How to prepare your car for more money when selling
Sadly, there comes a time in every vehicle owner’s life where they have to sell up and move on. I’ve sold my car quite a few times to know some tricks to the motor trade.
To help others (like me) who just want to make sure they get the most money possible when selling, I suggest you take note of what to take care of before you head down to your local dealership.
Simply put, car dealers will meticulously inspect a vehicle and often knock the price based on five key areas: bodywork, tyres, wheels, interior and electrics.
Let me list how you can prepare your car before selling it in order to maximize its true value.
Your car’s exterior chassis is obviously very important. Much like when meeting a new person for the very first time, first impressions mean a lot.
Damages to your car bumper and wing can take shape in a number of forms. Deep scratches, paint chips, large dents and rust are the biggest culprits that’ll drain value from your car.
The cost to buff out, polish, wax or gently re-spray your vehicle yourself before taking it to a dealership could save you up to 75% in retained value, had you not looked into.
Tyres and wheels are the next most obvious valuing factor. Measure your tires with a tread depth gauge, ensuring they’re not flat. The cost to fit one yourself will be a fraction of the cost against going to the dealership with known damages.
Next, your car’s interior may let you down. Whether you have kids or pets, passengers can leave stains, scratches and marks to your vehicle’s seating, door panels and windows.
A little wear and tear is typically accepted, particularly as the vehicle grows older. Though, there are a few things you can do to ensure what’s inside doesn’t cost you.
Stains on seating and roof lining can often easily be washed out with anti-bacterial car spray. Hand marks and any light scratches to your windows can be cleared and concealed with a good car wash.
Simply average interior condition could reduce the value of your vehicle by as much as 7%. Poor condition can set you back up to 10% in deductions.
Finally, your car’s electrics should all be in working order. Beyond the aesthetics, the vehicle must fundamentally work. The less faulty components you have, the more you will be offered.
According to a leading European manufacturer, car batteries cause 52% of breakdowns. The most common cause is when a car is only driven short distances.
In Japan, the biggest complaint amongst new car owners is battery failure, where the average car is only driven 13 kilometers (8 miles) a day. Sulfation (high acid concentration) sets in when batteries never get fully charged.
So if you happen to drive only a short commute, it may be worth checking your battery out. You can use a battery testing kits to inspect this yourself. Replacing the battery or getting it recharged by your local mechanic or roadside assistance company will certainly save you in the long run.
Central locking, ignition and electric windows should all also be checked as standard, with mechanical condition playing a depreciative role by up to as much as 25% for a non-runner.
After going to sell my car a number of times now, and picking up on where the vehicles have lost value, I’ve come to realize if you put the time and effort in before you go to sell it, the more money you can get.
With just a few maintenance routines and simple checks, I’ve helped maximize the value of my car before selling it, and so can you.
Article written and sent by Jonny Edwards