5 Steps to Sell Your Car in Illinois

Greetings fellow Illinoisans! Are you ready to say goodbye to your trusty old car and upgrade to a newer model? Or perhaps you’re moving out of state and need to sell your vehicle before you go. In any case, selling a car can be a daunting task, but don’t worry! With these 5 steps, you’ll be able to sell your car in Illinois with ease.

First things first, you’ll want to gather all the necessary paperwork such as the title, registration, and any maintenance records. You’ll also want to have your car cleaned and inspected to make sure it’s in good condition. Once you have all that in order, you can move on to the next step: setting a price for your car. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a successful and stress-free selling experience. Let’s dive in!

Selling Your Car in Illinois: A Step-by-Step Guide

When the time comes to sell your car, it is important to be prepared and organized. Follow these steps to ensure a successful sale of your car in Illinois.

Step 1: Gather Information About Your Car

Before selling your car, it is essential to gather all pertinent information about the vehicle. Start by using resources like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to determine the current market value of your car. This way you can set a fair asking price that reflects the current market trends.

Additionally, you should know the make, model, year, mileage, and any special features your car may have. Understanding the condition of your car is also critical because it can significantly impact the selling price.

Step 2: Prepare Your Car for Sale

To make your car appealing to potential buyers, it is crucial to make sure it is presentable and well-maintained. Start by thoroughly cleaning the interior and exterior of the car. A clean car will make a great first impression and will help ensure you get top dollar for your sale.

If there are any necessary repairs or maintenance that need to be done, take care of them before listing your car. Providing records of any repairs or regular maintenance can also help assure buyers that the car has been well taken care of.

Obtaining a vehicle history report is also advisable. This report provides information about accidents, repairs, and other issues that could impact the car’s value. Providing a vehicle history report to potential buyers can help instill confidence in the purchase.

Step 3: Determine Your Asking Price

Setting a fair and accurate selling price for your car is critical to attracting interested buyers. Factors to consider when setting the price include the car’s condition, mileage, and any unique features it may have.

Take into account similar cars for sale in the market and what they are selling for, and adjust your asking price according to those prices. Being flexible on price can also help attract potential buyers, but be sure to set a bottom-line price that is satisfactory for you.


Selling your car can be a daunting task, but following these simple steps can increase your chances of a successful sale. Providing prospective buyers with all necessary information about your car, having it well-maintained and presentable, and accurately pricing it according to the current market trends will help ensure a smooth sales transaction.

Where to Advertise Your Car for Sale in Illinois

When it comes to selling a car in Illinois, there are several options available to you. Whether you’re looking to make a quick sale or get top dollar, there are a variety of ways to connect with potential buyers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at three popular options for advertising your car for sale in Illinois.

Option 1: Online Marketplaces

If you’re looking to cast a wide net and reach as many potential buyers as possible, online marketplaces are a great place to start. Some popular options to consider include Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Autotrader.

When listing your car for sale on these platforms, make sure to include all relevant information and high-quality photos. This will help to attract potential buyers and give them a sense of what your car has to offer.

Another benefit of online marketplaces is that they often offer advanced search features, which can help to connect you with buyers who are specifically looking for the make and model of your car.

Option 2: Local Classifieds

If you’re looking to target a specific audience or demographic, advertising your car for sale in local newspapers or publications can be a good option. For example, if you’re selling a vintage car, you may want to consider placing an ad in a publication that specializes in classic cars.

When creating your ad, make sure to highlight the unique features and benefits of your car, and be sure to include all relevant contact information. You may also want to consider including a call to action, such as “Call now to schedule a test drive!” to help generate interest.

Option 3: Car Dealerships

If you’re looking for a quick sale, selling your car to a dealership may be the way to go. This option can be especially appealing if you don’t have the time or resources to sell your car privately.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that you may not get as much money for your car as you would through a private sale. Dealerships need to make a profit on the cars they sell, so they may offer you a lower price in order to ensure a profit margin.

If you do decide to sell your car to a dealership, make sure to do your research and shop around for the best offer. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and be prepared to walk away if you’re not happy with the price.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to advertising your car for sale in Illinois, there are several options to consider. Whether you choose to list your car on an online marketplace, in a local classified ad, or by selling it to a dealership, make sure to do your research and choose the option that works best for your needs.

By taking the time to create an effective listing and connect with potential buyers, you’ll be well on your way to selling your car and moving on to your next adventure.

Negotiating the Sale of Your Car in Illinois

Setting a Bottom Line

When it comes to selling your car in Illinois, it’s important to have a clear idea of the lowest price you’re willing to sell it for. Do your research and determine a fair market value for your car, taking into account factors such as its age, condition, and mileage. This will give you a good starting point for negotiations and prevent you from accepting an offer that’s too low.

Handling Test Drives & Inspections

Potential buyers will likely want to take your car for a test drive and have it inspected by a mechanic before committing to a purchase. This is a reasonable request and can help build trust with the buyer. Be sure to accompany the potential buyer on the test drive and encourage them to take their time and thoroughly inspect the car. If they request an inspection by a mechanic, work with them to schedule a convenient time and location for the inspection.

Negotiating the Sale Price

When it comes to negotiating the sale price of your car, it’s important to be prepared and flexible. Be open to counteroffers and consider offering incentives to sweeten the deal. For example, you could offer to include new tires or a full tank of gas with the purchase. If the buyer raises concerns about the condition of the car, be prepared to address these concerns and provide any necessary documentation such as maintenance records. Above all, be respectful and professional throughout the negotiation process.

Remember, the goal is to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that both you and the buyer are happy with. By setting a clear bottom line, handling test drives and inspections with care, and negotiating in good faith, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your car in Illinois.

Completing the Sale of Your Car in Illinois

Selling a car in Illinois is not rocket science, but it does require some effort. There are several steps that you need to follow to complete the sale of your car in Illinois.

It is crucial to adhere to Illinois laws governing the sale of cars to avoid any legal ramifications. Completing the sale entails three crucial steps: transferring ownership, securing payment, and canceling insurance & registration.

Transferring Ownership

Transferring ownership is the first step in selling a car in Illinois. You need to fill out some necessary paperwork, including the vehicle title, bill of sale, and odometer disclosure statement. Ensure that you keep a copy of the documents for your records after signing them in the presence of a notary public.

When you sell your car, you are required to provide the buyer with a signed title. If you have misplaced or lost the title, you can apply for a duplicate title from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office before the day of sale.

Before finalizing the sale, ensure that both you and the buyer fill out the bill of sale; this document confirms that you have sold the vehicle and contains essential information such as your name, the buyer’s name, the agreed-upon price, and the date of the sale.

The odometer disclosure statement is another crucial document that you must not overlook. It provides accurate information on the vehicle’s mileage and ensures that the odometer has not been tampered with. It is also a legal requirement in Illinois and should be filled out by the buyer and seller of the car.

Securing Payment

One critical aspect of selling a car in Illinois is securing payment. After agreeing on a final price with the buyer, always ensure that you receive payment before transferring ownership. Cash or a cashier’s check are typically the safest options, and it is recommended that you go with the buyer to the bank to verify payment’s authenticity.

Wiring money is not advisable, and it is equally unsafe to accept a personal check. Once you receive the payment, you can then sign over the title to transfer ownership to the buyer.

Canceling Insurance & Registration

After the sale is complete, the next step is to cancel your car insurance policy and registration. Illinois state laws require that you notify the Illinois Secretary of State’s office of the transfer of ownership within 20 days of the sale.

Calling or writing to the Secretary of State’s office to inform them of the transaction is all it takes to cancel your registration. If you cancel the registration by mail, be sure to include the license plates with the cancellation request.

Canceling your car insurance policy should be done after you have successfully transferred ownership to the buyer. You can then contact your insurance company to cancel the policy.

In conclusion, selling a car in Illinois requires time and effort, but following these three steps of transferring ownership, securing payment, and canceling insurance & registration will ensure a smooth transaction that will protect both the seller and the buyer from legal hassles.

Conclusion – Selling Your Car in Illinois

Congratulations on completing the five steps to selling your car in Illinois! By following these steps, you have sold your car like a pro! We hope this article has been informative and has helped you in achieving your goal. If you have any further questions about selling your car in Illinois, don’t hesitate to seek advice from the Illinois Secretary of State or an authorized dealer. Remember to ensure that all documents are in order and fill out the Bill of Sale correctly. Lastly, don’t forget to smile when handing over the keys to the new owner!

Thank you for reading our article! We hope you found it helpful. Visit us again soon for more tips on car selling and other useful topics!


1. What documents do you need to sell your car in Illinois?
Answer: The documents required to sell your car in Illinois include a valid title, a bill of sale, and a valid registration certificate.

2. Do I need to get a smog check before selling my car in Illinois?
Answer: It depends on where you reside within the state. Some cities or counties may require sellers to provide proof of recent smog checks.

3. How can I determine the value of my car in Illinois?
Answer: You can determine the market value of your car by conducting some research online or by consulting with an authorized dealer.

4. Can I sell a car without a title in Illinois?
Answer: No, you cannot sell a car without a valid title in Illinois.

5. Is it necessary to disclose any car defects when selling a car in Illinois?
Answer: Yes, it is important to disclose any known defects to the buyer to ensure a transparent transaction.

6. How long does it take to sell a car in Illinois?
Answer: The selling process can take between a few days to weeks depending on the demand for the car model.

7. Can I sell my car to a private party without a dealership’s assistance?
Answer: Yes you can. However, it is recommended to seek assistance from a licensed dealer to ensure that all documents are correctly filled.

8. Can I sell my car for parts in Illinois?
Answer: Yes, you can sell your car for parts. However, ensure that the documents are correctly filled upon the transfer of ownership.

9. Do I need to pay taxes when selling my car in Illinois?
Answer: Yes, you are required to pay taxes when selling your car in Illinois.

10. Can I sell my car if there is a lien on it in Illinois?
Answer: Yes, but you will need to pay off the lien before completing the transaction.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Eibar Schmidt

Eibar is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. Also He is a casual autocrosser and occasional track day participant who believes everybody should drive cars that make them happy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *