Just like when you are selling a house you need to doa few things before you put it on the market, the same is true for a used car. You may think your car is not worth much because it isn’t in the best condition. However, with a few tweaks, you can increase its value quite a bit.
You don’t need to give the car a total makeover. You just need to make sure that the car is working well for the next owner and any cosmetic issues are taken care of. This way they won’t feel like they are buying somebody else’s problems. If the car looks like it is in good shape then they will feel it was taken care of and more likely to pay more for it.
In this article, I will go over the steps you can take to make sure you get the best price for your used car.
Touch up the paint
A total paint job can be quite expensive and is probably not worth it for an old car. You could easily be taking $1,000 off of the money you get for the car just to do this. However, if the car has blemishes or faded paint then you should look into doing some touch-ups.
It bears repeating that if the car looks good then people will feel like it was taken care of and will pay more. If you have some rust spots then people will wonder if there are other problems they can’t readily see. Can you paint over rust spots? Luckily, there are products that you can buy that will allow you to take care of the rust on your car without needing to take it to a pro to get it done.
This also goes for things like the wheel rims that may have brake dust caked on them and headlights that have an opaqueness to them.
Get it tuned up
When somebody takes your car for a spin and knows what they are looking for, then they will feel the car driving rough if it needs a tune-up. They will spot the signs right away. The engine will misfire and cause a lag when you press the accelerator and there will be some unusual noises. This will cause them to walk away and not want to buy the car.
Have the distributor cap and spark plugs swapped out so the car will run smoother. You may be able to do this yourself if you are a little bit handy. Even if you have never done it before, it can be straightforward in many makes and models. Watching a tutorial online can help.
If you need to bring it in then expect it to cost a few hundred dollars but it will pay for itself at a higher asking price.
Keep all your records
Every time you go to a mechanic and have any work done make sure that you keep a copy of the record. Even things like oil changes should be saved.
This way you can show the prospective buyer that the car has been maintained and should last quite a while longer.