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How do I sell a car that needs work?

I have a 1999 Toyota Rav 4 that I need to sell. My mechanic says that it needs about $2500 worth of work. Driving it home from the repair shop, the “check engine” light went on and now it won’t even start. It has 112,000 miles on it, but the motor and the body are good. Any suggestions on how best to sell it? I don’t want to mislead anyone and I have never sold a car before.

It’s worth at least $5500 in good shape. Use a pricing service like Kelly Blue Book (, Edmunds ( or NADA ( to get the price with options and mileage. Then subtract $2500 from the asking price and see if anyone will bite. You will probably have to go lower, since someone has to sink at least that much into it. Another alternative is to sell it to a dealer if you can drive it in. Get a price, and if it is anything close to $3000, grab it. That method wirked for me on a minivan. I wouldn’t tell the dealer that it needs work. They have a staff that will check it and if there are problems, they will find them.

You’re not going to get much out of it if it’s not running. You state the motor is good but you’re going to have a very difficult time convincing anyone of that if they can’t hear it run.

When buying a non-running vehicle it should always be assumed by the buyer that the engine is bad and that’s the way I would look at it if I were interested in it.
Essentially a 6 digit mileage, 10 year old, non-running vehicle falls into the salvage category unless you just happen to get the right buyer who wants it for parts or is mechanically inclined and has (worst case scenario) another engine to install if necessary.

ummm! tell the truth, and it will sell to the right person.(EASY)

now it won’t even start. It has 112,000 miles on it, but the motor and the body are good.

An engine that will not start is not good by any definition. If it can be fixed for a reasonable price, you should get it running. Then decide if you want to sell or not.