Private Car Sales

Let 'Em Take Mental
Ownership With A Test Drive


Private car sales - Create mental ownership with a test drive...
The 10th of 14 steps of how to sell your car private party


The test drive is extremely important to selling a car. It's an opportunity for a good car to sell itself and the potential buyer to begin to take mental ownership of the car.

That being said, the test drive can also be very dangerous! You want the test drive to help you sell the car, but you also want to be around when it's over in order to sell it.

Below you'll find 6 tips for a safe drive and tips for an effective drive that will help the buyer to take mental ownership, which will help you to maximize your profits.


6 Tips For A
Safe Test Drive

Tips to sell a car safely with someone else behind the wheel:

  1. Have a pre-determined route.

    Mix it up, a little highway, some curves, some city.

  2. You start the drive.

    This will help you stay on the route and gives you some time to point out more features.

  3. Make the route consist of right turns.

    When a stranger is driving your car you want to be sure that you limit your chances of being broadsided on your side of the car. Making "right turns only" will help eliminate that threat.

  4. Be sure you know who you are driving with.

    Make a copy of their drivers license, or hold something that ID's them. Let someone that's staying behind hold onto it.

    Lots of cars are stolen on test drives starting at a dealership and I would guess this risk would be even higher with private car sales.

  5. Make sure the new driver has adjusted everything before starting to drive.

    Steering wheel, seat, mirrors, seat belt, etc. You don't want someone unfamiliar with the car to start driving and to then start to adjusting the steering wheel, seat, mirrors, etc...KaBoom!

  6. Have a safe place to switch drivers.

    The side of the highway is no good and someone could get run over.


Now that you're safe, you can focus on selling the car and letting it, and the potential buyer, sell themselves.


Tips For An
Effective Test Drive

On the way out (on the test drive), point out additional features and benefits of the car. How well it handles, its great gas mileage, the regular maintenance you've done, etc.

On the way back, don't talk much, unless asked a question. Let the "new owner" appreciate their new car and all it's cool features (let them take mental ownership).

When you get back, try to close the deal. If you can get the buyer to commit right after the test drive, when emotions will probably be highest, then you'll probably get full asking price, or close to it.

Do not get out of the car and awkwardly stare at the side of the car for 10 minutes while talking about the weather...I see new car salesman do this all the time and it very, very rarely ends in a deal. I'm sure the same will apply to private car sales.

Unless you are truly looking to make a new friend,
skip the small and get down to business.

Move the sale forward. Did you like the car? Did I answer all your questions? Great! We just have to fill out a few simple forms and you'll be driving your new car home in less then 10 minutes...


Now that you've taken the car for a test drive...
What would you like to do next?

< Go Back To Step 9
The Walk Around
|Move On To Step 11 >
Negotiate To Win

Or you can...

Review the entire How To Sell Your Car guide by returning from -
Private Car Sales to How To Sell A Car main page

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