How to Sell Your Car on Craigslist Safely

How to Sell a Car on Craigslist header (new)

Looking to part ways with your set of wheels?  This tutorial will show you how to post an advertisement for a car or truck on Craigslist.  It’s very similar to how we showed you how to post a general advertisement in our How to Post on Craigslist tutorial, so you may want to refer to it as you go along.

We’re going to assume that you’re a private individual trying to sell your car or truck, so your advertisement will be free.  If you run a dealership and are trying to sell a specific car on Craigslist, you will have to pay for your posting.

To sell your car on Craigslist:

  1. Go to in your web browser (you’ll be taken to the Craigslist sub-site for your local city or area), and log in.
  2. Once you reach your account page, click the drop-down menu next to “New Posting In:” and select the city or area in which you wish to post an advertisement.  To help you out a little, they are arranged in alphabetical order.  Once you’ve selected the appropriate area, click Go.

  3. On the next screen, click the button beside “For Sale By Owner”.  (Click Continue if you aren’t taken to the next screen automatically.)

  4. On the next screen, click the button beside “Cars & Trucks – By Owner”.  (Again, click Continue if you aren’t taken to the next screen automatically.)

  5. The next part of posting the advertisement is mostly the same as it is in steps 6 through 10 in our How to Post on Craigslist tutorial, except for one thing: step 8, the extra posting details.

    For selling a car or truck, some additional details are necessary.  They’re outlined in green (and highlighted in the screenshot above) for quick reference.  You need to click in each box and enter (from left to right, top to bottom):

    — The year that the car was manufactured
    — The brand and model of the car (Craigslist will help you out with suggestions)
    — What kind of fuel the car takes (e.g. regular, diesel, electric, hybrid)
    — The car’s selling status (e.g. original, rebuilt, for salvage, only selling parts)
    — What type of transmission the car has

    You can also click in the remaining boxes here and type in:

    — The car’s Vehicle Identification Number
    — How many miles have been driven in the car (i.e. odometer reading)
    — The condition that the car is in
    — How many cylinders the car’s engine has
    — Which set of wheels drives the car (e.g. front, rear, or all)
    — The car’s paint colour
    — The car’s size (e.g. full-size, mid-size, compact)
    — The car’s type (e.g. minivan, convertible, pickup truck)

    This information is optional, but can help potential buyers know more about your car and make an informed decision as to whether or not they are really interested in it.

  6. When you’re done filling in the extra information, decide whether or not you want to allow inquiries not related to this specific posting, and then click Continue.

  7. The rest of the process is adding images of what you’re trying to sell, reviewing your advertisement and make any necessary changes before submitting it for publication, and confirming your posting via email.

From there, watch your email (or other specified contact channels) and see if any offers come in!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Someone wanting to buy your car on Craigslist may ask you if they can take it for a test drive before deciding on a purchase.  If they do so, ALWAYS bring a friend with their own vehicle with you to the meeting, so they can follow you and make sure that the prospective buyer doesn’t try anything shady.

That’s how to sell your car on Craigslist!

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