When reselling your car, it can be tempting to get it off your driveway as soon as possible and get the cash in return. Especially with the thought of a new car in the pipeline, no time is likely to be spared with regards to making your old ride look sleek before saying goodbye to it.
However, if you are selling your old car, it is highly advisable to take just a few simple steps to make the most out of what you have before you put it in the papers and online for resale. Just a few simple steps can increase the resale value of your car by a considerable amount, and it is well worth it for the small amount of effort you will need to put into it. What’s more, you will have more cash to spend on your new ride.
Using a few simple tips and tricks, you can add hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pounds worth of value onto your car, and this can make a real difference to your funding when you sell it and see the difference in your bank account.
Here at In Town Automotive, we have comprised a list of simple hacks you can use to increase the resale value of your car considerably, without having to spend too much money or time on your old run-around. You’ll definitely see the return on investment with these easy few tips and tricks:
Wax your car
Over time, it is natural for your car’s paint job to fade a little from exposure to natural sunlight, abrasive cleaners and the general pollutive air around us. A faded paint job can make your car look worse for wear, discoloured and old, all of which are not the most appealing factors from a buyer’s perspective.
If you’re not sure if your car’s paint job has faded, or of how much of a difference it is really making to the overall look of the car, open the door of your car, and take a look at the paint on parts which haven’t been exposed to the outside world as much, such as the inside of the door jamb. These parts won’t be as faded as they haven’t been exposed to as much sunlight or washing chemicals as the main body of your car. It is likely that the colour of the paint on these inner parts of your car will look much more vibrant; and no, it’s not just a trick of the light. You can use this colour to identify how the colour of your car should look.
However, it is not worth spending a fortune on a new paint job just before you sell it, so don’t rush out to the nearest spray painter. Instead, grab the wax and polish and use some elbow grease to make a startling difference to the finish of your car.
Bear in mind that the colour will probably not miraculously go back to the way it was straight out of the factory, but it will add shine and will make it look newer and better looked after, and the overall end look of your car is one with more value.
Make the most of the lights
If your car’s lights are dingy, it can make it look much older and less appealing to potential buyers, who are very likely to check these basic requirements when they are viewing the car.
Apart from changing the bulbs, you can also make the headlights appear brighter simply by cleaning the headlight covers. A build-up of the wrong cleaning products, general dirt and bug splatters on the lights can all amount to a failure of the proper amount of light shining through, and cleaning all this grime off can make all the difference to how bright your lights are.
However, it is important to make sure that you use the right cleaning products. When it is suggested to clean the headlight covers, many people often think they have already tried their hand at cleaning them, having actually used the wrong products. A simple window cleaner will not do, and if you’re wondering why this hasn’t done the job as of yet, it’s because it isn’t made for the job. What’s more, a build-up of the wrong products and chemicals could even make the problem worse.
Instead, try one of the many specific headlight cleaning products which are available. They can transform your headlights from dull to dazzling in a matter of minutes, and it is a real investment to ensure that your car looks spick and span for any potential buyers.
Even with the most expensive cleaning products, sometimes it is necessary to get the professionals in to fully restore your headlights. This is a worthwhile investment and can make all the difference to a resale.
Shine your wheels
When purchasing a new car, the tyres are always something people consider. A cool, new set of wheels can transform the entire look of the car, and many people who take a strong interest in cars will hold a significant value in the look of the wheels. Not to mention, nobody wants to see the dirt you acquired on your wheels from last week’s trip to the local fairground.
Even if you haven’t got the newest, most expensive alloys on the market for the car that you’re selling, you can still make the most of what you’ve got by simply making them look appealing. Shiny wheels can make any car look new and more appealing to anyone who is considering buying it.
As well as taking the time to get the dust and grime from around the wheels, also add some shine to the wheel rims by getting some shine product on there too.
This small amount of effort will make a real difference to the overall look of the car, and people will be more willing to pay more for a car which looks well looked after and in tip top condition.
The interior matters too
As well as making the outside of the car look great, the inside is also a huge consideration for most buyers. They are likely to open all the doors, get inside it and examine how the car has been looked after. For most people, the way the inside of a car has been treated is very telling as to how the car will run. The logic is that if the inside of a car looks good, it is likely that the car has been taken care of and will be more reliable. What’s more, potential buyers want to know they can drive the car away with them as soon as they’ve decided on it.
The first step to making the inside of the car look more appealing is to empty it of all the unnecessary junk you have been carting around. Clear it of all your own possessions; nobody wants to see the packaging from yesterday’s lunch or the baby seat you drive around with. Yes, it’s important to you, but a potential buyer does not need to be reminded of what the car has previously been used for; to them, they are buying a new car for themselves.
The next step is to clean it. This means hoovering and working to get as many stains out of the fabric as possible. If you have floor mats, clean them, and if they are too dirty to recover, simply take them out or replace them. It’s also well worth cleaning the inside of your windows to get rid of any dirty fingerprints or general grime.
Make sure that you buy specific products for what you are using them for, for example of you have leather seats, they will need to be treated and cleaned in a different way to any fabric seats.
The last thing to remember is the boot of the car. This is an area which is largely forgotten about when clearing and cleaning a car, but not forgotten by potential buyers, who are very likely to open and close it at least to see if it works. It’s a good idea to ensure that when they do this, they’re not greeted by last week’s shopping bags or the picnic blanket you used last summer.
Get your papers organised
So, you might have had your car serviced every year and the battery is brand new, but how can you prove it to your potential buyers? It might be completely true, but if you don’t have the relevant paperwork, anyone who is considering buying the car could question what you say, and a lack of vehicle history can significantly reduce the amount a person is willing to pay for it.
When buying a car, most people want to know exactly what they are getting and that it is going to be a reliable choice, and this means proving that it has been well looked after.
Before putting your car advertisements out, make a folder of all your vehicle history records, including the maintenance history and repairs your car has had. This will prove that what you say about your car is true and that you have taken good care of it.
Also get a history report of your car to show the owner history of it, and present it to your potential buyers along with the car. This will make your car look appealing, and will instil trust in the sale.
Fix easy and cheap jobs
If there are some small replacements and fixes to be done on your car, it is well worth sorting them out before it goes on the market. These could include burnt out lights, fixing the air con and anything which is referred to on the dashboard as a warning light. People want to buy a car which they can drive away and trust instantly, so making these small changes can make your car look a lot more valuable to the amount of money you are asking for when there are no additional hassles to consider.
Most of the issues represented by lights on the dashboard are easy and cheap to remedy instantly, but they can make the car look like a lot of hassle. Check that the tyres are at the correct pressure, fill the wiper washer fluid up, replenish the oil and fill the brake fluid if any of these lights are on. They are very cheap fixes and will make your car look in tip top condition for anyone who is thinking of buying it.
If something is displaying on the dashboard, your options are to either get it fixed before you sell the car, or tell the truth to your potential buyers.
Remedy dents and scratches
Dents and scratches can make a car look unappealing, and most potential buyers will see them as a tell-tale sign that the car has not been looked after properly and may have been involved in some scrapes that you might not be telling them about.
Many scratches on your car can be waxed out or remedied with some T-cut. This is a well worthwhile investment to make your car look more appealing to your potential buyers, and it is a very cheap option which will add value when selling it on.
In terms of any dents which are on your car, you will need to look into how much they will cost to repair and how much of an impact they are creating on the value of your car. If it is feasible to fix the dents, it is usually worthwhile doing, because buying a car with pre-existing dents is not the top priority for anyone. If they are planning to buy this type of car, they will usually be looking for a cheap way to get from A to B and might not be willing to pay the full price for it.
To get a full professional look over your car and ensure that you are selling a safe, driveable car, it is best to contact the professionals at In Town Automotive. We can restore your car to be more appealing and sellable to your potential buyers, and give you the peace of mind that you are selling a safe ride to your buyers.