How To Sell Your Car Before You Have Paid It Off

01-06-2017 | Anne Seymour |

Usually, you will get more for your car if you sell it privately, instead of through a dealer. But, such transactions can get a little complicated if you still owe finance on your car.

With some preparation, thought, and clear communication with the potential buyer, you can easily navigate a few extra steps.

Get a Valuation

If you’re planning to take advantage of cash for cars in Sydney from, the first thing is to get car valuations to determine how much your car is worth.

If you want to, you can try to get an offer from a dealer as this will give you a decent baseline for negotiating with your private buyers.

When you list your car for sale, you are sure to get a ton of low offers that just aren’t worth your time. A dealer offer, or a professional valuation at least, will help you figure out where your threshold is.


In the early stages of communication with a potential buyer, make sure you are clear that you do not have the title yet and you still owe finance on the car. There are those private buyers who are willing to work through this if the car is right for them.

The next step is to communicate with your lender if you have found a buyer who is willing to pay a fair price and manage the process of the loan balance. You’ll need to find out what your lender’s process is, since every bank tends to handle things a little differently. Also, depending on how your buyer is going to pay for the car, options will vary as to how you can close the deal.

If your lender has a local branch nearby, things are easier. All you have to do is request that they get a copy of the title and then conduct the transaction there. The buyer will then give the bank the remainder of the finance amount, and receive the title, while you get the balance of the money.

What If the Buyer Needs a Loan?

If your prospective buyer needs a loan themselves, it may be possible for their bank to facilitate the transaction between both of you and your lender.

Get the buyer to talk to their lender to see if there is such a process in place. If their lender can’t help with the transaction, or the buyer is paying cash, there may well be a delay as to when the funds will clear and the title is released.

Overall, having a bank nearby that can facilitate the entire transaction is the best way to go about selling your car if you still owe finance on it.

It’s kind of a win-win situation, really, as everything is sorted out in one go. The key though, through the entire selling process, is to be open and honest about owing finance and the process the seller will have to go to in order to receive the title and help you take care of the balance.

About Anne Seymour

Anne is a young webpreneur, interested in all things related to money: earning, investing, saving. She's paid off her student loans and now is looking forward to doing a lot of writing and traveling.

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