How to Sell Your Car with an Existing Loan

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your car but still have an existing loan on it, it can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right approach and a little know-how, you can successfully navigate this process. In this blog post, we will provide you with some guidance on how to sell your car with an existing loan.

1. Contact Your Lender

The first step you should take when looking to sell a car with an existing loan is to contact your lender. Inform them of your intention to sell the vehicle and ask for a payoff amount. This amount represents the total balance you owe on the loan, including any interest that has accrued. Once you have this information, you can determine how much you need to sell the car for in order to pay off the loan.

2. Determine Your Car’s Value

Before you list your car for sale, it is important to have an understanding of its current market value. Do some research online to see what similar vehicles are selling for in your area. Websites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds can provide you with a ballpark figure for your car’s worth. Keep in mind that the payoff amount from your lender will also factor into the selling price.

3. Sell the Car

Once you have determined your car’s value and have the payoff amount from your lender, you can proceed with selling the vehicle. There are a few options available to you:

  • Sell the car privately: You can list your car for sale on websites like Craigslist or Autotrader. Be sure to disclose to potential buyers that there is an existing loan on the vehicle.
  • Trade-in the car: If you are purchasing a new vehicle, you can trade in your current car at the dealership. The dealership will pay off the remaining loan balance and apply any equity towards your new purchase.
  • Sell to a dealer: Some dealerships may be willing to buy your car, even if you still have a loan on it. Be prepared for the possibility of receiving less than if you were to sell it privately.

4. Complete the Sale

Once you have found a buyer for your car and agreed on a price, you will need to complete the sale. If the buyer is paying in cash, you can use the money to pay off the loan with your lender. If the buyer is financing the purchase, you will need to work with your lender to facilitate the transfer of ownership.


Selling a car with an existing loan may seem complicated, but with the right approach, it can be a straightforward process. By contacting your lender, determining your car’s value, selling the car, and completing the sale, you can successfully navigate this situation. If you have any tips or experiences to share, we would love to hear from you in the comments below!

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