Preparing your vehicle for selling begins on the day you drive it home from the dealership. But don’t worry if you did not think that far ahead when you were giddy with excitement as you held the keys for the first time. There are ways to still dictate a good price on your used vehicle. Here are some suggestions:
Prepare the paper trail
Make sure you have the paperwork in order, particularly the service and inspection records. Buyers want to see if you’ve been giving the vehicle at least a reasonable amount of care. Not having service records is a sure way to scare off any buyer. It’s also a plus if the buyer finds the owner’s manual in the glove compartment, so buy a replacement if you’ve lost the original.
Clean the car
It’s not the buyer’s job to clean the car if they do decide to buy it. That’s your job. To make sure the car is presentable, follow these tips:
- If there are some dents, rust, or other damage, take your car to an auto body Westford, MA shop for repairs. Nobody wants to see signs of damage on a vehicle they’re looking to buy.
- Now is also the time to change the motor oil, filters, battery, tires, or anything that needs replacing. Top off the fluids you don’t have to flush. Have the AC serviced if it doesn’t blow cold, or treated if it stinks.
- Get rid of all the junk inside the cabin. Leave only the service records, registration, and the owner’s manual in the glove compartment.
- Vacuum the interior thoroughly. Wipe the windshield and window glass clean with a soapy water mixture if they look and feel greasy. Wipe the vinyl, plastic, rubber, and leather with a recommended protectant or conditioner. Shampoo the carpets and use a fabric cleaner for fabric seats.
- Make sure to cover sensors and other sensitive parts in the engine bay with plastic wrap or tin foil before cleaning. Use a degreaser spray like GUNK. Some engine cleaners recommend agitating the grease and dirt with a detailing brush. Depending on the degreaser type you use, you can either wipe it off or rinse it with water first. Wipe dry all areas you can reach. Remove the plastic wrap or foil.
- Wash the car with a good quality car shampoo, then go over it with a car detailing clay. Wipe it dry and apply a conditioner or a protectant like Mothers Back-To-Black to the trim and plastic parts.
- Use a quality polish on the paint until it’s free from swirls, streaks, and minor imperfections. Apply a coat of wax and buff it until it’s shiny.
And just like that, you’re ready to sell your car. It only took a little time, elbow grease, and perhaps a few hundred dollars to possibly add up to $1000 in value.