services of car repair service at some cost. Same thing in the case of buyers.

If you keep your car like a new they will pay you more happily. This is all about ‘How to sell a car in California’. If you have any question, please comment below

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