Best way to sell my older Camry

I’m considering selling my 1993 Camry (133K miles and runs well) and buying a small truck. Should I…

A)Trade it into a dealer

B)Sell it myself on Craigslist

C)Donate it

Second thought, would the best price come from a Toyota dealer?

First, do you home work and determine what it’s worth –,,,
If it runs, sell it on craigslist
If it does not run, donate it.
Negotiate your best possible deal on whatever vehicle you are considering buying. After you get your best deal in writing, then ask them to appraise your trade in. If it’s close to what you think you can get for it (and it probably won’t be) and you don’t want the hassles of selling it, trade it in.
A Toyota dealer would not be any different than any other make. It’s too old with too many miles to be on their used car lot. They will sell it to a wholesaler.


If you simply want it out of your hair fast, trading it in or donating it is the way to go. If you actually want or need some money for it, selling it on Craigslist (watch out for low-ballers and con artists. They are bad!) and/or advertising it in a newspaper or sales publication will get you some decent money for the car. Where I live, a 1993 Camry with 133k miles that is in halfway decent shape will fetch $2-3k easily, slightly more if it’s in good or excellent shape. It’s a Camry; they sell high. Might as well get what you can out of it.

For your second thought, a Toyota dealer will not give you any more or less than any other dealer. Anywhere you go, you will probably get around $1k trade-in value, which they will make up for elsewhere in the negotiation, then will dispose of your car at a wholesale auction, possibly getting another thousand for it there.

You can usually get more money selling a car privately than you can trading it in, assuming you’re willing to deal with the hassle of selling it yourself.

Small truck? Who makes a small truck?

The OP’s probably thinking Ranger, S-10, Colorado, Tacoma, etc. Those are considered small trucks.

If they’re lucky they might get a grand for it. Considering it’s almost 20 years old now, he’d be lucky to get $500 for it on trade-in.
Also, if it doesn’t run, instead of donating it, why not take it to the scrap yard, you’ll get a few hundred for it as scrap steel.

Amazingly, this car might be worth over $1000. Your worst price is always from the dealer. People trade their car because they don’t want the hassle of fixing it and selling it. If you live in a state with a safety inspection, the car probably needs to pass inspection before the new owner can register it. I suggest passing inspection as long as it doesn’t get too expensive. What’s too expensive? That’s up to you. Of course, it you must sell the car before you buy the truck, you will be without a ride until you take delivery on the truck.

The mileage is not high for an older vehicle and at some point a decent car will be worth X dollars no matter the age. My personal opinion is that any straight, decent running car should be worth a minimum of 1500 dollars and selling it yourself would be best.
A dealer really has no interest in an aged or high miles vehicle so this one would be nothing more than a wholesale unit to them to be gotten rid of a soon as possible.

If the car is pretty straight (interior not ripped up or body beat up) then I’d have it detailed out or DIY, stash an air freshener in it, and list it for 2000 dollars (?) and state you’re open to offers. You might be surprised.

You will get the most money selling it privately.
You won’t see any returns from donating it now until next year’s tax season (Spring 2012).

Giving it to a dealer in trade means that they undervalue your car, and then sell it on auction for slightly more, just to get rid of it, and then someone else, down the road, pays double or triple what you got for it, at a bad used car dealer lot.

Put an add in Craigslist for a price you feel is fair, and someone will call, and want to buy your car. Price it low if you just need to get rid of it. Price it high if you want fewer calls, and more money.


Trading a car in that old often detracts from your ability to swing a good cash deal. Only very pristine, popular models with no work required make much sense to trade, then why trade it.
Twotone’s right…do your homework if you want any money for it. private sale will give you the best price. Your advantage is, it’s an older Toyota that runs well and college students could be your first option.
They want cheap and reliable even if it is perception based. Advertise it that way.
A $2K car they think they can get a year or two of trouble free use is one heck of a deal for them. They don’t think that far into the future…I’d sell it that way.