How to Write a Successful Car Ad

Lack of buyer confidence may be the biggest obstacle in selling a used car on your own. Anyone looking to buy a pre-owned vehicle can go to a used car lot and get a car that has been checked over by the dealer's mechanic. They can also get a very nice list of the car’s pertinent details and maybe even a warranty.

When writing the ad for your used car – whether it is online or in a print publication – you need to overcome those dealer advantages by providing your potential buyers with complete information about your vehicle. Here is a list of everything you need to include.

  • The basics: year, make, model, transmission type (automatic or manual), color, body style (sedan, sports car, truck, etc.), odometer mileage
  • Optional add-ons that you purchased with the car and those you added since owning it
  • Miles per gallon city and highway
  • Maintenance history, including any warranties still in effect
  • Audio features (CD changer, speakers, etc.) and information on any car navigation system
  • Car security features
  • Age of tires
  • The number of owners in the history of the car
  • Why you are selling
  • Kelly Blue Book price and your asking price
  • Your contact information
  • What forms of payment you will accept (cash, money order, cashier’s check)

You can also help potential buyers overcome fears by offering a test drive, a copy of a vehicle history report, or a vehicle inspection report from a qualified mechanic. Remember to include any other positives about your vehicle’s history that you can. For example, if you drove the car mostly in rural or suburban areas, put that information in your ad. Many people like to buy a vehicle that hasn’t been subjected to the wear and tear of city driving.

Don’t skimp on the photos either. The more you can show a buyer that your car doesn’t have one wheel already in the junk yard, the more likely you are to get inquiries and get your vehicle sold quickly. 



When you're ready for a new car, start by downloading our car-buying eGuide. It provides an overview of everything you need to know about financing a car.

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Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union

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