Best tips for preparing your used car for sale

A little effort goes a long way when you are about to sell your car.

Once you’ve made the heart wrenching decision of parting with your beloved car, there comes the daunting task of actually making the sale. For car lovers, their vehicles may be priceless, but the cars deserve the best value and also a good home. Getting the best price for your car certainly requires a fair amount of effort, but the end results are absolutely worth it. Here’s what you must do.

Refurbishment

Minor mechanical updates like topping up the fluid levels and an engine oil change further add to the potential buyer’s confidence. Also check for windscreen washer fluids, AC coolant and brake fluids, and a new steering wheel cover would help during test drives. Additionally, a new set of wiper blades add on to the extras. Keep an eye out for electricals as well. Replacing a faulty bulb or speaker barely lightens your wallet, but makes a huge difference to a scrutinising customer. Keep in mind the spare wheel – a fully functional spare wheel and tool set are added bonuses. Also, for the careful buyers, keep a first-aid kit and hazard triangle ready. The final touch should be a mild and soothing air freshener.

No matter how well you’ve maintained and cared for your car, there are always those unfortunate moments when you scraped the bumper or a cabbie bumped into the rear. You may not have been concerned about the dings and dents then, but they surely creep up and can devalue the car. Fixing minor scratches goes miles to boost your car’s appearance and overall aesthetics. Also, a prospective buyer is likely to bring along a trusted mechanic to have a look at the car before he signs the deal. So make sure the car is mechanically sound, even if that means reaching for your wallet. Keep a clear record of as many of the maintenance slips of your car as you can as proof of good maintenance. Also, minor replacements for faded headlight covers, missing body trimmings or badges can work in your favour during a sale.

Appearance

Looks will make or break your deal. A clean and well-maintained car immediately attracts buyers and also says a lot about the seller. Impress them and you’ve considerably increased the chances of making the sale. Wash the car thoroughly using car shampoo. After the exterior wash, give the car a good polish and wax job. If possible, get your car’s interior vacuumed and declutter unnecessary items like used bottles, wrappers and newspapers. Also, ensure accessories like the AUX cables and car chargers are kept in the glovebox, else, they might make the centre console appear untidy.

Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

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A polish job makes a great first impression; makes a big difference to ads as well. Organise legal documents and papers neatly. Make copies for back-up. Get all the necessary formalities and paperwork sorted before handing over the keys.
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017

Check out our exclusive drive of the new BMW 5-series in India, and in a Porsche special, the 718 Boxster. There's also a shootout between the new Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Ignis and the Mahindra...
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