How to Sell a Car in Washington State

Tiny car behind coins


When you no longer need your car in Washington and want to sell it, you will be happy to know that the process is pretty straightforward. Our team at Camp Chevrolet can help guide you through the process whether you plan on selling to a private party or a local dealership. Before learning how to sell a car in Washington State, keep in mind that the vehicle title is a legal document, so you should use your legal name, write legibly, and use black or blue ink. Mistakes or using White-Out might void the document, so take your time. If you have any questions about the steps to selling a car in Washington, reach out to one of our knowledgeable finance experts! 

Selling Car in Washington to a Private Party

Here is the process on how to sell a car in Washington State if you plan on selling privately: 

  1. Clean your car: A clean car will definitely help with first impressions, but you want to also remove any personal belongings or decorations to give a blank slate. This way, the buyer can see the car for what it is and have room to imagine how they can personalize it themselves! 
  2. Find your title: To sell a car in the state of Washington, you need to have the title of the car. Whether you have lost it or need to replace it, you should get that resolved before talking to potential buyers. This will make the rest of the process smoother. 
  3. List your car for sale: Whether online or through word of mouth, you can begin announcing you have a car to sell. 
  4. Screen prospective buyers: Provide information about the condition of your car and discuss the details of the sale with interested parties. 
  5. Be prepared to allow buyers to drive your car and have it inspected by a third party: Most private parties will ask for an inspection from a mechanic of their choice, so you and the prospective buyer will need to agree upon the time and location for the inspection. 
  6. Organize and gather all vehicle documentation, like service records: These documents will be helpful for the new owner to keep up with the car. 
  7. Complete the Bill of Sale: The Bill of Sale will allow the buyer to apply for a new title and pay the required taxes and fees for the car. Make sure there are two copies, so both you and the buyer can have one for the record. 
  8. Remove the license plates: This will ensure that you won’t be responsible for any infractions caused by the new owner. 
  9. Transfer the title: Before you do this step, make sure you have collected payment from the buyer successfully. When both you and the buyer sign the title, you are formally transferring the ownership of the car.
  10. File a Report of Sale: While you have already transferred the title, the state of Washington will recognize that the ownership has changed with the Report of Sale. Similar to removing the license plates, this step will also protect you from being held responsible for the actions of the new owner. 
  11. Cancel any insurance and subscription services: After handing the car over to the owner, remember to cancel any insurance and subscription services associated with the car in the Tri-Cities area. 

Selling Car in Washington to a Local Dealership

Besides selling privately, you can also turn to a local dealer in the Spokane Valley area and sell to them instead. The steps are as follows: 

  1. Clean your car: Make sure your car is clean and there are no personal belongings left. Don’t worry about any major repairs and focus on doing what you can without spending a lot of money. 
  2. Find your car’s title: This will be handy when you bring your car to the dealership. 
  3. Write down all of the benefits of your car: Knowing why a dealer should consider buying your car will help the sale and perhaps even increase the value. 
  4. Choose your dealership selectively: Some Tri-Cities dealers only allow trade-ins, but Camp Chevrolet will buy your car even if you don’t plan to buy one from us
  5. Research your car’s trade-in value: Use our trade-in form to see how much your car is estimated to be worth in just 2 steps. 
  6. Schedule an appointment: By phone or email, you can make an appointment for the best time to come in. Also, you can be sure the dealer has time to carefully consider your car. 
  7. Bring your car to the dealership: Once you are there, you will usually be redirected to the used car manager for the details and to the service team for an inspection. 
  8. Receive and consider the offer: After the inspection, the dealer will provide you with an official offer and you can decide if you want to accept it or not.

Selling Car in Washington: Private Party vs. Dealership 

After finding out how to sell a car in Washington State, you might be curious if it is better to sell to a private party or a dealer near Post Falls. While the choice is ultimately up to you, dealerships will handle the process and paperwork, which often takes the bulk of the stress out of the process! Other reasons include:

  • Save Time and Avoid Hassles: You don’t have to worry about all the situations where things can go wrong when you are posting the sale of your car online, letting strangers test drive your car, and discussing sales details. Also, if you don’t think you are getting a fair offer at one dealership, you are always free to shop around and sell at the dealership with the best offer! 
  • Save on Taxes: If you aren’t only selling your car but you are trading in your old vehicle to buy another one from the dealership, you’ll only pay sales tax on the difference between your trade-in value and the price of your new Chevrolet vehicle. 
  • Lower Your Monthly Payment on Your New Car: Plus, trading in your current car allows you to apply that money towards a new car, which will keep your payments lower. 
  • Trade in a Financed Car: Whether you need to downgrade your car to manage your finances better or you want to switch up your car but it’s not fully paid off yet, Camp Chevrolet can help you with that! 

Camp Chevrolet Would Love to Buy Your Car! 

Once you are all set and ready to let go of your car for good, head on over to Camp Chevrolet to finish the process. If you have any questions about selling your car in the Spokane area, feel free to reach out and our team can help you out!

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