If you’ve ever tried to sell your used car, you know just how difficult it is to get the best value for it. People and dealerships may lowball you to the point that you feel you are better off keeping the car.
Unfortunately, there is no way around some of the lowball offers you may receive. But, you can increase the chances of getting offers around your demand by putting in a little work before you market the car. We have the rundown on how you can invest a little money in your car to increase its resale value, so you can generate more desirable offers.
Step 1: Make small repairs
Outstanding repairs, especially visible ones, can result in lower resale value. For example, a crack in the windshield gives potential buyers reason to undervalue your vehicle. They will use the crack as an excuse to take hundreds of dollars off because it requires them to spend money on repair work. Instead, you can have it fixed by windshield experts, so you don’t give them any excuse to devalue your car.
Before you go off spending a whole lot of money on repairs, see which are necessary and which will raise your car’s value. Typically, cosmetic issues with the car need repairing since they are easily identifiable such as scratches and small dents. Make a list of all the repairs and their costs. Think of the few hundred dollars you spend as an investment because it can potentially yield a thousand or two in return when the resale value goes up.
Step 2: Get it detailed
A clean car is going to fetch a lot more offers than a dirty one. It is all about first impressions. A car that is professionally detailed will appeal more to buyers and likely get you offers in the range you want. A dirty car will raise red flags, showing potential buyers that you didn’t take care of the car and there could be potential underlying problems with it.
The detailing process is in-depth, includes a complete wash, wax, and polish of the exterior and thorough cleaning of the interior with polish. Your car will look as good as new after the process.
Step 3: Upgrade the interior
Upgrading the interior of the car isn’t expensive and can add value to your car. Torn mats and an old car stereo will turn buyers away. Nowadays cars are all about modern, innovative technology and sleek interiors. It doesn’t cost a lot to buy new mats and upgrade the stereo. You can spend a couple of hundred dollars and revamp the interior of the car.
When inspecting the interior look at the floor mats, seat covers, the stereo, window buttons, and dashboard. See what needs to be changed and get estimates. You don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on replacing them. The amount you spend will end up fetching you a bit more than you spend when you sell the car.
Step 4: Service the tires
The wheels should look as shiny and clean as the car after it’s been detailed. Worn-out tires and rims can ruin the vehicle’s overall aesthetics. Make sure the tires are inflated properly and cleaned along with the rims.
It doesn’t make sense to replace the tires and rims because that can be expensive! But, cleaning both properly should liven them up. If your car has hubcaps instead of rims, you should consider changing them, if they are worn out. They are lower in cost and new ones can add value to your car.
Step 5: Have your paperwork in order
You can’t show buyers how well you’ve maintained your car without its maintenance paperwork. They won’t just go by your word. If you’ve stuck to the car’s maintenance schedule, meaning it has received timely oil changes and services, you’ve taken good care of the car. The paperwork logging the maintenance is vital to show potential buyers that the car was well-maintained.
Store all of the maintenance paperwork in the car document file so that it’s handy when you’re ready to sell your car. These are important because they will essentially give points to bargain over, as far as the condition of the car. Besides this, you will need paperwork related to the car title, original sales, and vehicle history report. Have all of them in order before you advertise the car.
Selling your car doesn’t necessarily have to be a daunting process. If you’ve maintained the car, have all its paperwork ready, and take care of all the little repairs it needs, you should be able to sell your car for the best possible value. Just make sure to take your time and shop the car around. Don’t settle for the first offer you get.
Tarek Salam is a Canadian auto glass repair technician with over a decade of experience repairing automotive glass for all makes and models of vehicles in Canada. He loves sharing interesting and useful information with the intention of educating and helping people make better automotive decisions.