How Long it Takes to Sell Your Car Privately – 2023 Guide


Selling anything of high value is never easy. It is a long process that requires a lot of time investment. It is vital that the seller shares all the required info, especially when trying to privately sell something such as a car. Buyers on that market are always very careful. This is why you need to be very careful when sharing information about your used vehicle. Is it enough info? Is it not enough? These are some of the questions you would be asking yourself. But, the question is: How long it takes to sell a car privately?

Unfortunately, there is no exact number I can give you as an answer to that question, but there is at least some data that could give you an idea of how long this process would take.

Keep in mind, some websites out there will tell you that selling your used car can take just two or three weeks, but that is not true. At least, not for those offering it privately. It takes two or three weeks through experienced professionals who are in the used car business.

In this article, I will try to give you as an accurate answer as possible, but you have to remember that your mileage may vary.

Lower your expectations


When trying to sell any kind of item of high value, I think that it is best to lower your expectations as possible. Be prepared for the worst because rarely do people get the best possible outcome. The best possible outcome would be selling the vehicle for the highest possible price in just a few days. No matter how attractive your offer is, I do not think that will happen. People always take several weeks before they can decide to spend thousands of dollars on a used product.

Yes, you might get lucky and get a good offer, but you should not expect that. If you do, you will be very disappointed when you get the more realistic offers.

Believe it or not, but a lot of used cars in good shape even end up never getting sold. So, yes, even that could happen to you. Although that is the worst-case scenario, it is a good idea to be prepared for such a situation.

Lower price equals faster sale


Ask anyone that is in the used car business and they will tell you that it is not profitable to be a “choosing beggar”. You either get to sell the vehicle quickly or make a larger profit from it. It is unlikely that you will run into a customer in the first couple of days of listing your vehicle to pay you the full price.

So, what should you do? Well, it depends on what you want to get out of all of this. Do you care about when you are getting the money or do you care about how much you can profit?

If you care only about pure profits, you should be prepared to wait as long as it takes. Patience is essential here. But, if you are need in of quick cash, it’s probably a good idea to just lower the price by 10-15% and you will notice a jump in interest from several customers. Keep the price on par with similar offers on the market or below that. This increases the number of interested customers.

The only secure way to get a good amount of cash in a very short amount of time is through companies that pay in cash. Usually, these businesses will buy any kind of car, regardless of its age or condition as suggested by

It depends on the model


Let’s be real, not every vehicle brand or model is interesting. Some cars are seen as just plain boring and are not in high demand as some other offers on the used market. You should also keep in mind that some vehicles are bought from larger companies for parts. Since many people own the same type of vehicle, there will be a great demand for replacement parts for that exact model.

A good example of such a model is the Volkswagen Golf, especially for Europe. The Toyota Camry, Corolla, and Ford Fusion are some of the three most popular vehicles in the United States, so you know that people will be looking for those.

There is also a higher demand for more exotic and sports vehicles. Cabriolets like the Mazda MX-5, BMW Z4, Audi TT, BMW Z3, Porsche Boxster, and many others sell like hotcakes. They may not be in the best shape and with a lot of mileage, but they are definitely very fun to drive.

So, if a customer was interested in a sports car, he or she would certainly not be looking at a van or anything like that.

The condition of the vehicle matters too


Like I mentioned previously, customers are skeptical about buying used products, and for a good reason. For vehicles especially. It takes a good chunk of money to buy a nice used car. So, it makes sense why people should be careful when making such an investment.

In other words, vehicles that are in bad condition do not sell quickly or at all. Why should anyone pay thousands of dollars for a product that will not work most of the time? People expect reliability and longevity.

So, if the condition of your vehicle is good, you will probably get several customers in the first two weeks. You could make a good sale in under a month. Although, that also depends on the people in your area. Those living in an average/middle-class neighborhood should expect a faster sale.

Ad optimization


Previously, I did say that it is vital to share the correct information on your ad. It is your job to inform potential buyers as much as you can about your car. If your ad sucks, you will not get any calls. So make sure you optimize your advertisement.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that will or could influence the time needed to sell a used car. If the car is in a good shape and everything is done properly, you could make your sale in under 30 days. If not, you could get stuck for several months or even more.