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How do you (Can you) sell a car you are still making payments on?

What are the steps for selling a 5 month old 2010 car with approx 35,000 mi on it? I did not lease it. Would someone be able to take over payments? I’m looking for alternatives other than giving it back to to the dealership. I won’t be in the US to drive it. I don’t necessarily want to store it, so maybe I should sell it? I’m not really sure about this one–Any suggestions?

Constructive, RELEVANT replies ONLY, please.

I would first begin by reading the terms of your payment contract…can you transfer ownership? cancellation fees? etc…

Check with the financial institution regarding the “payoff” amount and details on how to handle the transaction. Basically you get the money from the buyer and take it to the financial institution where you pay off the loan. The financial institution officer will stamp the title paid in full and then you can turn over the title to the buyer.

If you are dealing with a local bank it shouldn’t be too hard. If you have to do this via long distance, it may involve some faxing and FedEx to accomplish.

I’m with UncleTurbo on this. Check with your lienholder. Follow their direction. Nobody elses advice matters.

There are two important numbers…How much you still owe on the car and how much it will bring on today’s market…You might try for a “Take Over Payments” type sale if the finance company will go along with that…

It’s not going to be easy if you are upside down on the loan…

It’s similar to selling a house that you have not paid off the mortgage. Buyer (or buyer’s lender) pays off the existing note and takes ownership of the vehicle.

One big issue is your equity in the vehicle vs. loan payoff. If you are “under water” (owe more than it’s worth) you may have to make up the difference out of your pocket. 35k miles is a lot for a 5-month old car as most people average 12 - 15k per year. I would consider a car with 35,000 miles to be three years old, not five months. Find out your loan payoff, research what similar cars are selling for (,,,, etc.) then subtract for high mileage.


I think it depends upon the law of your country. In the Philippines we can sell the car we have not finished paying yet. We will just stipulate in the contract the transfer of ownership and the new owner will continue to pay the balance payment.

Not Enough Information
What Was The Purchase Price Of The Vehicle ?
How Much Down-Payment Was Applied At Purchase ?
What Is The Balance On The Car Loan ?
What Are The Specs Of The Warranty That Came With This Car ?
What Are You Looking To Get Out Of A Sale, Dollar-Wise ? What Would You Think Is Good ?

Provide this missing information and much more meaningful advice will be obtained. Otherwise, it’s just anybody’s guess and there isn’t much sense in discussing the matter.

35,000 miles in 5 months is driving at a rate of 84,000 miles per year. It is probably a rate of nearly 5 1/2 times the average. You must be aware that the time of sale will be the time that you will “pay for it.”

If you put a large amount down then someone may be willing to take over payments. A small down-payment and high miles and I don’t think you’d find a foolish enough buyer.

You want suggestions. Give us the details.


When you refer to “giving it back to the dealership” I hope you don’t mean this literally.

The car took a depreciation hit when you drove it off the lot and another by having high miles for the age.

A look at eBay completed auctions for 2010 Sonatas show about 10 grand was as high as the bidding got; and many of those had half the miles yours does.