How to Sell Your Car in Washington State

Wondering how to sell your car in Washington state? When you’re selling a car, it’s always better to do it yourself—because you’ll get a lot more money than trading or selling it to a dealer.

It can be a little hard to know where to start, and laws are different in each state, so we’ve created this guide to make it easy to understand what you need to do if you’re selling a car in Washington.

Selling a Car in Washington State:

Here’s what you need:

  • The title – also known as the “pink slip.” It’s the certificate that proves you own the car.
  • A Washington bill of sale – You can use Form TD-420-065, which you can download from the DOL’s website, here.
  • The odometer reading – (exactly how many miles are on the car)
  • Keep the license plates – Remember that the plates stay with you, not the car.

After you complete the sale, you need to report it within 5 days to the DOL, either online using your License eXpress account, or the online form. Or, you can do it at any vehicle licensing office.

Other things to consider when selling a car in Washington State

You’ll want to be extra careful when you’re filling out the title—or any other DOL-issued documents—because any errors or scratch-outs will mean you have to fill out a lot of additional paperwork.

Also keep in mind that the title—even though it’s just a piece of paper—is extremely important. If it’s stolen, someone could sign ownership of your car over to themselves or someone else. It’s a good idea to keep it in a safe place—not with you or in the car—until you’re absolutely ready to sign ownership of the car over to your buyer.

If you and the seller don’t go to the DOL together, take pictures of the signed title and bill of sale, so that you have a record of the sale. It’s also a good idea to print the confirmation that you reported the sale, if you do it online.

Getting ready to sell your car

Aside from the documentation and transfer process required by the state, there are some other things that can be helpful to consider when you’re preparing to sell your car—things that can help you be more informed and sell your car more quickly.

First, you need to have your vehicle inspected by your mechanic to make sure there are no underlying problems that need immediate attention. Plus, you want to be completely honest and upfront with potential buyers by giving them the most updated report of your vehicle.

You’ll also need to thoroughly clean out your vehicle and make sure it’s in pristine shape before putting it on the market. Get your vehicle detailed, and take personal belongings out of the glove compartment, trunk, and anywhere else in your car. You want your vehicle to look its best and tidiest for potential buyers.

You’ll also need to do your research and determine when is the best time to put your vehicle on the market. For instance, vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive might sell better during the winter months, while convertibles sell better during the summer months.

Additionally, one of the first things to consider when you decide to list your car for sale is how much to ask for it. This guide covers some of the important factors you’ll want to consider for pricing, as well as some things you can do to make your car most appealing to buyers.

If you decide you want more help with selling a used car in Washington State, you can also consider using a service such as TRED. When you use TRED to sell a car, you have full support from start to finish, you can sell for your car for an average of 30% more than you would get for it from a dealer, and you never have to set foot in the DMV—among many other benefits. TRED can also help you sell your leased or financed car!

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