The Dummies’ Guide to Increasing Your Car’s Resale Value

There comes a time in every adult’s life when they will want a new car to drive around in, complete with shiny mufflers and metal parts. But what about the old one? Ostensibly, the best thing to do would be to sell it and try to get as much money back as possible, and then use those funds to buy the new vehicle. It’s fairly straightforward, but before you go and close the deal with the first person who asks, here are five guidelines to follow which may maximize your sale.


Inspect & Correct

First and foremost, ascertain your automobile’s true condition. This applies to both the interior and exterior parts of the vehicle. Make sure that no warnings pop up upon starting, the lights and tires are functional and in good condition, and that the body has nary a scratch on it. Upon verifying its integrity, give it a good wash and polish and you’re all set to go. However, if like most you are unfamiliar with car maintenance, then take it to your nearest mechanic and get it a good detailing. That’ll whip it back into shape.


Guarantee Quality

If you followed the previous step, then keep the maintenance job’s receipt and be sure to show it to the buyer. They’ll feel much better about their purchase knowing that the car had been refurbished and taken care of, saving them the trouble of having to check for themselves. If you did not get it detailed, then at least have some form of authentication from a mechanic with regards to its good status as some people simply will refuse to take your word for it, and for good reason. Always remember: no one wants to buy damaged goods.



Arguably the most crucial part. Now that the car’s at its optimal state then that’s the best time to create its listing. Before deciding on a final price, value your car according to its condition and balance it out among other listings of similar models. Don’t hesitate to bump the price up a little if you’ve installed new parts such as brakes or tires. People will pay for quality. Also, avoid selling low as undercutting your competitors will only result in unnecessary losses for you. Only do this if you’re looking to get the unit off your hands quickly or if money isn’t an issue.



Now that you know what you want for it, it’s time to tell the world. Be sure to use only clean, clear photos that show all sides including inside and out, openly allowing the potential customer to freely “inspect” the unit. Try to refrain from using camera phone shots with poor lighting; at least get a handheld camera and take photos where bright ambient light is present (like anywhere outdoors during the day). As for the written part of the ad, only put down important information. Be succinct in your description and place notable features first. Specs most people want to see include mileage, body color, engine, fuel efficiency (x per gallon), asking price, and location.

Additionally, it would be best if you are forward and honest with your ad. Do not omit any negative aspects of your car, especially the defects if there are any. A slightly lower price will make up for it.



When closing the deal, negotiation is bound to come up. Set a fair price margin and make sure to keep the previous tip in mind when bargaining (again, underselling will not gain you anything). When a price is agreed upon, don’t forget to give important documents such as the bill of sale, the warranty information, the release from liability form, and the like. The requirements may vary depending on your location, so be sure to check them first.

Taking over the business, home or car. selling or buying. isolated on white background

With these guidelines your car sales experience will hopefully go a little smoother. After all, it’s not difficult if it’s done right.