8 Tips To Make it Easy to Sell Your Car That Still Has a Loan

how to sell car privately with loan

Selling a car with a loan is doable and happens a lot. Even if you’re still paying off the loan, you can sell the car whenever you want. But before you hand over the keys to the new owner, you’ll need to sort things out with your lender. It might sound complicated but don’t worry—with the right help, you can handle it like a pro.

What are the challenges of selling a financed car?

Selling a car with a loan has some tough parts that sellers need to handle carefully.

Title Transfer: The main issue is transferring ownership to the buyer. Since the lender has the title until the loan is paid off, sellers can’t give it to the buyer right away. This might make buyers nervous about not owning the car outright.

Negative Equity: This happens when you owe more on the loan than the car is worth. Sellers might have to cover that extra cost or talk with the buyer about it.

Buyer Worries: Buyers might worry about taking on a car loan or running into problems during the sale. Sellers need to give clear info and reassure buyers to build trust.

Paying Off the Loan: Sellers need to figure out how to pay off the loan, work out payment details with the buyer, and stay in touch with the lender.

Fewer Buyers: Some people might not want to buy a car with a loan. Sellers might have fewer interested buyers, which could make it take longer to sell or affect the price.

To deal with these challenges, sellers need to plan, talk openly, and stay on top of things every step of the way.

Tips that will make it easy to sell a car with a loan

Here are some tips to help you sell a car that still has a loan:

1. Know your loan balance and car’s value

Before putting your car up for sale, find out how much you still owe on the loan and how much your car is worth. Websites like Kelley Blue Book can help you figure out your car’s value based on its make, model, mileage, and condition. This information will help you set a fair price for your car and understand your financial situation better.

2. Communicate with your lender

Talk to your lender early on to let them know you’re planning to sell your car. They can give you advice on what to do and help you with paying off the loan. Keeping them in the loop can prevent problems later on.

3. Consider paying off the loan

If you can afford it, consider repaying the loan before selling the vehicle. This will make the sale process go more smoothly because you’ll have a clean title to provide to the buyer. It can also increase purchasers’ confidence in purchasing your car.

4. Be transparent with buyers

Be honest with potential buyers about the loan on the car. Tell them upfront that the car still has a loan, and give them all the details they need to know. Being transparent builds trust and reduces the chances of misunderstandings.

5. Use an escrow service

Consider using an escrow service to handle the sale. An escrow service holds the buyer’s money until everything is sorted out. This adds security for both you and the buyer and reduces the risk of fraud.

6. Negotiate with the buyer

If you owe more on the car than it’s worth, be ready to negotiate with the buyer. You might need to adjust the price or come up with other ways to bridge the gap between what you owe and what the buyer is willing to pay.

7. Be flexible with payment options

Offer flexible payment options to attract more buyers. You could offer financing or installment plans to make it easier for buyers to afford your car.

8. Get everything in writing

Make sure to document all the details of the sale in writing. This includes the price, payment terms, and any agreements you make with the buyer. Having everything written down helps prevent misunderstandings later on.

Other things to consider

In addition to the tips we’ve talked about, there are a few more things to think about when selling a car with a loan: 

  1. Prepayment Fees: Check if your lender charges fees for paying off your loan early. It’s important to know this before deciding to pay it off early.
  2. Title Transfer: After paying off the loan, you need to transfer the car’s title to the buyer. Each state has its own rules, so make sure you follow them.
  3. Car Check-Up: Get a mechanic to check your car for any problems before selling it. Fixing issues and keeping it clean can help you get a better price.
  4. Pricing: Look at similar cars’ prices in your area to set a fair price. Be ready to negotiate and adjust your price if needed.
  5. Legal Stuff: Make sure you follow all the rules for selling financed car in your area. Keep records of all your paperwork and conversations about the sale.
  6. Timing and Ads: Think about the best time to sell your car and how to tell people about it. Use ads with good pictures and details to attract buyers.

These considerations will further help you in easing the sale process of your financed vehicle.

You can sell a car that still has a loan

Selling a car with a loan might seem tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow these tips, talk openly with your lender and buyers, and be ready to negotiate. With some planning and patience, you can sell your car and move forward to your next car journey with ease.


Scroll to Top