How Long Should It Take to Sell a Car in Calirfornia?

California is not just the most populous state in the U.S. but has the biggest annual car sales. Statistics from Statista

indicate that in 2021 the number of car registrations in the state exceeded 31 million. So, if you’re trying to sell a car in California, you might take less time than people in other states. But while California is such a hot car market, the condition of the car you’re trying to sell will be a prime determinant of the time you’ll take to sell it. What are the most important factors to consider to make the sale as fast as possible?

Make Sure All Damages Are Repaired

The speed at which you’ll sell your used car will be determined significantly by the condition of the vehicle. As you can expect, people don’t want to buy a car with many repair issues. Ask yourself the following questions. Does the car have visible dents? Are the tires worn out? Are the brakes faulty? Does the car have physical appeal? If you were buying such a car, would it add to your home’s curb appeal?

Answering such questions will help you decide how quickly you will likely get a willing buyer. If the car doesn’t have issues with the engine, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that all you need are minor repairs. Visiting your trusted mechanic for auto repair services might be all you need to increase your vehicle’s appeal.

If you’re selling a car that might have been involved in an accident, has the accident affected your insurance? Most insurance companies charge higher rates for cars with a history of accidents. Your potential buyer may need the car’s accident history and how the accidents, if any, have affected the car’s value.

While the actions of the insurance companies could be punitive, it helps to work with an auto accident attorney to find out the car’s real worth and how you could negotiate with both insurance companies and potential buyers to help you sell the car as quickly as possible.

Have a Mechanic Inspect It

You know all about your car, but potential buyers cannot tell about the car’s real condition without a mechanic’s report. If you intend to sell the car to a dealership, some might conduct the inspection, but in most cases, you’ll likely get a better price when you sell to private individuals.

California has one the strictest smog laws in the U.S., and before selling your car, you need to visit a smog check inspector

. Smog inspections are required every other year, and should your car fail such a test, you cannot register it. In addition to the smog inspection, you must confirm that the vehicle will not endanger the driver or other road users.

What does a vehicle inspection entail? The primary objective of car inspections is to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate.

A car will be unsafe if it has faulty brakes and could cause an accident. The vehicle could also endanger the driver and other road users if the tires are worn out. Similarly, the vehicle could be dangerous during a storm because the windshield wipers are not working.

When you take your car to the mechanic for an inspection, the mechanic will carry out tests to prove the car’s roadworthiness. When choosing an auto repair garage, you should confirm that the garage you choose is run by licensed mechanics as required by the California Automotive Repair Act (CARA). With CARA, California also established the Bureau of Automotive

Repair (B.A.R.), which oversees and regulates the automotive repair industry.

The main objective of B.A.R. is to ensure that unscrupulous mechanics do not infiltrate the market and therefore issue clean reports for unroadworthy vehicles. When you visit a licensed auto body repair businesses, you’re certain that no repairs will be overlooked. Moreover, an inspection report from such a business will help you sell the car quickly, as potential buyers will be confident that they’re buying a quality car.

Consider Providing Spare Parts

Some cars sell quickly, and others could take too long to get a buyer. When you look at the vehicle sales market, you’ll notice that there are vehicle brands that are forever in demand. In California and most of the U.S., Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Tesla are the leading car brands

. When considering buying a used car, one of the most crucial considerations for buyers is how easily they can resell it when the need arises.

Potential buyers are also concerned about the availability of spare parts. Should you buy a car and then have to wait for months to source a crucial part (because you probably have to import it), the expense in both time and finances might discourage most people.

Motor vehicle manufacturers have specified periods during which certain parts must be replaced. If you consider car tires, for example, most manufacturers will advise you to replace them after six years or after 75,000 miles. Regardless of the tire conditions or the areas you drive in, the tires must be replaced after ten years.

Other parts that need to be replaced periodically include the battery and alternator, car filters, timing belts, and the water pump. Potential buyers want to be assured that they will have easy access to the required parts when they need to replace them.

You could increase your chances of selling your used car substantially if, in addition to the car, you could also provide the spare parts. Since you might already have a trusted auto parts seller, how about obtaining the parts there and providing them to your buyer? Of course, you’ll charge for the spare parts, but you will have solved a big headache for potential buyers and sell the car faster.

State to the Buyer Whether It’s Automatic or Manual Shift

A prime consideration when selling cars is whether the vehicle is automatic or manual. In the U.S., automatic transmission cars are very popular, and 95%

of cars sold are in this category. What this means is that you stand a higher chance of selling a used car quickly if it’s automatic.

There are many reasons for the popularity of automatic transmission vehicles. As we noted earlier, people buy cars for which they can easily get spare parts or resell. Since most of the cars in the U.S. are automatic, it follows that obtaining spares for them is easier than is the case with manual transmission vehicles.

While automatic cars are pricier than manual ones, people still crave them because they are more convenient to drive. If you crave speed, you’ll be impressed by automatic cars because they have better acceleration than their manual counterparts. The gas price is another reason that makes automatic cars more popular in the U.S. While some automatic cars are fuel guzzlers, the price of fuel is relatively low in the country (at least when compared to the prices in Europe and other parts of the world) doesn’t discourage motorists from buying automatic vehicles.

When selling your car, you need to tell potential buyers whether it’s manual or automatic. While manual transmission cars are popular with older Americans, most young people have never had any experience with such cars. The young are used to cars with automatic transmissions, and when you consider the vast availability of these cars, you appreciate how easy it might be to sell such a car.

While automatic cars are popular, many older people are more comfortable with manual transmission cars. Since most cars manufactured today are automatic, manual transmission vehicles have become popular among car collectors. Some of the most expensive vintage cars you’re likely to find in the market are manual and have risen in popularity because of their rareness. If you’re in California and considering selling a manual used car, you might consider marketing it to local moving companies.

Make Sure the Buyer Has Insurance

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (D.M.V.) defines insurance as financial responsibility and requires all vehicles driven or parked in the state to carry specified insurance coverage. Technically, you can buy a car without insurance, but you won’t be able to drive it home without a cover. When you’re selling a car, you must advise the buyer that they must have insurance to take it home.

The reasons for car insurance are rather obvious. First, law enforcement officers have a right to ask for evidence that your car has the required cover, and any time they stop you and demand this evidence, you must produce it. Secondly, you must show evidence of insurance whenever you renew your vehicle’s registration – without the insurance cover, you won’t get the renewal.

The insurance covers you carry for your motor vehicle helps in various situations, and that’s why it’s mandatory. Should your car get involved in an accident that either injures or causes the death of another person, the insurance cover will be used to compensate the victim.

The insurance cover could also be used to compensate people whose properties are damaged due to an accident. For the compensation of accident victims, the amount of cover required for different vehicles varies, and for 2023, the average cost is $2,291

. The California Department of Insurance regulates the insurance industry in California. Before obtaining cover from a classic car insurance agent, you need to confirm that they are licensed to sell insurance.

Use Your Earnings to Treat Yourself

Selling a used car in California could be hectic. If you’re selling a car that’s not appealing to potential buyers, you might take long to get a willing buyer. So, imagine you have searched high and low before eventually getting a client. How do you congratulate yourself on achieving what might be a herculean task?

If you’re selling a car to buy something else (or probably upgrading to a better car), the most logical thing would be to use the money for the originally intended purpose. Different people have different reasons for selling their cars. You could, for instance, decide to sell a car because you hardly used it. Should you have several cars, there may be a car that’s always in the garage because no one wants or needs it.

Even when you don’t use a car regularly, it still degrades from natural wear and tear. In such a situation, it makes sense to sell the car when it can still fetch a good price. Since the car could only depreciate in the garage, you’ll be losing money you could spend on other things.

Proceeds from your used car sale could be used to purchase that holiday you have been dreaming of and wondering how you could ever afford it. Treating yourself and your loved ones with the money made from the car sale makes great sense.

Do you have a boat you might not use regularly? How do you ensure that it’s protected from the elements? Many boat owners do not realize that a boat should always be covered, even when not in use. You could use your new-found cash to get automatic boat covers for your prized boat, extending its life.

Selling a car in California could be very easy or very difficult. How long it’ll take to sell your car will depend on many factors. If you searched online for potential buyers, you might be lucky to get a buyer in a few hours, days, or weeks. The most important thing to do when trying to sell a car in California is to manage your expectations. If you go to the market expecting to get a buyer in minutes, you’ll be setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

While the condition and appeal of your car are crucial, a successful sale might ultimately depend on luck. Should lady luck smile at you, you could close a deal in a few days. To go through the process without stress and unrealistic expectations, it helps to give yourself at least five weeks.

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