All good things must come to an end – even car ownership. Only a select few will shell out their hard-earned money for a car and keep it for life. Some will part with their transportation in an unfortunate accident. Most of us, however, end up selling our cars at some point or other. But, what’s the best way to go about doing that?

The fact is, different rules apply in different sales situations. In some states, you can sell a car in any condition you want so long as you mark the bill of sale “as-is.” In other states, the seller is, to a degree, liable and responsible for the condition of the car being sold. I live in one of those states, and I’m getting ready to sell a car.

As you’ve read in recent blog posts, I just bought my wife a lower-mileage car to replace her prehistoric daily driver. As such, I’m preparing her old car for sale. Even though it has high mileage, I think it’s still too good to have it hauled off to the junkyard. But, it’s certainly old enough and high enough in miles that a car dealer wouldn’t want it. As such, I’ll be selling it privately.

Due to the law in my state, I’ll be selling the car with full disclosure as to all known problems. For example, I’ll be letting potential buyers know about the broken air conditioner. But, I know that I have to fix at least some of the car’s problems in order to be able to sell it for more than scrap value.

First and foremost, I’ll be giving the car a full tune-up (which is currently overdue). The spark plug wires are still serviceable, but the car will be getting new plugs, a new fuel filter, air filter, an oil change with fresh filter, as well as coolant and transmission fluid changes. The goal is to, as inexpensively as possible, get the car to a condition where the next owner can drive it right away without having to put a lot of money into it, even if items such as air conditioning don’t work.

Aside from the engine, I’ll also be making sure that all the safety equipment works properly. This means double-checking the brakes and making sure every light on the car as well as the horn is in working condition. Once these issues are taken care of, I’ll list the car for sale, with a price reflecting the recent work done as well as the car’s overall condition and the high mileage. From there, we’ll see what happens.

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