Increase your car's selling price with 5 easy changes

Increase your car's selling price with 5 easy changes

When it's time to replace your car, one of the first decisions you need to make is how to sell it. If achieving top price is most important to you then the best option is to sell privately, followed by part-exchangingwith a dealer and lastly, selling to car buying websites. You may achieve a 10% to 15% higher selling price by selling privately rather than to a dealer. This means that if your car is worth £4000 sold privately, you could lose £500 by selling to a dealer and more by selling to a car-buying website. In fact, a study by Which? Magazine found that sellers got more money for their cars by selling to dealers rather than 5 of 6 leading UK car buying sites.

To get the best price for your car through private sale, you should prepare your car before putting it on the market. Think of the advice always given on TV property programmes - take the time to smarten up your home to achieve a quicker sale at a higher price. The same principle applies to cars. Car buyers are prepared to pay several hundred pounds more for a car that looks good and has been looked after.

1. Wash and polish your car.

Go to any successful dealer across the UK and you'll find that every car on sale, new or used, is sparklingly clean. Why? Because first impressions count. A well-polished car is the best way to catch a buyer's eye and show off the car's paintwork.

If you decide to clean your car yourself, don't use detergents like washing up liquid that can damage paint. Buy car cleaning products from a garage or auto shop. Otherwise, go to your local jet wash, or stop by a hand car wash.

2. Fix minor scratches and dents.

It's disappointing when a car looks great in photographs but is damaged when viewing in person. Cleaning your car is a great first step, but if a buyer notices dents and scratches, your good first impression can be ruined.

T-Cut can be used to effectively repair light scratches and can be bought from most auto shops. Otherwise, there are a number of scratch repair businesses, such as AutoScratch, a who will come to your home and repair scratches and dents.

3. Clean and scent the interior.

Old pens, spare change, snack wrappers in the glove box; Your car is your home on the road but when you're passing on your car to a new owner, belongings, so that your car is a blank canvas to prospective buyers. Clean and wipe down the plastic surfaces, remembering to pay special attention to places like the dashboard which are rarely touched but gather large quantities of dust over time. Polish the windows to remove fingerprints and other grime.

Next, vacuum the seats, the boot and the floor. If your floor mats are looking a bit old and tired, consider buying new ones, or just remove them altogether. A clean carpeted floor will give a better impression that worn mats. A handy hint for carpets that smell particularly bad is to use baking soda on them. Simply sprinkle it liberally over the carpet, leave for a few hours and then vacuum. This can work wonders for stains and bad odours caused by things such as old spilt drinks or mud.

Lastly, buy a nice smelling air freshener. Smell can be as important as sight to car buyers when making their decision to buy a car. The smells of polish and air freshener remind potential purchasers of the new car smell.

4. Get small repairs done.

Broken wing mirrors repaired with gaffa tape, loose bits of trim, damaged lights; these are all damages that leave buyers with a bad last impression and supply haggling ammunition. So, take the time to get repairs done that can be easily sorted for very little outlay.

5. Sort the Paperwork

Get together all the bills and historical papers you can find for the car. If you have a service book, make sure it's to hand along with any other bills or receipts and the vehicle's handbook. These should be stored in the glove box ready for buyers to look at, and reinforces the impression that the car has been well maintained and looked after.

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