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Steps to take when selling your car

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So you're ready for a new car – or at least a different car. The question is, what are you going to do to get rid of the old one?

According to AAA, 30 percent of used vehicles are sold by car owners directly.

"Selling a vehicle yourself is not difficult, but it does take time and effort," says John Nielsen, AAA director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. "Pricing the vehicle properly and preparing it for sale are keys to quickly selling the vehicle for a reasonable amount."

When selling your vehicle yourself, AAA recommends the following:

• Prepare your vehicle for sale. Prepare your vehicle for a buyer by having it professionally detailed. Remove any personal items from your vehicle, including any stickers you have placed on the exterior. Have your vehicle inspected by a repair shop prior to the sale and ask for a detailed report, which can be shared with perspective buyers.

• Determine a price.  Determining the appropriate selling price is a critical step to selling your vehicle independently. Be realistic in the condition of your vehicle, very few vehicles are in "excellent" condition. Do your homework and keep a list of comparable prices from various vehicle pricing sources for any potential buyers to take with them.

• Spread the word. Marketing your vehicle for sale is another important step to successfully selling your vehicle independently. Use newspaper classifieds, social media technology and online websites to let others know you are selling your vehicle.

• Showing perspective buyers the vehicle: Once you prepare, price and market your vehicle for sale, you should receive inquiries from potential buyers. Use common sense and caution when showing your vehicle. Meet potential buyers in a public location and do not letthem test drive the vehicle by themselves. Be ready for questions, have detailed information readily available, include a CARFAX vehicle history report and keep repair and maintenance documents compiled and organized.

• Securing a payment. Once you have found a buyer for your vehicle, AAA recommends creating a bill of sale that both parties can sign and have it notarized. Notaries can be located at a bank or any AAA office. Always secure payment before you transfer ownership.

Options for payment include certified checks, cash or money order. AAA suggests completing a transaction at a bank to verify the payment is legitimate.  If a buyer is uncomfortable with any part of the agreement, be cautious and use good judgment to avoid the possibility of being scammed.

AAA's tips for selling your vehicle independently are provided by AAA auto buying experts who test drive and evaluate hundreds of vehicles each year. AAA provides free vehicle reviews, localized pricing information and more for consumers online at AAA.com/AutoMaker.

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