How to Sell a Car in California

sell a car in california

If you want to sell a car in California, you should do it on your own.

Selling a car in California by yourself will save more money for you than trading or selling it out to a car dealer.

Those who wish to sell their cars don’t know how to start the process of selling a car.

This situation seems to be a little difficult for many individuals living in California, leading them to ask questions like how and where to start.

Following the series of questions on search engines queries, many ask questions like;

  • How do you sell a car privately?
  • What do I need to sell my car in California?
  • Do I need to smog my car before selling it in California?
  • What paperwork do I need to sell my car?
  • How to sell a car in California private party?

Thank your star that you are on this page now. Today, you will get to see answers to the above questions and search queries.

There is a big difference in the process of selling a car in California and selling a car in other states.

Nevertheless, here on Intogeek, I have gathered the necessary steps needed on how to sell a car in California.

This guide will help you sell your car in California with ease.

So, here are the things you need if you wish to sell a car privately in California.


Things needed to Sell a Car in California

  1. The Title

Before you can be able to sell a car in California, you must have the Title for your car, which can also be called the “Pink Slip.”

This serves as a certificate of ownership to prove that you own the car.

Perhaps, if your car title is no more, you will need to get a duplicate or the paperless Title by filling out an application form (REG 227) from the DMV.


  1. A Smog Certificate

Getting a Smog Certificate is another thing you will need; this is required for most cars but not for or all vehicles.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles ‘DMV’, your car is being exempted and tax-free if you have submitted a smog certificate.

This takes effect if you have submitted the smog certificate to be part of the registration renewal under 90 days before the sale date.

Though, not every vehicle needs the smog certificate.

And, if your car is not above four model years, no need to get a smog certification for the vehicle.


  1. The Odometer Reading

The Odometer Reading is used to display how many miles are on the vehicle.

However, selling a car in California requires extra carefulness when filling the Title and any other documents issued by DMV.

If any error or mistake occurs, you might be required to pay a fine and as well get to fill numerous additional paperwork.

Therefore, always keep in mind that the Title of your car is essential if you are looking forward to selling a vehicle in California.

Once your car title got stolen, one can sign over the ownership of your car to his/her self, or someone else.

Hence, you are required to keep it in a safe place, until you decide to sell your car and sign the ownership to the buyer.

Meanwhile, when you are about selling a car, make sure you have a picture or a copy of the signed car title and keep the record.

Also, make sure to submit the Release of Liability, tear off the part made for the seller, and file it with DMV online here at

After that, print out the confirmation so you can have a proof for the transfer of ownership.

Remember, you need to do this within five days of selling your car.

All these are the things you will need to gather when seeking for how to sell a car in California.


Getting Ready to Sell your Car

Now, you are getting ready to sell your car in California more quickly and for a better price once you know these things.

Apart from gathering the above-needed documents and ownership transfer process required by the state, there are other things you needed to consider.

One of them is to consider a suitable price and how much they ask for it.

Of course, pricing is the main thing here, and you can easily set a price rate suitable for you or even carry out some negotiations with the buyer.

And if you can confidently sell a car in California by yourself, you can make 30% more profit than what you will get from a dealer alongside other benefits.

So, that is all you need to know if you wish to sell your car in California.

Now, I believe you have learned how to sell a car in California with this excellent guide.

Get ready now and sell that your car.

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