When it comes to selling your car, there are some sure-fire ways to ensure you get the best price possible, whether trading it in on a new car or selling it privately. The best way to approach it is to think like a buyer – would you purchase something that was scratched, dirty and had jiggly little problems that will cost money to fix? Looking after your car in the long term is going to be the biggest benefit. If you do get bangs or scrapes, it pays to get it fixed straight away with most car insurance policies covering such events. Maintaining your car is also a key. Make sure your car is serviced regularly and get the mechanic, whether it is during a car service or to fill in the vehicle’s service log book. Proving the vehicle has been cared for will result in a better price.
Fix up small problems
Anything faulty will be pounced on by an eagle-eyed buyer, so don’t give people obvious reasons to try and talk down the price. If you know that a globe is gone on a brake light, replace it. If the tyres are past their use-by date, replace them with some cheapie that are full of tread. Get any oil leaks fixed and make sure the engine is topped up with water, oil and other fluids where appropriate. Don’t ignore the interior either. Fix up windows that don’t wind up properly and if you have a speaker that isn’t working, consider replacing it or have an expert repair it. All these little things can result in buyers legitimately offering a lower price.
Make it sparkle
It goes without saying – a car that’s looks clean and cared for will fetch a better price than one that hasn’t been washed in years. Make the most of all that shopping around for car insurance quotes when you were hunting for the right policy – get any dents, paint scrapes and damage repaired. Consider a professional detail, or clean the car yourself like you’ve never cleaned it before. Wash, wax, use tyre blackener, vacuum every nook and cranny – leave nothing to chance. Make sure you get under the front seats where all kinds of mysterious objects have laid forgotten, and clean out storage bins and the boot. Give the windows and windscreen a good wash too.
Check what it’s really worth
Once you have got the car looking its best, do some research to find out what it is really worth. If trading it in on a new car, a car dealer is going to offer you less than if you sell it privately. There are plenty of guides on the internet to help you make an informed decision about settling on an asking price for both scenarios. Factors that will affect the price you set will include mileage, any modifications or extras, and the general condition of the vehicle.
Be prepared to negotiate
Don’t set a price and steadfastly refuse to budge from that – chances are you will never end up selling. So don’t be scared to do a little deal-making. Both yourself and the buyer will have a figure in mind and the negotiation process is all about finding that middle ground. Stick to your limits though – get it clear in your mind the absolute least you can take for the vehicle and don’t give in.