Dollar Signs on Wheels

With the economy falling into what seems like a Grand Canyon sized hole and bills that seem to come in the mail every day, sometimes twice a day, it is easy to understand why many Americans are having a difficult time getting by. Americans consult friends, the internet, or 3 am get-rich-fast infomercials to find out, “How can I make extra cash, now?” Instead of adding another job that you don’t have time for or hassling your friends and neighbors to buy from your pyramid business scheme, one option is as simple as looking around your driveway, parking lot, garage, and/or back yard.

The answer is surplus cars. Whether you have a “weekend toy” collecting dust, an elderly family member who no longer drives, a student at college, or a rusty “fixer-upper” your cars can mean dollar signs. So if you have an extra car or your driveway resembles a parking lot, you have three main ways to unload your superfluous ride/s.

1.)    Sell your car to a dealer- A viable and simple option. However many times a dealer may not be interested in purchasing used cars or may offer you a price significantly lower than you were hoping (to cover their cost and still make a profit, sorry folks car dealers run businesses not a charities).

2.)    Log onto AutoTrader– For around $50 you can post your vehicle on one of the most trafficked car classifieds websites in existence. Though you will most likely get a desired price (being that you are selling your vehicle outright), finding a buyer may take weeks or months. If you are selling your car to make extra cash quickly this also may not be a viable option.

3.)    CarMax- For a mere 30 minutes of your time, you can drive to your local CarMax and get your car appraised for free (and drink gourmet coffee or tea). After the appraisal you are handed an official document with an offer that is valid for a week. If you agree with the offer you can be in and out with a check in hand in less than 15 minutes or you can walk away no strings or annoying solicitations attached. While you may not get exactly what your car is worth, CarMax is quick, honest, and guarantees a competitive price to purchase your vehicle (CarMax is a volume used car dealer where they buy and sell many cars making a little profit on each as opposed to a few large profit transactions).

No matter which option you choose when selling a vehicle I suggest a few things. First, consult Kelly Blue Book and figure out what your car is realistically worth. Second, consider the market and what other cars similar to yours are selling for (i.e. internet sales or a local lot). Third, figure out what your bottom line price is for selling your vehicle and stick to it.

*Disclaimer: above all do not sell a spouse’s or roommate’s car without their knowledge and permission, they WILL NOT be happy and this is otherwise known as stealing!