How to Sell a Classic Car or Truck

Advice from our experts on taking best advantage of all the selling tools ClassicCars.com has to offer. Maximize your listing for a quick sale at a fair price!

Steps to Selling Your Classic Car or Truck

Investing a few minutes into research and preparation can make a huge difference. Here are our best tips for creating a compelling listing that draws buyers and gives them good reason to contact you. Once you're ready, you can list your classic in mere minutes.

Before You Create Your Listing:


Step 1: Do some research on price

It should come as no surprise that competitively priced vehicles sell faster than ones with uncharacteristically high or low prices. You should begin by searching for vehicles of the same year, make and model. Make note of the prices of vehicles in similar condition and with similar engines and optional equipment. Even if you opt against publishing an asking price, you should have a pretty good idea of the least you're willing to sell for.

Step 2: Think about what makes your car unique

Every classic car or truck has a story, and your ideal buyer will be very interested in yours. Are you the original owner? If not, what can you remember about the previous owner? Gather any maintenance, repair or restoration receipts and be prepared to discuss what you've had done to the vehicle. If your vehicle shows its age, remember that many buyers prefer a "survivor" aging gracefully with a fine patina to showroom-fresh paint, so don't be bashful about it.

Step 3: Take effective photos

Take many photos showing the entire car as well as showcasing specific areas—exterior, interior, engine bay, trunk and even the undercarriage if you can. Park your car in an open gravel lot or some other wide-open area where the surroundings such as trees and parking lot lines won't be reflected in the windows and body panels. Try to take your photos when the sky is cloudy—the soft light will flatter your car by minimizing harsh shadows. Your primary image should be a front 3/4 view. Take close-up, legible shots of your odometer and identification plates. When photographing dents, cracks and other imperfections, include a ruler or some other familiar object (such as a coin) to clearly convey the size of the damage.

Step 4: Create a short video walk-around tour

They say if a picture is worth a thousand words, then surely a video is worth a thousand pictures. We agree. Grab a smartphone and record as you walk slowly around the car. Finish with a flourish by sitting behind the wheel and then starting the car. Give it a few revs and turn off the ignition. That's your video! There's no need for narration or background music because your car is the star.

Step 5: Gather your vehicle's paperwork

In order to facilitate the sale, be sure to have your vehicle's title (unless you live in a no-title state) and registration documents. If your title isn't clean, you'll need to disclose that in your listing so that your buyer doesn't mistakenly buy a vehicle that's not street-legal. Owner's manual, original window sticker and maintenance records are always appreciated by buyers.

Making a Listing That Buyers Will Respond To:


Step 1: Add a minimum of 50 photos

The most effective listings have at least 50 photos. We recommend adding at least this many and keeping dozens more for prospective buyers hungry for more. Remember, you can add up to 100 photos to your listing, and you can always start with a few and add more later as they become available.

Step 2: Link your walk-around video from YouTube

Upload the walk-around video you created to YouTube (ask your child, grandchild, niece or nephew to help out if necessary) and use the provided embed URL to link the video to your ClassicCars.com listing. We'll reward your hard work by noting in search results that your listing includes a video clip!

Step 3: List all your car's options and data

When creating your listing, there are numerous fields asking about your vehicle's drivetrain and other equipment. Be sure to check off all that apply. If your vehicle is a pre-1981 model, enter the manufacturer's serial number for the chassis in the VIN field; otherwise, enter the VIN. If you have anything supplemental to say about any of the equipment (such as a disclosure that the odometer reading may not be accurate), be sure to mention it in your description.

Step 4: Write (and proofread) a great description

This is where all that research you did earlier pays off. Even though you may no longer be enthusiastic about your vehicle, rest assured that somewhere out there is someone who considers it their dream come true. Write your description for that person. Write in full sentences and avoid abbreviations (for example, air conditioning rather than A/C). Hearken way back to Mrs. Whipple's English class and write an essay she'd be proud to read, complete with proper capitalization, spelling, grammar, and so on. We give you virtually unlimited space to tell your vehicle's story, so make use of it.

Step 5: Respond to inquiries immediately

Great photos, a video clip and a full, rich description will attract both attention and inquiries from prospective buyers. Those inquiries will be sent to the email address you provided when you created your ClassicCars.com membership. It is crucial that you reply to inquiries in a timely manner, as most buyers contact multiple sellers when they are ready to purchase. Once you connect with a buyer and make the sale, let us know the good news by logging in to your ClassicCars.com dashboard and marking your listing as sold. We'll immediately mark your listing as sold and hide it so you don't receive any additional inquiries. If your deal falls through at the last minute, don't worry—just let us know and we'll put your vehicle back on the market in a jiffy.

Model Classic Car Listings

Take a look at some great examples of real classic car listings that take full advantage of all the tools and advice mentioned above. These are classic car listings done right.