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Selling A Car - Preparing your car for a sale

24 August 2012
washing your car

Getting your car looking its best before your show it to a potential buyer – whether a private individual or a dealer – will help you sell it as quickly as possible and for the best price. Apart from looking more attractive, a clean car sends out a good message about how well the car has been cared for. There are several things you can do to make it look more appealing.

Clean your car
You can give your car a 'forecourt' look by using the professional cleaning products that garages use.

Plastic restorers are especially effective in rejuvenating a tired car, both inside and out. If you've had the dog in there, borrow a powerful vacuum to get rid of the hairs and put in an air freshener to banish unattractive smells.

Valeting is a competitive business in the UK, so you get a lot for your money. Spending between £15 and £50 on a full valet is cost-effective if it results in an immediate sale and stops you having to re-advertise.

Some DIY checks
Wipe the engine clean, but don't steam-clean it. Besides raising buyers' suspicions, you might also cause some damage to the electrics. Topping up the engine oil is a good idea though, and filled washer and coolant bottles look good.

Bodywork repairs
Small dents and scratches are worth removing from nearly new cars, but generally they're to be expected on older vehicles so you're unlikely to recover the cost of getting professionals to put them right.

Dealers, in particular, won't bat an eyelid at the odd dink as they can get any obvious ones repaired in their own bodyshop.

The paperwork
Collect together all the relevant paperwork for your car, including the V5C registration document, servicing schedule and MOT certificate. If you have receipts for work done on your car, so much the better – it'll show that you've attended to problems as necessary, and that you're particular enough to retain the evidence.

Next step: How to write a classified advert >>

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