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How does getting an Instant Offer work?
Your Instant offer is a guaranteed purchase offer for your vehicle. Sellers fill out their vehicle details, including photos and any damages, and provide their contact information. They are then presented with a guaranteed offer on their vehicle. The offer is good for 3 business days and subject to inspection by one of our participating dealers. Assuming the dealer's inspection matches the Seller's, a check for the cash offer value is provided to the Seller with no obligation to purchase a replacement vehicle - making it extremely fast and easy to sell your car!
What does the 3-Day Guarantee mean?
Your Instant Offer is valid for 3 business days; subject to a dealership buyer's verification on your physical inspection details. Your dealership buyer will be provided with the Instant Offer. Sellers will bring their vehicle to their participating dealership within 3 business days for the inspection verification. Once verified for complete accuracy, you will receive a check for the Instant Offer cash amount from that dealer. If you would prefer to trade in the car instead, you are free to do so.
What is the physical vehicle inspection and who conducts it?
To provide the most accurate Instant Offer, we require sellers to complete a physical vehicle inspection on their own Sellers can use the Cars.com app or website directly from their phone for ease in taking photos of their vehicle. Otherwise, use the Cars.com website from your desktop and upload saved images of your vehicle. The physical inspection will be verified by a local dealership buyer so accuracy is very important to ensure your original cash offer value.
How accurate do I need to be on the inspection to receive a Instant Offer?
Although nearly all cars submitted for a cash offer will receive a dollar value, the more accurate you are on vehicle details (damage, tires, photos, etc), the more accurate your cash offer will be. Keep in mind that a dealership buyer will verify your inspection so it's best to be as detailed as possible in order to honor the original cash offer.
Can I redeem my Instant Offer without buying a replacement vehicle?
Yes! You can redeem your Instant Offer and sell your car to a dealership buyer with no obligation to purchase a replacement vehicle.
What happens after I receive my Instant Offer online?
After receiving your Instant Offer, schedule time with your participating dealership buyer for an inspection verification within 3 business days.
When will I receive a check for my car?
Once your physical inspection has been verified for accuracy by the dealership buyer, you will receive payment for your vehicle from that dealer.
If I owe money on my car, when will it get paid off?
If a customer is selling their car and not buying a new or used car from the dealer then the difference between the Instant Offer and the payoff with be the amount given to the customer and if the payoff is more than the cash offer, the consumer will have to pay that difference (negative equity). If the consumer is buying a car while using the Instant Offer then the positive or negative equity will be factored into the deal.
How does getting an Instant Offer work if I still owe money on my car?
Your Instant Offer has no relationship to money owed on that car. They are unrelated as we do not know how much you owe on the car. If there is a balance owed on the car, it will need to be paid off as part of the transaction.
What should I bring to my dealer appointment?
When visiting the dealer for your inspection verification, make sure to bring all available car keys, your vehicle's registration, title (if applicable) and any outstanding loan details (if applicable).
Are there tax credit benefits to trading in a car vs. selling it outright to a dealer?
This is state by state but there is, in most states.
How does title and registration work when selling my car to a dealer?
The vehicle will need to have a current valid tag and any state taxes that are due will need to be paid. These would be registration fees and taxes, not sales taxes. However, if the car is a lease in most states sales taxes on the leased car will need to be paid by the customer.
How do I determine my vehicle's payoff amount?
In most cases, a customer or dealer with call the finance company that is financing the car to determine payoff amount. In some cases, the original dealership that the customer purchased the car will need to be called for the payoff.
Will the dealership buy any car regardless of miles and condition?
The following vehicle types are not eligible for Instant Offer:
- 1. Commercial Vehicles
- 2. Government, police, fire, or livery history
- 3. Motorcycles
- 4. Recreational vehicles
- 5. Reconstructed or Salvage
- 6. Vehicles without a VALID VIN
- 7. Grey Market vehicles
- 8. Older than 17 model years
- 9. Vehicles with altered drivelines, bodies, or illegal or non-functioning emissions equipment
- 10. Flood, Hail, or Fire damage
- 11. Vehicles with substantial mechanical or electrical damage
- 12. Vehicles that have been registered at an auction or offered on a wholesale platform/website 45 days prior to submitting an Instant Offer
- 13. Vehicles that are valued at less than $1,000; and any other category of vehicle that we, in our sole discretion, believe may adversely impact the operation of the IO Service (each, a "Restricted Vehicle").
How long does a listing typically take to post online?
Listings go live in 24 hours on average.
Can I edit my listing after it goes live?
Once your listing is live, you will be able to edit your listing. To do so, go to Your Garage and edit your vehicle from there To complete any edits, make sure to click ‘Save’ and also ‘Publish’ for the edits to go live on site. Edits can take up to 24 hours to display on site.
Are photos required in order to post my vehicle on Cars.com?
Yes, we want to provide potential shoppers with as much information to encourage engagement with your listing.
I want to delete my listing.
You can delete your listing by logging into your account, navigate to your Garage and click ‘Remove Listing’ on the listing you wish to remove from the site.
I want to list a car for my friend or family member. Am I able to do so?
For the safety of our online community, only the titled owner may list the vehicle.
Can I add a vehicle history report to my listing
At this time you are unable to add vehicle history reports to listings. A suggestion would be to include something in your vehicle listing stating you have a vehicle history report available on request.
How do people interested in my vehicle contact me?
Interested parties will reach out to you via the Contact Seller form and you will receive their information to the email you signed up with Cars.com with.
How do I respond to a lead email on my vehicle?
You’ll need to copy and paste the information from the lead email into a fresh email in order to respond to your lead.
Is my listing able to get a price badge?
All listings are eligible to receive a price badge. Please note that it can take 48-72 hours for a listing to receive a price badge. Badges are calculated using a complex algorithm which includes price, mileage, features and much more.
How do I reset my password?
If you cannot remember your password go to 'Sign In' and click 'Forgot password' which is located under the box to enter your password.
What do you recommend to do to my listing to get optimal performance?
Cars.com does not offer a pay for placement service for our dealers nor our sell it yourself consumers. In order to get optimal results we suggest including as much information as possible in your vehicle description and add multiple photos of your vehicle.
Are there any restrictions on the types of vehicles I post?
At this time, vehicles older than 1992 are not accepted. Listings are for non-recreational, non-commercial vehicles which are mass produced and intended for sale in the US. For example: RVs, replicas, kit cars, and motorcycles are not allowed.
What will this cost me if I sell my vehicle?
Regardless of whether or not you sell your vehicle, no fees will be incurred by you from Cars.com. This is an entirely free platform.
How do I find my ad on Cars.com?
You can locate your vehicle by performing a search on our website. It is best practice to limit the mileage in your search as most of our consumers do not choose 'All Miles' when searching for a vehicle. Listings show live within 24 hours of approval.
Does my phone number display on Cars.com?
Your phone number will not display on Cars.com.
Is there reporting available to see how my Ad is performing?
You can view how your ad is performing in Your Garage.
How do I renew my listing?
Log into your Cars account and navigate to your ‘Garage.” Once you locate your vehicle, if your ad is set to expire you will be able to Renew your listing.