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How to Prep Your Car For Sale

Chances are, if you're getting rid of a car it's because you upgraded to newer and better (maybe Santa was extra generous this year!). Congratulations! Unfortunately, selling your car can be a frustrating task. Even if you plan to skip the hassle and trade it in, you want your car to be in the best shape possible so you can get the most money for it. So what should you do to entice buyers or help the dealer see the value of your ride?

How to Prep Your Car for Sale

Image: Flickr

First things first: clean it up! Empty all your personal items out of car and remove any parking permits or bumper stickers. If you’re trying to sell your car to a private party, spring for a full detail. For roughly $200, you can get your car looking and smelling as new as possible with shampooed carpets, freshly waxed paint, and spotless windows. Regardless of how you treated your vehicle, when the buyer sees that it’s clean and smells good that’s one less thing they need to worry about. If you’re headed to a trade in, you might skip the pricey detail, but do get a good car wash and vacuum out the seats and crevices.

Once you’ve cleaned it, it’s time to think about other things you can do to easily increase the value of your vehicle.  If you’re selling private party, take a look at your tires and maintenance records. Is your car due for a tune up or big service? Do the tires need to be replaced? Do all the lights and electronics work? Does it need new wiper blades? How are the fluid levels? These are things that potential buyers are going to be looking at, and they’ll try and negotiate a cheaper price if they can. Sometimes investing a few hundred dollars on tires and an oil change or simple repairs can result in a better price for your car. If you’re planning on trading in your vehicle, it’s not always worth it to perform maintenance. Dealers rarely ask for service records, and they often give the car an inspection before placing it on their own lot. If they plan to sell your car at auction to another dealer, then they will just sell your car as-is.

Regardless of who you sell your car to, in California it's law to get a SMOG check first. This is also something both private buyers and dealers will be looking for - a clean bill of health can go a very long way in the overall value of your car.

To see how we can help you prepare your car for a sale, stop by Convoy Auto Repair and ask!


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