When it comes to selling your much loved pride and joy or in some cases simply a means to an end there will always be that niggling feeling in the back of your mind wondering if the buyer of your car will notice some of the little quarks, faults or downsides that we know exist. Hopefully none of these should be too drastic so you should stop thinking about the least price you would accept; instead you should focus on getting the best price for your car using a few simple techniques that will win the buyers heart.
Assuming all the documentation is in order and the car is fully road legal without any bits hanging off or that make the vehicle look unsightly or badly damaged there is no reason why you shouldn’t expect to get the best price for your car.
Firstly and fairly obviously, though there are some that might overlook it, make sure that the car is clean, not just clean as in that will do clean, but a clean car that is worthy of a showroom. Here it is about finishing touches.
Here are some simple finishing techniques that only use a bit of effort, but are free and make a big difference to the overall appearance of the car once the rest is washed, cleaned, hoovered, and hopefully polished.
- No smeary windows, clean the insides with a 80% – 20% water to vinegar solution and buff dry with a newspaper or antistatic cloth
- The above also applies to mirrors, internal and external
- Remove ANY stickers from rear window and clean off residue adhesives using water – vinegar mix
- For best results on exterior glass use car polish not glass cleaners – wash glass first
- The front window should only be cleaned with a warm moist chamois leather and wiped over with a newspaper or antistatic cloth
- Clean and wash any ashtrays if smoking has taken place in the car
- Clean headrests and tops of seats as this is so often overlooked
- Clean internal handles and switches and clean any visual cavities
- Wash and polish the door-shuts and metalwork on insides of doors as well as boot/trunk and inside the bonnet/hood
- Take everything out of the vehicle that is not relevant to the vehicle. Only the documentation and a box of tissues should remain
These small details will make a big difference and will certainly help you get the best price for your car not only that, but they shouldn’t cost you anything to do.
Additionally there are also some tips that can be used on how to increase your car value cheaply and without a lot of effort on your part.
Not all of the below will be relevant to your car, plus the outlay for some of the below items should be added to the value of your car and you should be able to recoupe within the sale. This will mainly depend on age, overall value, and type of vehicle you are selling.
- Ripped or damaged seats should be covered by car seat covers
- Rips, burns, or stains on carpets should be covered by suitable rubber or material mats throughout
- Boot floor damage should also be covered with moulded boot/trunk mat
- Replace old tax disc holder for new round magnetic type – circles have cleaner lines
- Highly clean tailpipe of exhaust or buy and fix on a tailpipe chrome cover or covers
- If there is something internally missing such as a cigarette lighter or such like, try and replace it
- Where possible make sure all bulbs and switches work
- Any rusty nuts etc in engine bay should be sprayed with WD40
For some reason a car tends to look better overall when the windows and wheels are immaculate. We have already focused on the windows so now it’s time to spruce up the wheels and tyres.
- Buy and fit mud-flaps or get them fitted by your local tyre fitters
- Buy and fit chrome dust covers, car type where possible
- Buy and fit new wheel center caps stylish and current where possible
- Jet-wash wheels to clean inside as well, unless they have any flakey paint then hand clean only
- Wash and clean tyres, when dry apply some tyre paint using a paint brush not spraying on and only use sparingly as will fly onto car bodywork when driven. Do not drive for a couple of hours after application
All these things will certainly increase the value of your car and get the best price for your car, but there is no substitute for regular care and upkeep of your car. This alone will maintain good value throughout the vehicles lifetime. The longer cars and car parts are left un-cleaned the harder it will always be to get clean and achieve a desirable finish.
Above all else, be sure that the car smells nice on the inside, this includes the boot/trunk…