Many elements are involved in putting your vehicle up for sale. It’s essential to consider each aspect, both cosmetic and mechanical, when preparing to sell your car. No matter how old your vehicle is, there are improvements you can make to increase the resale value and even lower the amount of time it takes to find a buyer. Check out these 10 tips from the team at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org to ensure that you get the most out of the sale of your vehicle.
- Schedule routine maintenance.
It is essential to keep up with routine maintenance throughout your car’s lifespan. This means performing regular oil and filter changes, tire rotations and replacing fluids as your vehicle needs them. Many car service centers will top off your car’s fluids for free during these visits. Even if you haven’t been consistent with maintenance, it is important to bring your car in before you intend to sell it to make sure it continues to run well.
- Request a full inspection.
The experts at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org encourage you to take advantage of another service that is often provided for free with an oil change: a full vehicle inspection. Regular inspections allow service centers to suggest preventative maintenance for areas of your car that may become a problem in the future, such as replacing your brake fluid. Inspections also reveal problems your vehicle is already having that you have not noticed, such as uneven wearing on your tires. This allows you to make the necessary repairs before the issue worsens.
- Inspect the tires.
The tires are one of the most important parts of your car. It is important to maintain them, especially if you have resale plans. Depending on the car’s alignment and your driving habits, the tires wear in different places and at different rates. You want to make sure both the front and rear tires are wearing evenly by having them rotated and the alignment adjusted when it is necessary. If the tires are extremely old and worn, consider replacing them to increase the overall value of your car.
- Purchase replacements.
Due to everyday wear and tear, it’s common for parts of your car to break, stain or go missing. It’s important to replace even the smallest items if you plan on selling your vehicle, because potential buyers may see these as inconveniences that they would have to fix themselves. Check your windshield wipers, floor mats and all of the tiny elements of your car, including buttons and interior lights. Find replacements for these in stores, or look online for make- and model-specific parts.
- Maintain paperwork.
The team at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org suggests that you keep records and receipts for any routine, preventative or other maintenance services performed on the vehicle while it is in your possession. Keep receipts for anything you purchase and replace yourself as well, like your windshield wipers. This allows you to prove to potential buyers that you have taken care of the car, and reassures them that any past issues with the vehicle have been addressed.
- Wash and wax the exterior.
The appearance of your car goes a long way to improving its resale value. A clean car suggests to potential buyers that the car has been well-maintained in other areas as well. It is important to wash the exterior well, especially if you plan on posting photos advertising the car for sale. Make sure to clean the hub caps, windows and mirrors. It is also advisable to wax your vehicle, giving it a sleek and shiny like-new appearance. If possible, hire a professional service to detail your car to ensure nothing is missed.
- Clean and polish the interior.
The inside of your vehicle needs just as much attention as the outside to attract buyers. A clean and pleasant smelling interior is inviting, while a mess inside your vehicle can be distracting. Remove the floor mats and vacuum them as well as the carpet underneath and the seats to remove any crumbs and debris. Wipe down the dash, console and doors to make sure there are no sticky spots. The experts at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org also suggest spraying or leaving an air freshener in the car for an added clean feeling.
- Fix cosmetic issues.
Minor dents and scratches do not impact the performance of your vehicle, but they still influence potential buyers. Blemishes on the body not only bring down the overall appearance, but they also suggest that other unseen issues may be present due to poor vehicle care. Car body shops will buff out surface scratches, touch up the paint job and smooth out small dents. Taking advantage of these services improves the overall look of your vehicle and increases the resale value.
- Restore the headlights.
Over time, headlights often become foggy and discolored due to scratches and extended exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. This causes your headlights to appear dim and makes driving at night more difficult. The experts at DriversLicenseAdvisors.org suggest having your headlights restored at a service center or restoring them yourself with the proper equipment to improve nighttime visibility and the overall appearance of your vehicle.
- Download the VIN Report.
The VIN Report provides a detailed history of your vehicle including dealership maintenance, changes in ownership, accidents and other vital information. Several other reports are available as well, from online VIN check providers. Providing these reports upfront offers reassurance to potential buyers that they have all the information needed to make an informed vehicle purchase.