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Tips for Selling a Custom Car

The term custom car can have a lot of different meanings. For example, there are people who focus on customization with aftermarket parts to improve performance and make their vehicle more like a race car. 

There are custom cars with changes that are purely aesthetic, and there are also custom cars that are classic cars. 

If you’ve made modifications to a car and you’d like to sell it, or you need to, you’re not typically going to go over to the local dealership to do so.

Instead, you’re going to have to sell it privately.

The following are tips for selling a custom car, and in general, for selling a car privately. 

Understand Your Market

Before you think about selling a car with modifications or a unique car, get to know your market. This will help you figure out where to go as far as advertising.

For example, who’s going to be most interested in your car, most willing to pay top dollar for it and where do they hang out in the virtual world. 

If your car is highly specific, you don’t want to waste a lot of time trying to list it on general marketplaces. 

Along with the market for the car itself, think about larger macro factors. For example, what’s the weather like, and is it possible that could play a role in how well your car sells?

If you’re approaching winter, there’s a bigger demand for sport utility vehicles and vans, as an example. 

If you’re not sure where to go to advertise your car, you might want to use social media groups specific to your type of vehicle, and you can also go to message boards. 

As a side note, before you sell your car, you might want to take it to a mechanic for an inspection. Then, if any small repairs are needed you can make them before you try to sell the car and you may get a higher price. 

Be Competitive with Your Pricing

When people have custom cars and they’ve made major modifications to them, there’s often the risk that they are very emotionally invested as well. 

It’s a hobby for many people and sometimes more. 

When you’re too emotionally invested in anything, it can be tougher to sell it. 

You want to do research and be realistic with your pricing. Try to take as much of the emotional component as you can out of it. 

If you have made a lot of modifications, you can factor them into the price, but you may not make all the money back that you spent, and that’s just a reality you need to accept. 

Unfortunately, in some cases, a lot of modifications and custom elements can actually lower the value of your car over market value, so think about whether or not you can accept that. 

Make Your Ad Appealing

Whether you’ve customized your car or not, if you’re selling your car privately, you need to make your ad as appealing as possible. 

Park your car somewhere that looks nice and has good lighting and take photos from a lot of different angles. You should also take pictures of things like the back seat, the odometer, and the tires, as well as the engine. 

Along with the must-haves, when it comes to modified cars, you might want to include some of the following details:

  • What options does it have?
  • What OEM or aftermarket modifications have you done, and why did you do them—what are the benefits?
  • What is the maintenance history?
  • Are there any defects or flaws? Be honest, because you’re wasting everyone’s time including your own otherwise. 
  • Why are you selling it? 

Prepare For Test Drives

It’s very likely people are going to want to test drive your car, particularly if you’ve made aftermarket performance modifications. 

Prepare for this, and always meet potential buyers at a safe, neutral location. You can let them test drive it if you’re comfortable with that, but you should go with them. 

When people reach out to you about the vehicle, respond to them quickly. 

Consider Offers on Specific Parts

Finally, what you may find is that people will want to buy only specific parts or modifications of your car, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Do the math, and you may figure out that you’re going to get more value by selling them separately because there’s a lot more demand, as compared to selling the car as a whole.

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Tips for Selling a Custom Car