How to sell a recalled car

Even if the owner offers the car for a fair amount, potential buyers may try to negotiate much lower prices for vehicles with highly publicized recalls, Painter says. But owners don't have to accept unreasonable offers.

"We've seen the wholesale value of some recalled cars drop 3 (percent) to 5 percent," he says.

Such a relatively modest drop indicates dealers and individual owners don't have to give their cars away, Painter says.

Owners who want to trade in their vehicle instead of selling it on the private market should visit a dealer to find the trade-in value, Painter says.

This price would likely be lower than what an owner could receive in a personal sale, Painter says. However, if the car is traded in, the owner would not have to worry about the hassle of scheduling recall service work, because the dealer would handle the recall in-house.

If the trade-in value seems unfairly low, owners may choose to shop around with other dealers, just as they'd do with any vehicle.

4. Provide documentation where needed

It's up to a vehicle's owner to accurately represent an auto when putting the car up for sale, Caudill says.

This involves being willing to provide information about maintenance and repair work related to recalls. Car owners who can provide all written service records -- such as work orders, receipts and other maintenance documents -- will likely attract more potential buyer interest in their vehicle, he says.

In addition to providing their own records, owners should keep abreast of any new recall developments being reported in the news, he says. This includes the release of new safety information from the manufacturer. Share this information with potential buyers to help ease any apprehension the buyer may have, Caudill says.

Caudill also notes that while it's important for the seller to provide information, a serious buyer will probably want to do even more due diligence before any deals are made.

"It's on the onus of the buyer to research the car," Caudill says. "Don't be surprised if they want to take the car to an independent mechanic to test it. That is the advice I always give to buyers."

News alert Create a news alert for "auto"


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us


Tara Baukus Mello

4 best bits of winter driving advice

A drag racing champ offers advice if you need to get behind the wheel during blustery winter weather.  ... Read more

Connect with us