With spring bringing new growth and new beginnings, you're thinking about saying "out with the old" to your current car. Smart thinking.

Research shows that car dealerships these days are having a hard time keeping up with consumers' demand for used and new vehicles. That means now couldn't be a better time to unload your car.

If you want to make this process as simple and quick as possible in 2023, your best bet is to sell your car online to a dealer. You may be asking, "How exactly can I sell my car online?"

Here's a rundown of how buying and selling cars is changing in 2023, as well as how to get dealers to bid on your car online for the best price.

Let's jump in!

How Buying and Selling Cars is Changing in 2023

Cars typically rank second after houses when it comes to the most expensive items that people typically sell during their lifetimes. For this reason, selling a car can be an exciting financial opportunity for you. At the same time, it can be confusing to determine how to navigate the sales process given the current economic conditions.

New Cars vs. Used Cars

In 2023, the process of buying new cars has been fraught with supply chain problems combined with high interest rates. In addition, the price of a new car is on the rise.

In 2018, a new car was priced at around $36,000. Meanwhile, the price tag reached nearly $48,000 in 2023. That's a $12,000 jump.

On the flip side, the jump for used cars has been smaller at nearly $9,000. in addition, the inflation for pre-owned cars has cooled down significantly since late 2022.

On top of this, car dealerships are struggling with low inventory. If you were to visit your local dealership today, you'd likely see fewer automobiles there than there were a few years ago.

The reason for this is that car production took an immense hit after COVID-19 disrupted the supply of raw materials, such as semiconductor chips. This hurt vehicle makers' ability to satisfy the growing demand for cars and the personal mobility they provide.

Conditions have improved since the pandemic, but supply is still below demand.

The Draw of Used Cars

Given the above, buyers are turning to used cars to meet their vehicle needs in 2023. As a result, car sellers have greater leverage than they typically would. Many car owners are therefore looking to liquidate their cars this year to take advantage of the used car seller's market.

This may especially be attractive to sellers given that a recession is expected in 2023. Research indicates that 58% of economists believe that the chance of an economic downturn happening between February 2023 and February 2024 is greater than 50%.

However, car buying and selling is changing, as it is shifting to the World Wide Web. Let's take a look at what this means for you as you seek to sell your ride this year.

Selling Cars Online

The pandemic is of the main reasons why selling cars online has grown in popularity during the past couple of years.

During the pandemic, many business functions transitioned online due to the threat of the coronavirus, and buying or selling cars was no different.

However, the COVID health scare wasn't the only driving factor behind dealerships' expansion of online car sales. Many local dealerships have also shifted to using online marketplaces in recent years to expand their reach and enhance the customer experience.

With online marketplaces, vehicle dealerships can allow potential buyers to view their inventory before they arrive at the lots. This allows for a more comprehensive, flexible, and in-depth shopping experience.

Dealerships Welcome Online Car Buying and Selling

Many dealers today have embraced the transition to online buying/selling to create a more convenient and seamless purchasing experience.

This means now couldn't be a better time for you to sell your car to a car dealership.

Compared with selling to private parties, selling to a dealership is an easy way to unload a car you're no longer interested in keeping. This is particularly true if you're not necessarily interested in replacing the car you're selling. It's also true if you need cash quickly to purchase a new car.

The Dealership Component

When you sell used cars to dealerships, you may receive less for these vehicles than you might from private parties. In light of this, you may be tempted to maximize your profit by selling directly to a private individual rather than a dealership.

However, a dealership offers the hands-on expertise needed to facilitate a smooth deal. This is invaluable experience you won't benefit from if you resort to selling directly to a private individual.

In addition to supporting you, the seller, dealerships help buyers significantly. That's because drivers can crunch their car purchase numbers at home and then test-drive their desired cars at dealerships before signing any paperwork.

How Can I Sell My Car Online Quickly?

Let's say you've decided to let car dealerships compete for your used car. That's just the first step in making the sale. The second step is figuring out how to make the sale as soon as possible.

Identifying Your Car's Value

You can offload your car quickly by first determining your vehicle's value as accurately as possible. This will increase your chances of securing a buyer (a dealership) and claiming the highest return possible.

You can self-appraise your used car online with the Kelley Blue Book's value tool or Edmunds.com's car appraisal tool. A tool is also available through Consumer Reports. These types of tools can help you to determine what your car may sell for.

Keep in mind, though, that these tools are not foolproof. That's because they rely on the information you submit, whether that information is accurate or not.

After you've submitted your vehicle's information, these calculators will estimate your vehicle's value by comparing this information with their own data. Note, though, that dealerships aren't obligated to go with the figures that these calculators spit back. So, use them for guidance only.

Trading in Your Car

Another way to unload your car quickly is to let your target car dealerships know that you'd like to trade in your old car toward a new one if you plan to buy a new vehicle. Dealers are usually willing to pay more money for pre-owned cars if they're able to make sales out of these cars.

However, if you don't plan to buy, this shouldn't discourage you from moving forward with trying to sell your car. That's because dealers acquire pre-owned vehicles from several sources besides trade-ins. These other sources include car auctions, private parties (like you), and vehicle rental agencies.

Trade-In Tips

When doing a trade-in, keep in mind that your car sale and car purchase are separate transactions. So, when you negotiate the value of the car you're trading in and the price of the car you want to buy, you should keep these quotes separate.

This is important because salespeople can be good at playing games with these numbers. If you're not careful, you might erroneously think you received good prices on the trade-in and the purchase. This is especially true when salespeople begin to add in discussions of financing and monthly payments.

When you're finished with your deal, you'll use the trade-in price you've accepted to offset your new vehicle's purchase price. But that's true only if you are satisfied with both of the prices before signing your paperwork.

Also, remember that when a dealership accepts a trade-in car, they will likely factor in a certain amount to recondition your car for resale while still making a profit. This may lead to a lower trade-in price than you might have expected.

Still, trading in your car can be an easy and fast process overall. So, it's still a good option compared with selling privately.

Looking to sell a car? We can help you with that.

Why Sell Your Car to a Car Dealership?

As we mentioned earlier, selling your used car to a car dealership might not generate the same amount of profit you'd get from a sale with a private individual. However, selling your vehicle to a dealership does offer a few benefits.

For starters, you can sell your vehicle to a dealership in just one afternoon if you are prepared. That's because the dealership will handle the majority of the task on your behalf.

For instance, with a dealership, you don't have to advertise your vehicle or manage potential buyers. You also won't have to prepare a vehicle sale agreement.

On the contrary, it usually takes more time to sell cars to private individuals. After all, with a private sale, you'll have to find possible buyers yourself, take them on test drives, and finalize your sale.

Also, selling to dealerships is generally a safer process. That's because you'll deal with certified dealers instead of individuals. This is the best option if you don't feel comfortable meeting up with strangers and managing sales with them.

How to Get Dealers to Bid on Your Car for the Best Car Price

As we mentioned earlier, selling cars to dealerships online can be a simple process. However, you'll still need to take some steps to maximize the profit you generate from your sale.

Cleaning Your Car

Before you try to sell a vehicle online to a dealership, you'll first want to clean your vehicle thoroughly.

If your vehicle is filthy or smells like an ashtray or fast food, the dealership you're trying to sell it to may assume that you did not maintain the car well. This may cause them to give you a lower offer.

If you have maintained your car well, it will be worth more. If your car smells and looks clean, the dealership is more likely to believe that you stayed up to date on its oil changes and kept it running in the best position possible.

So, be sure to wash your car and vacuum it at least. You'll also want to dust the car's controls and dashboard.

In addition, wipe out any sticky residue in your cupholders, and remove any greasy smears from your kids' fingers or your dog's nose from the window glass.

Perhaps you're not motivated to clean your car. Or, maybe your car is so dirty that you don't think you can clean it yourself. In this situation, you should hire a professional detailer to spruce up the vehicle for you.

Cleaning your car won't motivate the dealership to offer you an amount of money above and beyond what your car is actually worth. However, as we mentioned earlier, they'll be less inclined to give you a lowball offer.

Making Repairs

In addition to cleaning your vehicle before trying to sell it to a dealership online, consider making any necessary minor, easy, and cheap repairs. These fixes will enhance your vehicle's function and appearance, therefore making it more attractive to dealers.

Examples of these include the following:

  • Small oil leak
  • Small scratch
  • Burned-out lightbulb

Following these steps will make the process of reselling your car easier for the dealership. This will increase your chances of receiving a higher offer from the dealer.

However, if your car has major issues, like a transmission or engine problem, it's best to avoid addressing them. It won't be worth your money or time to get these issues fixed.

Major car problems will unfortunately detract from your vehicle's value. But if you spend money to repair these problems upfront, you probably won't get this money back through the sale.

Figuring Out Your Selling Timeline

Consider the most effective times for selling a car before trying to liquidate a car.

For instance, sports cars and convertibles sell best when summer and spring are in full swing. Meanwhile, a commuter vehicle will likely sell more easily during the winter or summer.

However, as a whole, you'll probably experience the best car sale results anywhere from March to August.

During the winter, you may experience competition from dealerships' new models, as dealers usually provide incentives on these models. Nonetheless, the winter season may be the best time to sell an all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive car if the streets are snowy or icy.

Getting Ahead of Any Problems with Your Car

Perhaps you think you're familiar with your car. You'll still want to learn as much as you can about its history before you attempt to unload it.

You can obtain a car history report for your vehicle from a company like AutoCheck or Carfax. This will let you know if your vehicle has had any shady moments in its past.

For instance, you'll find out if your car has ever been in an accident. Likewise, you'll discover if your car has ever had title issues, which may doom your sale.

Running a car history report is especially important if you are not the first owner of the car.

Negotiating Effectively with Dealers

Earlier, we mentioned using calculator tools to determine how much your car might sell for when you pitch it to a dealer. You can reference this information when you begin negotiating with dealers.

Keep in mind that dealers might factor in their unique customer bases, supply, and demand when presenting offers to you. So, shop around to find the best offer from one of several competing dealers.

By seeking multiple offers, you'll put yourself in the best position to get the most cash for your vehicle without going through a sale with a private individual.

Also, let's say your car is just a handful of years old or is in excellent shape. You might want to focus only on car dealerships that sell your car's brand.

That's because you might be able to take advantage of the brand's CPO program. This will increase the dealership's profit margin, so dealers might be more willing to boost their offers so that they can outbid their competition.

All in all, as you navigate the negotiation process, make sure that you are as honest as possible. Don't estimate that your vehicle's value is "good" when it is closer to being "fair."

Your car's seat cushions might be sagging, and the brakes may be squeaky. These issues may not irritate you, but they may bother your target dealership -- especially if you are not upfront about these issues. As a result, you'll likely end up with a lower offer than you were hoping to receive by claiming the "good" status upfront.

Trying the Instant Cash Offer (ICO) Option

If you are trying to sell your car rapidly, an ICO -- a new car-selling method -- might be the best option for you.

ICOs are good for specified amounts of time. However, the companies that issue ICOs can rightfully adjust their actual payments to car sellers if their cars were not described accurately.

When you submit ICO requests to used car dealers, you can expect to receive offers more quickly. You can then compare these offers to pinpoint the best one for you. After choosing an offer, you'll simply give them your car and receive a check for it.

Remember that the dealer that wants to buy your car will probably be reselling it, so they will leave some wiggle room for making a profit. So, be realistic about how much you'll be able to unload your car for.

Again, you may not make as much as you would with a private buyer, but working with dealers who can provide you with ICOs will be less of a hassle for you.

How to Sign Over the Vehicle to the Highest Bidder

Once you've found a dealership that would like to purchase your vehicle at the price you want, the dealer should handle the majority of the transaction's paperwork.

Let's say you're the owner of the car. You'll need to give the title to the dealership and sign what's called a bill of sale.

If you are still making payments on your car loan, you will need to tell your lienholder about your upcoming car sale. Then, you can request a 20-day or 10-day car payoff.

This document will tell your dealer your current car loan amount, including the remaining principal and the accrued interest. You'll also find out the interest amount up to your specified car loan payoff date.

To determine what your profit will be in this situation, you'll need to take the price that the dealership offers you and subtract the payoff amount from it. If you discover that the offer is not large enough to cover your entire loan, you'll need to cover the difference.

Examples of Transactions with Loans Involved

Perhaps you owe $8,000 on your car loan. The car dealership offers you $9,000 to purchase the vehicle.

In this situation, the dealership will pay the $8,000 to the lender directly. You will then receive a $1,000 check.

Meanwhile, let's say you owe $8,000 and the dealership offers you $7,000. You will have to pay the lienholder $1,000.

Using Nexus During the Sale Process

If you're interested in selling your vehicle online to a dealership, our company Nexus can help you through this process in a couple of ways.

First, Nexus can connect you to a network of vehicle dealers across the United States. Based on your location, we can forward your selling request to local dealers. These dealers can then present you with offers on purchasing your used car.

The benefit of this process is that you can sell your vehicle to the highest bidder without having to visit every local dealer yourself. Nexus will do the legwork of connecting you to car dealers interested in buying your car.

In addition, if your car is far away from the dealer you would like to sell to, we can ship your vehicle, too.

Using Nexus During the Shipping Process

After spending time looking for the right dealership to buy your car with the help of Nexus, let's say you finally find a buyer. However, this dealership is in a different state or town.

Nexus's automobile transport service can assist in shipping your car to the dealership safely. The price tag to do this will be much lower than the airfare required to fly the car to its destination.

Nexus's team members are trained to help you with each part of the process of shipping the vehicle. We can explain this process to you in detail upfront and guide you through every phase.

We have picked up both used and new cars from dealerships and individuals over the years, so we're more than equipped to help you with your car sale. By making the shipping process easy for both you and the dealership, we'll make the overall car sale experience a seamless one.

Nexus's End-to-End Shipping Process

Once you've found a committed dealer, our expert, trained drivers will contact you to arrange the process of loading your vehicle on their truck.

You won't be responsible for making any of these arrangements with the dealership. Instead, Nexus will be your go-between when it comes to the pickup and delivery steps. We will be the ones coordinating with the dealership, therefore eliminating this additional burden for you.

Also, you can expect Nexus's driver to inspect your car thoroughly before loading it. This will motivate dealerships to do business with you, as they'll be more likely to trust you.

Our driver will also fill out the necessary bill of lading during this process. This legal document will record detailed information about your car shipment.

While your car is making its way to the dealership, your buyer can track your car online 24/7. This will further give them peace of mind when they decide to work with you.

The dealership will even receive the phone number and name of our transport service driver. In this way, they can call the driver on the driver's cell phone anytime with any questions they might have.

Important Steps to Take During the Shipping Process

When you're ready to get started with Nexus's shipping process, a car shipment will need to be scheduled online. Fortunately, we make this process simple.

The car pickup and delivery ZIP codes simply need to be entered. Then, the person placing the shipment will need to add a couple of details about the car you're selling. These include the size and type of car.

Finally, the individual who is scheduling the shipment will need to choose either enclosed or open auto transport.

Open auto transport is an economical way of transporting a car from Point A to Point B. It is also a more flexible and faster way to ship your car to a dealership.

Meanwhile, enclosed transport is most appropriate for shipping rare cars (more on this later). With this option, you can protect your car from the damage that may stem from debris and harsh weather.

Next Steps

After the vehicle shipment has been scheduled, we will pick up your car and start the automobile transport journey.

Before we haul your car, you'll want to prepare the vehicle for the journey. This includes removing any personal items from the car's interior. It also includes disabling alarms.

You should also make sure that your vehicle has at least one-quarter to one-half of a tank of fuel.

As long as you have met these requirements, your driver will be ready to haul your vehicle with no problem.

Once the car arrives at its destination, the person covering the cost of the shipment can pay the shipment balance. Then, our Nexus driver will perform a final inspection of the vehicle.

Finally, the person receiving the vehicle will need to sign the bill of lading. The transaction will then be complete.

Why Choose Nexus?

We have a robust network of vehicle shipment drivers, and they are all certified and fully licensed. That means you can expect high-quality service every time.


Our drivers are highly skilled in handling even the most delicate vehicles, like muscle cars. That's because they've picked up classic cars and even exotic cars for collectors. They understand both the sentimental and the logistical aspects of shipping cars.

As a result, you can rest assured that our drivers will handle your for-sale vehicle with care. They will take extra steps to make sure that your shipping experience is as stress-free as possible.


Yet another reason to turn to Nexus for your car shipping needs is that we are punctual and professional.

Our drivers and vehicle transport coordinators consistently strive to make all vehicle shipments a safe, cost-effective, affordable, and efficient experience.

Strong Work Ethic and Service

Finally, when you're selling a car online to a dealership, you'll immediately appreciate our strong work ethic.

Whether you use enclosed or open car hauling, you can expect our team to take all of the necessary precautions. That translates to a secure ride for your vehicle each time.

We are also completely insured against accidental damages.

How We Can Help with Your Online Car Selling Process

Wondering "How do I sell my car online?" Consider selling your vehicle to car dealers online with the help of Nexus. With car dealerships struggling with low inventory, you're in an excellent position to get the best car price when allowing multiple dealers to compete for your vehicle.

When you're ready to ship your car to a dealership, we at Nexus can help with this step, too. We even offer a cutting-edge vehicle shipping price calculator to make the process easy for both you and the dealership.

Contact us to learn more about our services, and let's partner today!

Looking to sell a car? We can help you with that.