Selling A Car

Preparing Your Car for Sale

If you’re preparing to sell your car, you may be wondering what you could do to improve the value of your car. Get some tips from us, here.

You’re ready to get a new set of wheels. But, before you can do that, you need to sell your current vehicle. To get the best value for your car, you’ll want to put it on the market in its best condition. We’ve got the perfect guide to preparing your car for a sale. Follow these simple steps to ensure you get the best value for your vehicle.

Do I need to visit a mechanic to sell my car?

Whether or not your car has known issues, it might be a good idea to send it to the mechanic for a thorough check-up. Your mechanic can diagnose known or unknown problems and repair them before you put your vehicle up for sale. It is also a good idea to have your fluids changed or refilled, windshield wipers replaced, brakes checked, and replaced. These simple fixes can increase your car’s value, especially if you plan to sell it privately.

Some states might even require that you have a proper inspection done before selling or trading in your vehicle. See if your area requires an inspection and follow all proper guidelines.

Repair issues with your car before selling it.

If your car has any known maintenance issues, or if you opt to visit a mechanic and they report any issues, definitely consider making these repairs. Addressing repairs before listing your vehicle can significantly increase the car’s resale value rather than selling it as is. This guide, found here, will help you determine what issues are worth fixing and what issues are better off left untouched when selling your vehicle. If you choose not to repair a known issue, it’s important to disclose that prior to the sale.

Clean your car before selling it.

After you’ve handled any mechanical issues, it’s time to get your car shining inside and out. Whether you’re selling privately, online, or to a dealership, a clean car sells better. Here’s how to clean your car to make it shine like new:

Cleaning the inside of your car

  • Remove any trash from the inside of the vehicle
  • Vacuum and clean all cracks and crevices of dirt
  • Clean the seats and wash out any stains
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including dashboard, media center, glove box, and center console
  • Vacuum the floors and any carpets
  • Wash interior mats
  • Shine all the windows and rearview mirror

Once the inside is super-clean, it’s time to tackle the outside. Before washing the exterior, do a thorough overview to look for any problem areas. Keep an eye out for scratches, bumps, and paint chips. Make sure to address these issues first by buffing out scratches and touching up any areas that need paint.

Now that you’ve handled these issues or decided there aren't any damage points, you're ready to clean the exterior.

Cleaning the outside of your car

  • Clean it in the shade
  • Use a presoak on the body and wheels
  • Wash one section at a time with a gentle liquid soap
  • Dry each section as you go to avoid water spots

A sparkling car is much more appealing than a used car covered in dead bugs and handprints. Washing your vehicle from top to bottom, as well as inside and out, can be time-consuming, physically demanding, and even costly without the right tools. Consider hiring a professional detailer who can clean your entire car with all the right products and have it looking fresh off the dealership lot in no time.

What do I do about my car personalizations?

Now that your car is in excellent condition, both mechanically and aesthetically, it’s time to remove any personalizations. While you might love the hula dancer on your dashboard or the stickers on your bumper, your buyer might not, and they’ll look even better in your new car.

Be sure to properly remove any personalizations like stickers, simple wraps, decor license plates, and decorations. Make sure to use the right tools and products to avoid damage to the vehicle.

What do I need to sell my car?

Now that your car is in tip-top shape both inside and out, it’s time to take the last steps before selling your vehicle. Before you can list your car on any site or start talking with online buyers and dealerships, getting all the necessary documents in order is best. Here’s the important paperwork you’ll need:

  • Appropriate state certificate title
  • Certificate of salvage (if applicable)
  • Vehicle history report
  • Registrations
  • Maintenance records
  • Appropriate state odometer disclosure
  • Insurance records
  • State identifications

Once you have these documents in order, you are ready to take the final steps to sell your car!

I’m all prepped for sale… now what?

With your car clean inside and out, and all the proper paperwork in order, it’s time to find a buyer. But how?

Well, it starts with finding out how much you should be valuing your vehicle at. If you’re not sure where to start, consider our ALGO vehicle estimate tool to get an instant offer on your used car, truck or SUV. Getting a price range as to what your vehicle is worth will ensure you get the best value for your used car. Even more importantly, ALGO is well-known in the industry for providing some of the best offers in the area on your used vehicle.

Once you’ve determined an appropriate asking price and find a buyer, your final steps will vary depending on who you’re selling your vehicle to. Whether you’re trading it in, pursuing a cash offer, or going with a private sale, you’ll want to review our article on the differences, found here. Make sure you do your own research so you’re prepared for whichever route you decide to take.

Check out ALGO and get the best value for your vehicle in just minutes. Contact us today or explore our website to learn more. 

by ALGO StaffDec 6