Shopping for a new car is exciting. For most people, the only thing that can take the fun out of it is the expense. Yet those same people often put little effort into the sale of their old car, either by trade-in or a private sale of their own. This can be a costly mistake, because the money you gain on selling the old car lowers your outlay on the new one.
With some simple steps, you can increase the resale value of your old car and make the price of the new one a little easier to swallow.
Gather Maintenance Records
If you’ve been servicing the old car conscientiously, gather the proof. You may have receipts from your auto service provider either in the car or at home. Spend a few minutes tracking them down; then, have them available to show a potential buyer. Proof that the oil has been changed regularly, for instance, can go a long way toward reassuring an interested party that the car will be reliable.
Clean It Up
A few hours spent heavily detailing the car will be very beneficial. A clean car looks better to buyers because it suggests that you’re taking care of it. It also eliminates many of the stains and spots on upholstery, some of which you’ve probably been ignoring for years. The less “lived-in” a car looks, the better your chances of getting a good offer.
Gather the Facts
Almost no used car is perfect. You can present a more complete picture to a buyer if you visit a mechanic and get the car a once-over to summarize existing issues. Remember, that’s the first thing a buyer will do with it, so if you anticipate that and help provide more information, your old car will look better.
Fix Simple Things
It’s not necessarily worthwhile to spend a lot of money on a car before you sell it, but the little things that you’ve been shrugging off will make the car look bad to a buyer. Glue down that loose piece of trim. If you’ve been ignoring a crack in the glass, schedule windscreen replacement. Touch up the paint on a scratch, or at least clean off the rust that is trailing from it.
Vehicles are expensive, so anything you can do to free up some money to reduce the cost is well worth it. Remember that potential buyers look at your car as critically as you look at the one you’re buying. So take steps to improve their impression.