How to Sell a Financed Car to a Dealer

Selling a financed car to a dealer is necessary in several situations. If you simply do not need the vehicle and want to sell it quickly, the dealership will make a cash offer to purchase your vehicle. You may also sell your financed car to the dealership as part of a new or used vehicle transaction, in which you are trading your vehicle. When you trade a financed car to the dealership, you are effectively selling the vehicle to the dealer, so the process is the same as selling a vehicle to the dealer outright.

Find out how much you owe on the car. Call your finance company to get your loan payoff amount. When you call, they will provide a ten-day payoff, meaning the amount quoted is valid for ten days, after which per-diem finance charges will be charged for each additional day the loan remains unpaid.

Visit local dealerships. When you visit, have the used car manager or the used car buyer look at the vehicle you want to sell. They may take the vehicle on a short test drive or look at the vehicle history report. You may also be asked questions about the vehicle's history, because no dealership wants to pay too much for a vehicle with a salvage title history.

Have the dealer confirm your payoff. After the financed car is appraised, inform the representative with whom you are working about the outstanding loan. Have them call the finance company to confirm the payoff amount on the car.

Review written offers. Have each dealership make a written offer, taking into account the remaining loan balance on your financed car. If you owe more than the dealership is offering for the vehicle, you will have to write a check for the difference between the appraised value and payoff; this is known as negative equity. If you owe less than the dealership offers you for the vehicle, the dealership will owe you money.

Complete the transaction. Get a written account of the transaction being completed. Make sure the written document includes the payoff amount and the appraised value. Many dealerships already have documents in place for this purpose. The dealership will handle sending the payoff amount to the lender, but you must write a check to the dealership to cover any negative equity on your financed car. When the loan is paid off, the dealership will get the title, allowing them to sell the vehicle.