Where To Sell A Classic Car For Free
Several places will allow you to connect with a potential buyer, but you should always use care when negotiating or meeting with anyone you do not know personally. If you need to meet someone to complete your transaction, ensure the meeting place is a public well-lit location.
Facebook Marketplace is an online resource allowing users to list items for sale. Think of the FB Marketplace as a national yard sale. With over 2 billion active users worldwide, this can be an excellent resource for finding interested buyers and making quick cash. (Other sites like Craiglist and Ebay motors often charge fees to post/sell your car).
Process: If you have a Facebook account, you can access the marketplace feature through your home page. The requirement is to upload some photos, provide a brief description and then post. Prospective buyers will contact you through DM (direct messaging is also free), and the rest of the process is up to you and the buyer.
Seller Tips: As with any personal online service, be wary of anyone who writes a check (always verify funds before handing over a title) or asks to wire money into your account. Never provide someone you do not know with your financial information (SSN, passwords, bank account info). In addition, refrain from engaging in business with people who ask for insurance or transportation costs since these are often bogus attempts to take money from you.
- Quick and easy
- Plenty of exposure
- Requires a personal meeting to complete the transaction.
General Auto Dealerships (Carvanna, CarMax, and others)
Dealers like Carvana and CarMax will buy classic cars (if they are less than thirty years old (1993 and up). While CarMax (1993) has existed longer than Carvanna (2013), both have grown in reputation for providing a unique car-buying experience. There are local options to help you sell your classic car. Sometimes, these are worth checking out.
Process: You can take the vehicle to them for a free appraisal or answer a few questions online for a quote. When a price is agreed upon, the companies will send a tow truck to transport the car. (A sales representative will verify all the information concerning the car’s condition and hand you a check).
Seller Tip: Sellers like Carvanna and CarMax only purchase cars in good, working order. Chances are they will not resell your car on their lot, but push it through auction, so expect a low offer.
- Reputable dealerships
- Tend to low-ball offers
- Limitation of the time of the offer (7 days - 10 days).
Online Sites (CarBrain, Vroom, Webuyanycars, etc.)
Several free online websites buy used cars (CarBrain, Cargurus, Vroom, SellMax, or Shift). These companies have been around for a while and offer an online resource for selling used vehicles (CarBrain even buys damaged or totaled-out vehicles). There are many websites to help sell your car online, but not all of them are free sell. (Sites like Autotrader and KBB charge a fee to list a vehicle).
CarBrain has very high ratings on Trustpilot and a 4.9 rating on Google, so you want to check out customer reviews before engaging them. If you need to sell a classic car fast and are willing to take almost anything for it, these can be an excellent alternative.
Process: The process couldn’t be simpler. Just fill out an online questionnaire about your car, and receive a fast quote (usually within a minute). Once a price has been agreed on, the company will arrange for pickup. A rep will verify the car’s value, and if everything checks out, they will issue a check on the spot. Pickup is usually within 24 - 48 hours, although this varies based on the company.
Seller Tips: Be sure to accurately describe the condition of your car so that you are not surprised when the rep offers you lower than you expected. Prices can change (and they often do).
- Instant Quote
- Very convenient
- No haggling online
- Price can fluctuate based on the inspection
- Some pickup/transportation folks can be less than excellent
- Expect phone calls from car salespeople who use these sites as calling lists.
Classic Car Dealers
Gateway classic cars and Gullwing motor cars are online sites worth mentioning that only cater to classic car enthusiasts and charge no consignment fees. (Gateway classic cars and Gullwing motor cars are two of the best). The advantage is that you are posting to potential buyers in the market. While this can limit your exposure, it can also bring qualified buyers to your doorstep.
Process: You may have to physically take your car to the dealer location to have it visually inspected. They have paid sales reps to photograph classic cars and create ad listings. The seller signs a contract for a duration (usually 90 days), gets a free listing, and must relinquish the right to sell privately during that time. Some consignment stores will take a cut from the seller when sold, so ensure this isn’t the case).
- The car gets traffic from classic car enthusiasts
- Sometimes hidden fees
- You can’t sell your baby as long as the consignment contract is in place.
There is an advantage to offering your vehicle for sale at a local classic car show because it will show in front of a captive audience of qualified buyers. While there may be an entry fee to display your car, most shows don’t mind if you stick a ‘for sale’ sign in the window. Utilizing car shows is a great way to meet a potential buyer in a friendly, open-air environment to get a read on who you might be selling your car to. For a listing of potential car shows in your area, check out sites like carshowradar.com.
Process: Enter your car into a show (pay the entry fee) and stick a for sale sign in the window.
Seller Tips: Make sure your car is presentable. The last thing you want is for your car to an eyesore at some car swap.
- Friendly environment
- Good, qualified buyers
Local Classified Ads
While this might seem as antiquated as the classic car you are trying to sell, it can be a good way to post your car. While posting an ad might cost you a few bucks, some smaller magazines and newspapers will post a unique vehicle for free in print and online. (Autoblog is one such website).
Process: Contact your local magazine or newspaper outlet to determine if they charge. Write a description and email it to the paper with contact information.
- Local market
- Traditional system
- Local market limits buyers
- Contact info is published (not always a good thing).
This is the way that many car owners have been selling their classic vehicles for decades. All you have to do is pick a good spot to show off your car and stick a ‘for sale’ sign in the window. (You should always ask permission from the property owner before parking your car). This system can be a bit hit or miss, and you will have to field annoying phone calls from people who may not be good, qualified buyers. (You may have to haggle).
Process: Pick a public spot. Get permission from any property owner. Tape a sign in the window with contact info. Wait for annoying phone calls.
- Lots of them - too many to list.