How Much Does It Cost to Consign a Car, A Comprehensive Guide

How much does it cost to consign a car – Selling your car can be a hassle, especially if you’re looking to get the best possible price. Consignment can be a great option, but how much does it cost? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the various expenses associated with consigning a car, from fees to marketing and more.

From understanding the different types of consignment fees and their typical ranges to exploring effective marketing strategies and the importance of preparation and detailing, this guide covers everything you need to know about the costs involved in consigning your car.

Consignment Fees: How Much Does It Cost To Consign A Car

When you consign your car, you’ll need to pay a fee to the dealership or broker that will be handling the sale. This fee can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of consignment, the value of your car, and the location of the dealership.

There are two main types of consignment fees: flat fees and percentage-based fees. Flat fees are a set amount that you pay regardless of the sale price of your car. Percentage-based fees are a percentage of the sale price that you pay to the dealership.

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Flat fees typically range from $500 to $1,000, while percentage-based fees typically range from 10% to 20%. The type of fee that you pay will depend on the dealership that you choose. Some dealerships may offer a flat fee for all consignments, while others may charge a percentage-based fee.

Factors that Influence Consignment Fees

The following factors can influence the consignment fee that you pay:

  • The value of your car:The higher the value of your car, the higher the consignment fee you will likely pay.
  • The location of the dealership:Dealerships in high-traffic areas may charge higher consignment fees than dealerships in less-trafficked areas.
  • The type of dealership:Some dealerships specialize in selling high-end cars, while others specialize in selling used cars. The type of dealership you choose can also affect the consignment fee that you pay.

Marketing and Advertising Costs

Consignment dealers employ various marketing and advertising strategies to promote consigned cars and attract potential buyers. These methods include:

  • -*Online Marketplaces

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    Dealers list consigned cars on popular online marketplaces like eBay Motors, Autotrader, and, which offer wide reach and visibility.

  • -*Social Media

    Dealers leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to showcase consigned cars, engage with potential buyers, and run targeted advertising campaigns.

  • -*Email Marketing

    Dealers maintain email lists of potential buyers and send out regular newsletters featuring consigned cars, promotions, and industry updates.

  • -*Print Advertising

    Dealers place ads in local newspapers and magazines to reach specific geographic areas and target potential buyers who prefer traditional media.

  • -*Public Relations

    Dealers collaborate with automotive journalists and influencers to generate positive media coverage and build credibility for their consignment services.

Industry data suggests that marketing and advertising costs for consigned cars can vary depending on the size and location of the dealership, as well as the specific marketing channels used. On average, dealers spend between 2% and 5% of the car’s sale price on marketing and advertising.To

maximize visibility and generate leads, dealers should focus on creating high-quality content that highlights the unique features and benefits of consigned cars. They should also optimize their online listings and social media profiles to improve search engine rankings and engagement.

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Additionally, targeted advertising campaigns can be effective in reaching specific demographics and generating qualified leads.

Preparation and Detailing

To enhance the car’s appeal and value, meticulous preparation and detailing are crucial before consigning it. These processes encompass a comprehensive range of services designed to restore the car’s pristine condition, address any mechanical issues, and elevate its overall aesthetics.

The preparation and detailing checklist typically includes:


  • Exterior wash and wax to remove dirt, grime, and restore shine
  • Interior cleaning to eliminate stains, odors, and debris
  • Engine bay cleaning to enhance visual appeal and prevent corrosion


  • Mechanical inspections to identify and resolve any underlying issues
  • Bodywork repairs to address dents, scratches, or rust
  • Electrical system checks and repairs to ensure optimal functionality

Cosmetic Enhancements

  • Paint touch-ups or repainting to improve the car’s appearance
  • Wheel refinishing to restore their original luster
  • Headlight restoration to enhance visibility and aesthetics

Thorough preparation and detailing not only enhance the car’s visual appeal but also increase its value and salability. Potential buyers are more likely to be impressed by a well-maintained and meticulously presented vehicle, leading to a higher likelihood of a successful sale at a premium price.

Storage and Insurance

Once a car is consigned, it will need to be stored and insured until it is sold. There are a few different storage options available, each with its own set of costs.

One option is to store the car at the dealership. This is typically the most convenient option, as the car will be easily accessible to potential buyers. However, it can also be the most expensive option, as dealerships typically charge a monthly storage fee.

Another option is to store the car at a private storage facility. This is typically less expensive than storing the car at a dealership, but it can be less convenient, as the car may not be as easily accessible to potential buyers.

Regardless of where the car is stored, it is important to make sure that it is properly insured. This will protect the car in the event of damage or theft.

Insurance Requirements and Coverage Options

The type of insurance required for a consigned car will vary depending on the state in which the car is being sold. In most states, the car will need to be insured for at least liability coverage. This coverage will protect the car owner in the event that they are involved in an accident.

In addition to liability coverage, the car owner may also want to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverages will protect the car in the event of damage or theft.

Costs Associated with Storage and Insurance

The cost of storage and insurance for a consigned car will vary depending on the storage option chosen and the type of insurance coverage purchased. However, the average cost of storage is between $100 and $200 per month, and the average cost of insurance is between $50 and $100 per month.

Timeline and Sales Process

The timeline for consigning and selling a car can vary depending on several factors, such as the condition of the car, the time of year, and the market demand. Typically, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.The

sales process typically involves the following steps:


Once a potential buyer is interested in the car, the consignee and the buyer will negotiate the final sale price. The consignee will typically represent the seller’s interests and try to get the highest possible price for the car.


Once the sale price has been agreed upon, the consignee will prepare the necessary paperwork, including the sales contract, title transfer, and any other required documents. The buyer will need to sign these documents and provide payment for the car.

Transfer of Ownership

Once the paperwork has been completed, the consignee will transfer the ownership of the car to the buyer. This process may vary depending on the state in which the car is being sold.

Potential Delays or Challenges

There are several potential delays or challenges that may arise during the consignment and sales process. These include:* The car may not sell as quickly as expected.

  • The buyer may not be able to secure financing for the car.
  • There may be mechanical or other issues with the car that need to be resolved before it can be sold.
  • The consignee and the buyer may not be able to agree on a sale price.

Alternatives to Consignment

Consignment is not the only option for selling a car. Other methods include private sales, trade-ins, and online marketplaces. Each alternative has its advantages and disadvantages.

Private sales offer the potential for higher profits, as the seller keeps the entire sale price. However, private sales require more effort, including advertising the car, negotiating with potential buyers, and handling the paperwork.

Trade-Ins, How much does it cost to consign a car

Trade-ins are convenient, as the seller can trade in their old car when purchasing a new one. However, trade-in values are typically lower than private sale prices.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces, such as Craigslist and eBay Motors, provide a wide reach for sellers. However, competition can be fierce, and sellers may need to price their cars competitively to attract buyers.

The best option for selling a car depends on individual circumstances. Consignment is a good choice for those who want to maximize their profits and are willing to pay for professional services. Private sales are suitable for those who have the time and effort to sell their car themselves.

Trade-ins are convenient but may result in a lower sale price. Online marketplaces offer a wide reach but can be competitive.

Ending Remarks

Whether you’re considering consigning your car or exploring alternative selling methods, this guide provides valuable insights and practical advice to help you make informed decisions. By carefully considering the costs and benefits, you can choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.


What factors influence consignment fees?

Consignment fees can vary depending on the value of the car, the location of the dealership, and the dealership’s own policies.

What are some effective marketing strategies for consigned cars?

Effective marketing strategies include online advertising, social media campaigns, and partnerships with automotive websites and publications.

How can I prepare my car for consignment to maximize its value?

Preparing your car for consignment involves cleaning, repairs, and cosmetic enhancements to improve its appearance and appeal to potential buyers.

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