How to Sell a Car on Craigslist

So, You Want to Sell Your Car on Craigslist?

You’ve decided you want to sell your car and Craigslist seemed like the best option. There’s a lot to know about this local marketplace website, so created a simple guide on how to sell a car on Craigslist and its pros and cons.

Why Do People Choose Craigslist?

There are many horror stories around the internet about people selling things on Craigslist, yet it is still one of the most popular marketplace sites on the internet. Why is that people still use Craigslist despite its reputation?


There are hundreds, even thousands of people who use Craigslist daily for the things they want and need. It could be to make money, to buy and resell other people’s things, to sell a car, to find rare items, just to name a few.

Local Reach

Craigslist is based on locality and large regions will rarely interact. For example, if you’re selling a car in Wyoming, you won’t be getting inquiries from people in Texas. Combine the popularity and locality of Craigslist and you could have hundred of offers in a few days.

To Sell Your Car on Craigslist is Free

Selling a car on Craigslist is free for individual users and people looking to buy whatever they desire. Business are required to pay $5 per Craigslist post but it often doesn’t attract many businesses because of this.

Lack of Mediation Between Sellers and Buyers

This is what attracts, and deters, many potential Craigslist buyers and sellers. Craigslist does not intervene with transactions between consumers and exists purely as a advertisement space for someone who is trying to sell something. This can lead to many potential scamming, and illegal activities.

Craigslist Car Scams

A lot of the reasons why people love Craigslist, also can make it a very dangerous place to sell your car. With thousands of eyes on your car advertisement on Craigslist; there could be some people you’d rather avoid making you offers. To avoid these car buying fraudsters, you need to remain diligent and take every interaction with a grain of salt. You never know who you might be talking to.

You Got Scammed on Craigslist, What Can You Do?

If you have been scammed on Craigslist in the past, the best thing to do is acquire all traceable interaction with the seller, information about the seller you have, and proof that you were scammed. All of this should be brought to a small claims court lawyer and discuss the steps further with them.

How to Spot a Craigslist Scammer

Spotting a Craigslist scammer might seem easy, especially if you’re a naturally cynical person. Unfortunately, many of these scammers know how to pretend to be people you can trust or ask you do to things that might seem innocuous but leaves you open to getting scammed. Here are some things you should keep an eye out for to avoid getting scammed.

Doesn’t Want to Talk on the Phone

This is a rather blatant red flag as it might become obvious that they are not who they say they are.

Seller Wants to Use Some Form of Alternative Payment

This is most likely to get more information about you or potentially get access to accounts you own.

If Someone Wants to Buy Your Car Without Seeing It

It is extremely uncommon for someone not to ask to see your car before buying it. This is an immediate red flag.

Buyer Asks You to Ship Out of Country

Also known as Craigslist shipping scams. This is where your potential buyer asks if you will ship your car to another country. The only form of payment is wire transfer, or something similar. You pay shipping costs, they never wire the money, and you’re out a car and the shipping cost.

Buyer Is in a Hurry to Complete the Sale

While not always a red flag, buyers who are ready to buy your car from the get-go are probably attempting to scam you.

How To Sell a Car on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed

While there will be plenty of legitimate buyers interested in your car, it is important that you know the signs to watch out for scam artists. Even when meeting with a buyer you’re confident enough in to trust, you should follow these general rules to keep yourself safe.

Tips for Selling a Car on Craigslist

Don’t Go Alone

It is always better to have someone with you that you can trust hang out in the background. Be careful to not spook the buyer as they will also be suspicious of you.

Meet in Well-Lit, Public Areas with Cameras If Possible

The more eyes you can have on you during your transaction with the buyer, the better. If things do end up going wrong, there will be plenty of witnesses and a better chance to get out of the situation.

Selling a Car on Craigslist and the Test Drive

Probably the scariest part of the Craigslist experience, is having your buyer test drive your car. You never know what they might do and the best thing to do is go on the test drive with them. In addition, ask your buyer if your friend can come along to make sure that everyone stays safe. Your phone should be fully charged and ready in case things go haywire and you need to call for help.

Always Use Craigslist Best Practices and Etiquette

The more information you can give potential buyers about your car, the better. Never attempt to conceal information, take photos of all the good features of the car and the bad, price the car reasonably, and when selling a car on craigslist, cash is the only way to go.

Following these few rules, keeping an eye out for red flags of a potential scam, and never trusting anyone you meet on Craigslist fully; you should have few problems selling your car on Craigslist.

What’s The Best Place to Sell a Car Online Safely?

Forget about how to sell your car to Craigslist! Forget about getting hundred of spammy calls, emails, and text messages. All it takes is one phone call with a person that really is who they say they are, and five to ten minutes of your time! We’ll make you a guaranteed offer, free pick-up in 24 hours or less, the tow driver will meet you at your place of convenience, show you how to sign over the title, and you just became a little bit richer! Fill out our instant online quote and see what you could get for your car! Forget Craigslist, is the safest way to sell your car!

Go here for any further questions about how to sell your car!


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