You’ve decided that it’s time to buy a new car that better suits your needs and lifestyle. However, when you put up your old car for sale, you are surprised by the poor resale value you’re offered.
With little time or patience to hold a private sale, more and more car owners are opting to sell their automobiles to professional car buying companies that specialize in buying used cars. But before you approach such a service or dealer, it is important to make sure that your car is in top-notch condition to avoid it being undervalued for minor—and easily fixable—issues.
Here are five tips that will help you spruce up your vehicle for sale.
Pick your battles
If you drive your car regularly, you’d have a fair idea of the issues that need fixing. If you’ve missed a service or two or your car has been giving you trouble lately, have it inspected by a licensed mechanic.
Make a list of the issues that must be fixed to make your vehicle ready for the market. Segregate the big and small problems and decide which ones you should be spending your money on. For instance, if the engine has been making strange noises, it needs your attention. Do remember that a minor scratch on the roof may be insignificant to the seller but it’s enough to bring down your car’s value from the buyer’s perspective.
Give your car a deep and thorough cleaning
Simply washing your car every weekend and ensuring it’s in good condition externally is not enough, particularly when you’re trying to sell it. Bad odor and dirty upholstery are a major turnoff for automobile buyers, so if you’ve been using your car to eat, drink or smoke, it’s time to stop bringing food and cigarettes inside.
Removing the smell of tobacco smoke and food stains isn’t difficult, but there is no point spending money on professional cleaning if you continue to use your car as your living room. It’s time to ban all eating and drinking in your car.
Don’t ignore the small issues
Whether it’s a small dent or leftover glue from an old sticker, a potential buyer is going to notice everything when making you an offer.
A car in top-notch condition will inarguably fetch you a better price. To decide if you want to spend on a particular repair work, find out how much it will cost versus the boost it is likely to give your car’s resale value. If a repair is covered under insurance, get it done even if it looks unimportant to you.
So far, you may have neglected the smaller issues that did not affect you driving, or perhaps you did not have the time to get your car’s condition in order. But for a professional or personal buyer to be willing to pay the price you want, spend some money on your machine and get it market-ready.
Get a realistic valuation
Don’t fall for instant online valuation tools, which take minimum information and provide a rough estimate that can change radically when an expert actually takes a look at your car. Either have professional come in and take a good look at your vehicle or find a reputable and reliable valuation service online.
For instance, you can go to https://www.topdeals4wheels.com/value-my-car/ for a free car valuation that provides an accurate and realistic resale value for your car based on expert assessment, unlike instant valuations that mostly work on assumptions regarding the actual condition of a vehicle.
Conduct a final inspection
Before approaching potential buyers, evaluate your vehicle on the following parameters, which are the key factors in determining its resale value. These are:
- the year of manufacture (the newer a car, the more its resale price)
- the make and model (some models are always in high demand and are therefore more likely to fetch a good price)
- the mileage (buyers generally avoid buying a pre-used car with high mileage, even if it’s in a superb condition otherwise)
- general condition (a car that looks great and feels great to drive will undoubtedly get you the price you want)
Lastly, don’t worry if your car does not meet all of the criteria for a good sale. Just do what you can to boost its value, get a few quotes, and then decide if you’d be better off selling it than have it age even more while you wait for a higher price.