Your elderly mother still lives alone but can’t drive anymore because of her declining health. As a result, mom has asked you to help sell her car. Helping an elderly parent sell their car can be challenging and stressful if you haven’t done it before. There are several steps that will need to be taken to ensure that the selling process goes smoothly, and that you’re getting mom a fair price for her vehicle. To help you develop a more effective car selling strategy, use these tips from the pros.
Look the Car Over
If you’re unfamiliar with mom’s car, walk around it first and look for any signs of rust or body damage. While putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer, also check the vehicle’s interior. Take it for a test drive and listen for suspicious noises, and note how it accelerates, brakes and handles. Check the tire tread, look for fluid leaks and test all the gadgets and systems while noting anything that might need repairs.
Have a Pro Inspect it
Next, take mom’s car to a trusted mechanic so they can give it the “once over” by inspecting the engine, brakes, lights and all other mechanical systems. If it’s cost effective, have the necessary repairs done. Studies have found that the biggest turnoffs to car buyers are:
- Worn tires
- Squeaky brakes
- Check engine lights that are on
- Burned out light bulbs
- Cloudy headlights
Compile Vehicle History and Maintenance Records
If your mom’s like most seniors, she’s kept her car well maintained over the years. Ask her for all those maintenance records and put them in a folder for potential buyers to view. The better prepared you are, the more likely a prospective buyer will trust you. In addition, make available these documents:
- Vehicle history report through Carfax or AutoCheck
- Any accident records and collision repairs
- The title if mom owns it outright, as it will show that there are no liens or salvage records
Clean it Up
Nobody likes to test drive a dirty vehicle. Make mom’s shine with a good washing and fresh wax job. Vacuum out the interior and shampoo the carpets and upholstery. Don’t forget to use some detailing products and “elbow grease” on the trim and tires. You can also have it professionally detailed at a local auto body shop.
Get All Sale Documents Ready
Depending on your state, when selling a vehicle outright there are documents that you’ll need to get ready, which may include:
- The vehicle’s title, if it’s paid off
- A current vehicle registration card
- A bill of sale
- Proof of a recent safety or smog inspection, if applicable
Based on your state, you may also have to supply a Notice of Transfer or Release of Liability. If you have questions about your state’s requirements, contact the DMV.
Decide How to Sell the Car
Discuss the various selling options with your mother, including how much interaction with strangers you want to have. Keep in mind there may be times when mom will have to speak with potential buyers alone, so ask her gently not to sell unless you’re there. Research the vehicle’s resale value through a site like Kelly Blue Book. Once you have an idea of what it’s worth, here are some of the ways you can sell it:
- Online car buying sites like Autotrader or Cars.com
- Classified ad in your local newspaper
- To a used car dealership like Carmax
- Third-party online services like Carvana or Shift (No price haggling with dealers or private buyers)
If you’re going to list the car yourself, write a compelling description starting with features you like about it and then add an eye-catching headline. Make sure to include several clear pictures inside and out to place with the ad.
Reliable Transportation for Seniors in Manatee County, FL
Helping an aging in place elderly parent sell their car is rewarding, but it’s also a blow to their freedom and independence. When you need some transportation assistance, call First In Care. Our carefully screened and fully licensed aides can provide your loved one with the safe and reliable transportation they need to keep them aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
In addition to transportation, our fully insured and highly trained caregivers can also perform in-home duties like light housework, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders and companionship. And, all our family trusted home care services can be flexibly tailored in an affordable package to put your mind at ease. To schedule a FREE, in-home assessment with First In Care for a senior in Manatee County, FL, please visit: www.firstincare.com now!