Where is the best place to find free used car classifieds?
Everyone knows you make more money selling your car privately than you do when you trade it into a dealer. However, sometimes the expense of advertising your car cuts so far into the profit you’re making it’s no longer worth it. Fortunately for sellers, there are a number of places you can advertise your used car for free, and avoid the expense of paid advertising.
Be sure to enter your ZIP code into the FREE auto insurance comparison tool above!
Craigslist offers nothing except free ads, while other websites will place paid ads above your free one. This means you rank well, but unfortunately, ads are ranked by their age, so newer ads will rank above your older one. The search features are significantly more limited than the car specific websites, so you have to put as many keywords as possible in the title of the ad. Craigslist offers four pictures – more than other websites, but still not many – so make them count.
Vehix.com is a popular vehicle review website. They offer reviews of new and used cars as well as classified ads. Website visitors start by looking at reviews and often transition into shopping for a specific model, making them better educated than consumers on other websites. Vehix.com offers free classified advertisements for 30 days with one picture of your vehicle.
Cars.com offers vehicle reviews and shows pricing for certain features, making it a powerful tool for the car shopper. It ranks very well when searching for vehicle reviews, so it gets plenty of traffic. As with vehix.com, customers can transition straight from research into shopping by searching local classified ads directly from the review page. Free ads have one photo and run for 45 days. This is the longest running of any of the online services, but with only one photo, it’s going to be tough for buyers to love your car.
Autotrader.com is the online arm of the popular Autotrader magazine. They don’t offer free listings per se, but you can get their standard listings for free by signing up for an affiliated service. Some of their affiliated services are free, helping you get a free classified ad. Unfortunately, standard ads are buried very deep in the search results, so you don’t get always get good placement. However, users can search using numerous criteria, so you may get a reasonable response if you have a niche vehicle people are looking to buy. Once you have the ad, you only get three pictures and the ad only runs for three weeks, so the hassle of making your ad free by signing up with a service may outweigh the benefits.
Sign in the Window
An old standard for advertising your car is putting a for sale sign in the window. The response varies, but it’s free, easy and worth a try. For the best chance of a response, park near well trafficked areas, like paths in parking lots, near entrances to the mall and near the door at work. The more people walk past your car, the better the chance you’ll get a call. Make sure the hand-writing is clear and the phone number is written in large letters. If people can’t read the number, they won’t be able to call.
Some neighborhoods have a parking lot where owners looking to sell their vehicles will park them. This creates a dealer-lot of independent cars where potential buyers can shop in one place. Ask around to see if there’s one near you, or you may have seen it while driving by. Make sure you leave your car locked and don’t leave anything valuable in your car in case it gets broken into.
Email lists hosted by volunteer organizations are also good places to advertise your car. Don’t join a list simply to post your car – it’s unlikely to get you a response and people will often be upset – but if you’re already a member, post away. The best response will be for cars that fit the audience well. Think a pick-up truck to a group of outdoor people or sports car to a group of motor racing enthusiasts.
Many large offices have a place where employees can post for sale ads. They’re often around the lunch room or cafeteria so they get a lot of foot traffic. Companies have different procedures for posting messages, so make sure you follow the rules, but they can be a valuable resource in your quest to sell your used car.
Online Enthusiast Message Boards
Many car models have online owners clubs and message boards. You will probably have to register for the board in order to post a classified ad, but if you do so you could get a good response – after all, you’re advertising to a group of people interested in the make and model you’re selling. You’ll get the best response if you’ve participated in discussions on the board before attempting to sell your vehicle on there.
If the car you’re selling is old or damaged, an owners club is a good place for an ad. Enthusiasts are often looking for cars to restore or cars to use for parts. If your car is old, damaged or otherwise in bad shape, place an ad to see whether people are interested.
Friends and Family
Don’t underestimate the power of emailing your friends and family. They may not be interested in buying right now, but may know someone who is. Simply sending out a brief email with some pictures and a description of your car can get a good response. Beware though, if one of your friends or family members is interested in your car, you may have to give them a friendly discount!
There are plenty of ways to sell your vehicle without shelling out for an expensive advertisement in the newspaper or on a website. Ads only run for a limited time and they often don’t garner enough of a response to make them worth the money. If it takes you six months to sell your car and you’re paying $75 a month in advertising costs, by the time you’ve sold the car it’s cost you almost $50 in advertising – almost as much as it would cost you to trade it in. One simple way to save money on your auto insurance is by entering your ZIP code for FREE in the below comparison tool!