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Hello, I just brought a 06 Pontiac GT coupe for 30k brand new. I have decided to move to NYC, in which I won't need a car, or at least a $600 car note. I don't want my car any more. I thought about selling it to car max which I would be left with 7k and no car. Should I keep my car, sell it to car max, or sell it myself? Please help, i'm moving in 1 month. Thanks

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Dear Candice, The way to get the most money back for your car is to sell it yourself. If you don't need it in New York, then don't bring it. It costs a lot of money to find a place to park a car in NYC. The value of your car is based on its age, mileage and condition. To find out what you may possibly get for it, go online to,, or and put in the year, make, model, and mileage, then add your zip code. They will ask a lot of questions to establish pricing. From this website you can even print a window sticker for your car pretty easily. The real value is based on the vehicle’s age, mileage, and the condition of the body, the interior and the engine. You should also gauge the amounts given against the ads in your local newspapers. Selling your car privately will get the most money in your pocket, but can take a lot of time and energy. It is very important that you clean the car inside and out. First impressions make a huge difference. Don’t want to clean it yourself? You take it to a professional car detailer and it will cost approx. $100.00 - $150.00. Sometimes it takes several weeks to sell a car. Be patient and be prepared for an annoyance or two. Where to advertise your old vehicle... In newspapers classified ads use emotion words like luxurious, sporty, safe and reliable, etc. Describe the reasons why someone else would find your car interesting. Accentuate all the positives. For example, “one owner, nonsmoker, never had a dog in it, highway miles only, all service up-to-date with records to prove it, tires almost new, kept in garage,” etc. Women would be well advised to have someone along whenever they show a vehicle for safety reasons. Place posters on bulletin boards where lots of people will see them (grocery stores, country stores, health clubs, schools, Laundromats, etc.). The poster should have a picture and features of your car, with tear off phone numbers on the bottom. Consider listing your car on,, or Approximately 70% of all car buyers start their search on the internet. See if there is a radio call in “swap and sell” show in your area. Ask everyone you come in contact with if they or someone they know is looking for a great used car. To give them incentive to find you a buyer, offer them a “bird dog fee” ($50.00?) if they send you a qualified buyer who completes the deal. Park your car on a busy street with a detailed information sign in the window. Ask around to find out the local “hot spot” where sellers park their vehicles on the weekends. When people start calling you... Be honest and forthright, but don’t dicker on the phone. The buyer needs to come and see what you are talking about before the selling begins. Make sure the cost of your vehicle is within their budget. If they can’t afford it, then don’t waste your time setting up a time for a test drive. When scheduling a test drive, don’t leave it casual, like “why not stop by anytime Wednesday.” The prospect may not show and you have wasted your day waiting for nothing. A good idea is to treat this as a job and give them two different choices: “I can show you the car 4:30 pm on Friday or 10:00 am on Saturday; which time is better for you?” Take notes and get a phone number to call back in case something comes up. This may also help you call back the person you liked the most with a lower price if you get desperate. If they come driving up like a wild cat in a run down vehicle, there is no law that says you have to let them drive your car. Any excuse is better than regretting later that you didn't listen to that tiny voice! Write down the potential buyer’s driver’s license number and name before the test drive to make sure it’s current. Go on the test drive with the potential buyer. You don’t know who they are… and you don’t want anything to happen that you’re not aware of. Agree to have the vehicle taken to a mechanic for an inspection. Have them leave a refundable deposit before they take the vehicle away. Give the buyer a dated receipt for any deposit given. To firm up the deal, set a time limit for picking up the vehicle. Don’t release the vehicle, the title or the keys until the car has been paid for in full. Recommend that the buyer gets a bank check. This is guaranteed by the bank and you can release the vehicle that day. Cash is the easiest and most secure way to go when possible. Once you sell the vehicle, take off your old plates. Make sure the new owner has registered and insured it before they drive it away. Notify your insurance company to remove the car from your policy. Good Luck, Amy Mattinat

Joy Sherman, Owner  at Ms. Motorcars See what your car is going for on Ebay, with similar miles. If there aren't a lot of them, I would try to sell it yourself. Best of Luck, Joy Sherman, Ms. Motorcars

Patty Streeter,  at Candice, There are many options for you out there. You can see if there are vehicles like yours on eBay Motors and see what they are going for. You can also look into Carmax and see what they will offer you for the vehicle. Make sure you take the car in clean and washed, so they will give you the best value. Compare that to what people are getting private sale or even what a Pontiac dealership might give you. I had a friend who recently moved out of state and had to sell her car and the dealership actually offered her more than Carmax! So you never know! You definitely have to consider the finances involved. I am assuming you mean you will still owe 7k on the vehicle after you sell it? I wouldn't recommend owing a vehicle you don't even have anymore, so make sure you look into all of yoru options. Good luck!

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