Prepping You Car For Resale


Selling your used car is not an envious position to be in.  It is extremely frustrating as we never feel like we quite get as much money for our cars as they are worth.  However, it is possible to do some simple renovations and quick-fixes to increase the resale value of your car.  Here is a list of a few things that may get you a few extra bucks to put towards replacing your old rig.

Cleanliness is Key

Although it may seem like common sense, many people don’t bother to clean their car up before attempting to sell.  This is a very basic step that will go a long way.  A simple car wash and vacuum is a good place to start, but there are some other things to be done regarding cleaning.

The carpets of a car get the most wear and tear of anything in the interior.  Cleaning the carpets will make the car look newer and increase the overall resale value.  This can be achieved by using a nylon brush and a healthy amount of liquid carpet cleaner.

Another area that usually could use some sprucing up before selling is the rims of your car.  This is also rather simple.  You can find a quality cleaning product at most any auto parts store and along with that all you need is a decent rag and bucket of water.  Scrubbing the rims until they are clean can be time consuming and somewhat labor intensive, but it is definitely worth it for the shine it gives to your car that potential buyers are sure to notice.

Interior Improvements

Along with the carpet of the car, the interior of a used car  can get beat up over time as well.  Depending on the material in the interior of your car, you will have different options for improving the overall appearance of the car.

If your car has leather in the interior then some leather polish could be in order.  This goes along with cleaning the car as it is simple and provides a small aesthetic benefit.  However, if you have a leather dashboard and steering wheel or leather seats, you may be dealing with damage that can’t be fixed with polish such as cracks or tears.  While it is possible to replace these things entirely, that may not be something you want to do as you are selling the car.  Instead you can invest in some quality covers that can be put over the top of the damaged parts.  These types of covers will hide any unsightly cracks and can make the car look newer and in better shape.

Don’t Forget the Outside of the Car

While there are simple improvements to be made to the interior of the car, there are also certainly improvements to be made to the outside.

You may want to start by trying to fix any small dents in the car’s body that exist.  For smaller dents such as these, it may be possible to remedy them with a basic household plunger.  Simply pump the plunger on the dented area a few times and then try to pull the dent out.  Getting rid of these dents will also improve the appearance of the car and potentially increase the amount of money you can get for it.

Paining is another option you have at your disposal when prepping your car to be resold.  Much like replacing a dashboard, repainting an entire car can be expensive.  However, if you just want to clean up some of the scratches and scrapes the car has picked up over the years, you can do some spot painting yourself or at a place like Maaco for relatively cheap.

All of the things listed here are relatively cheap or easy fixes to problems that would detract from the total value you can get for your used car.  Spending the time and energy on implementing these simple steps will help you maximize the profit you receive.  After all, the goal when selling anything is to get the most out of it that you can.

Vince Evans was a light mechanic and auctioneer until he went back to his old love, writing. Rather than shouting at North Easterners, he prefers to write about New Jersey used car dealers.


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