Eight Ways to Get More Money for Your Used Car

CleverDude_DetailPicIt’s tempting, when you’re about to sell your old car, to just leave the minor, cosmetic repairs to the new owner and take a hit on your asking price. However, you could actually boost your asking price by several hundred pounds by doing a few pre-sale quick fixes and clean-ups.

Get waxing

If your car’s paintwork is looking faded, it’s not worth spending hundreds of pounds on a re-spray, but it is worth busting out the wax. You won’t bring back the original hue, but it’ll look better and show potential buyers that you’ve looked after it well.

Turn up the lights

Dim headlights, despite not casting much of a glow on the road, are a beacon that announces “old banger coming through”. If you’ve been using household window cleaning sprays or washing-up liquid (here’s a hint don’t) then you should ditch them and use specialist headlight cleaning sprays. They work.

Clean wheels

Clean and shiny tyres and wheel hubs add a real feel-good factor to a car. Give them a thorough cleaning, inside the hubs and around the tyres and even dab on some tyre shine product for extra zing.

It’s what’s inside that counts…

…and if it looks like the bottom of a parrot’s cage in there, get to work. Start with the floor mats either wash or replace them, they’re not expensive. Then vacuum the rest of the interior, but don’t use household cleaners on car upholstery, apart from window sprays on the windows.

File your paperwork

Your car isn’t stolen and you’ve had it serviced regularly, but can you prove this? You should have receipts, documents and maintenance records to show repairs, MOT results and previous ownership. Not only does this quell concerns about shady vehicles, but it shows you’ve looked after your wheels.

If you don’t have details of previous owners, it’s easy to get this information from a vehicle check website and show it to potential buyers.

Quick fixes

Burned out or cracked taillights, slightly bent windscreen wiper… These are all cheap, easy, cosmetic fixes that will add value to your car.

If there’s been a warning light on your dashboard for a while, like “windscreen washer low”, just top it up already. Leaving it for the buyer looks slack and might make them wonder what else you can’t be bothered with.

Think about a decent valeting

If your car is worth a good few grand, it’s worth taking it to a professional cleaning service for a thorough detailing. This could add a few hundred pounds to the value if it’s an expensive car.

Smooth things over

Small dents and scratches are always worth fixing it’s not hiding a serious impact, it’s just tidying the car up after you’re done with it. If more serious bodywork needs to be done and you can’t afford it, don’t get a botch job, just declare it and take the hit on the price.

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