All set to sell your car? Then forget about minor fix-ups and spend the time and money to clean the layer of dirt on your car, stains on your car seat and fix burned out taillight. Fixing these little things will show that you cared for your car well.
Here’s a fact. For every 3 new cars sold, about four are used or exchanged ones. The used car market is no wonder thriving and sizzling hot! So reasons to go for a pre-owned car are not limited to, how much financial gain this deal can bring.
For the records, a new car anyway loses value the moment it hums out of a showroom. So think differently and save big money by going for a car that’s just a few months old. The decision to go to sell used car can actually open multiple options which may suit your tight budget. Additionally, the used car sector has become more organized and banks are offering loans as well as warranties on the cars. So go for a pre-owned car.
Remember that a used car will not offer the same peace-of-mind as a brand new car. Committing money to someone else’s abused junk can be tough. But don’t worry. In this blog, we have listed out 8 ways to make the most of a pre-owned car. Boost a car’s resale value as it holds plenty of power. Just remember to put in a decent amount of time and effort.
1. Clean up the car’s interior
If you believe the inside look of your vehicle isn’t important, you are wrong. The interiors determine your car’s resale value majorly. It is the first thing that a dealer or a buyer will see. This is where the future owners will spend their time while using the car! To ensure that the car’s interior is spick and span, spotless, comfy, and as shiny as possible. If possible, clean and replace your car’s interior. This small effort will not burn a hole in your pocket, yet smoothen the process of selling your old vehicle. Tackle the interior by diving into the big ticket items first.
Vacuum clean the dirt and dust. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner or get it done by a professional. Avoid the standard house vacuum. Use the hose or extension part of the vacuum to clean up nooks and crannies. Remove the seats for a thorough cleaning.
Tackle the windows. Use a powerful glass cleaner to get rid of fingerprints, dust, grime or oil on the insides and outsides of all windows.
Inspect the car interior for stains on the carpet or in the vinyl. Use dish soap mixed with hot water to get rid of stains. A vinegar and water mixture spray can do wonders on tough stains.
Use auto wipes to clean interior plastics. Keep it dust-free. Take a warm rag and wipe down seats.
Use a freshener to make the inside of your car smell amazing like an essential oil mist and car-specific sprays.
Freshen up car mats. Take them out and wash them thoroughly. Vacuum non-plastic car mats. If they are ragged and torn, replace them, please!
Don’t smoke in the car. Ask a professional to get rid of tobacco odor.
2. Minor repair works should be done.
Boost your car’s resale value by taking care of all minor repairs ahead of time. That means, not the massive mechanical repairs or changes but the smaller issues. Make a short trip to a mechanic shop for these fixes. E.g. Turn that “Check Engine” light off or fix the iffy left blinker or even fixing the sun cover that’s been flopping around! Check for noisy windshield wipers, squeaky belts, window issues and sticky gas pedals. Check all air filters and replace them if required. If you take care of these minor details you need not burn your money to boost your car resale value.
Dealerships happily buy vehicles that do not need much work before a resale. Also, inspect your car for dents, scratches, and dings. Such issues might as well take a little more time and money, but you will love the end result! Have a word with a mechanic for scratch repair. In many cases, some scratches can be repaired with a scratch correction marker pen!
3. The car’s outside must shine!
The exterior of your vehicle is definitely important. It will determine the resale value and that is why you would want it to make a good visual impression. Give the car a thorough wash and then visit a dealership or an auto salvage yard or the future buyer’s home. Get it professionally scrubbed and cleaned. Wax the exterior to make it look as good as new, so pay a professional to hand wax your car. Inspect the bumpers and fenders for damage and get minor repairs done well in advance.
4. Check the tires, don’t neglect them
If you have shoddy tyres, it will be tough to find a good deal. So quickly analyze tire health of your car and make sure the wheels are solid. If the tires are plain or balding replace them! If replacing all 4 seems tough, replace the front ones at least. Remember, they will yield a good resale value. If you have fairly fresh and safe tires, apply the right pressure and bring the car into a dealership or auto salvage yard. Inspect the car’s manual if you have doubts. The tires should gleam too! Clean and polish the rubber and hubcaps with baking soda or vinegar and water solution. You may also use a tire cleaner for the job.
5. Check the Lights
Maximize your car’s resale value, and ensure all the lights are functioning. Test the interior lights as well. Even one does not work means it needs an immediate replacement. These bulbs are available at pretty cheap prices online, especially China made ones. 🙂 Most of them are easy to install! All your brake and headlights should work too. So test the blinker lights and make sure they function well. Replace them immediately if you smell a rat! And don’t forget to clean your lights with Windex and paper towel. Foggy or blurry lights need to be cleaned properly with a defogging kit. Small tasks like these can actually boost your car resale value.
6. Check the Battery and Belt as well
Inspect hoses and belts for tears, snips, and bulges or other visible damage. Take a trip to your mechanic or dealership for quick fixes and repairs. Increase car’s resale value with a high performing battery. Check it for corrosion, and remove corrosion with a simple solution of baking soda and water. If the battery needs replacement, don’t think, do it! Batteries aren’t too expensive if bought from warehouses. Don’t know how to check car’s battery or belt health? Let a mechanic do it then! Book an appointment beforehand to avoid last minute rush.
7. Monitor all your car’s fluids
Maximize your car’s resale value with refilled and checked fluids. For instance, the windshield cleaner should be filled to the rim. Then check your brake fluid and coolant levels. If they need a refill/replacement, do it. Not sure what fluids your car needs? Check the vehicle’s manual. Also, check vehicle’s oil and replace the oil and filter if needed. Pro-tip: put synthetic oil into the vehicle so that the next owner can enjoy a longer stretch of time before having to change the oil again.
8. Keep all car bills, papers and records filed properly
Put your best foot forward and ensure best vehicle performance and health. But don’t forget to keep all your records and papers handy and sorted. The dealer or individual buying your vehicle will know exactly what repair works you’ve done and some may even be ready to increase the price upfront due to recent repairs! Type up your own personal notes about minor works like oil change dates, battery replacements, fluid refills etc. If you want to sell your car privately, this is important. Some dealers may pull your car report anyway, so be prepared. Keep all documents like registration, title, pollution check and insurance history in order.
A Bonus Tip No. 9! Pick the right color for the best car value
Yellow cars yield the best value, compared to any other color, in the market. As shown in the chart above, an average car can depreciate 33.1% by value in the very first 3 years of usage and ownership. But yellow cars lose only 27%! This data was obtained after analyzing over 2.1 million used car sales as part of the study and yellow cars depreciated the least! So all that glitters is not gold! Rarity is not the key, as beige, purple and gold cars are also rare yet they depreciate 10% more than average. So the idea is that gold cars are the total opposite of yellow cars. Gray, white and black are common car colors and they depreciate at close to an average rate. If you are a fan of these colors, shop around! Sellers anyway do not have much pricing power!
Happy car shopping!