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How to Sell Your Used Car for as Much Money as Possible

These days, selling a car can be incredibly easy thanks to the many online services available. There are also plenty of dealerships that will be willing to take your car off your hands, especially if you’re having difficulty selling it. Unfortunately, most of these services are out to make as much profit as they can from you, meaning that you’ll get a really bad deal compared to what they’ll sell the car for. In addition, the condition that your car is in will heavily affect the price that you’re offered, meaning it’s worth cleaning and taking care of your vehicle if you ever plan to replace it in the future.

So in this post, we’re going to help you ensure that you get as much money as possible from your used car sale. We’ll be talking about who to sell it to, how to sell it, and also what you should do before you sell your vehicle to help your vehicle retain its value.

Selling to a Dealer or Privately?

One of the biggest decisions you need to make is who you’re selling your vehicle to. If you use any kind of services such as an auction website or a dealership, then you should know that some of the value will go to service fees. This is normal as there’s a third party involved in helping you sell your vehicle, but it’s worth mentioning as the service fees may catch some people off guard. In that sense, it may seem better to sell your vehicle privately to a buyer directly, but there are a couple of advantages of using a dealership especially if you’re in a hurry.

One of the reasons why people sell their car to a dealership in the first place is because they can do a part-exchange. This is the easiest way to trade in your vehicle when you’re planning to buy a new one. You’ll get less money for your car than if you sold it privately, but you’ll avoid a lot of paperwork and effort involved in finding a buyer. You won’t need to advertise your car, you don’t need to offer test drives and it will save a lot of hassle. This is why selling to a dealer is such a good option–it takes minimal effort. There is some negotiation room to help you get the most out of your vehicle, but if you do plan to sell to a dealer, it’s worth looking at how you can improve the value of your car. This will be explained further below.

On the other hand, you could sell privately to another buyer. As explained above, this involves a lot more work on your part and any third parties or middlemen that you involve will all request a fee. It’s incredibly time-consuming because you need to advertise your car to potential buyers, you need to describe your car in great detail and you need to offer test drives to help buyers solidify their decision. You’ll have to answer calls and emails, you may need to juggle multiple offers and you need to schedule appointments for the buyer to examine the vehicle. There’s also the risk of inviting a criminal to view your car and payment isn’t always safe given the number of car scams out there.

However, all of this work does come with a major advantage; a higher payout. You can expect to receive anywhere from 10% to 20% more for your vehicle if you sell it privately. This can be a lot of money depending on the value of your car. However, if your vehicle isn’t worth much in the first place, then it may be worth selling it through a dealership to avoid the hassle of selling your car privately. At the end of the day, it’s all down to how much effort you’re willing to put into the sale. Regardless of how you decide to sell your vehicle, we’re going to explain a couple of ways to help you maximize the value of your vehicle.

Preparing Your Car to Be Sold

There are plenty of great ways to prepare your car for a sale. Even if you own a cheap car, it’s essential that you perform some maintenance on your vehicle and prepare it to be sold to increase its value. However, we can’t stress enough that if the maintenance or cleaning services cost a lot of money, you might not get much value out of it and you’ll be losing money. While cleaning your car and polishing it can help increase its value and help improve its appeal, spending too much can be detrimental.

As a result, we don’t recommend going to incredible lengths just to prepare your car to be sold. However, we have prepared a list of things to do which won’t cost much money but can have a huge impact on the success of your sale.

  • Clean your car – First thing’s first, clean your car! You want to make sure that your car looks stunning before you take pictures of it or take it to the dealership. You should make it a habit to clean your car on a regular basis and wipe up any stains and dirt as soon as you see it. You should also keep the inside of your car clean by protecting it from dirt and wear and tear. This can be achieved with seat covers to protect your upholstery and also replacing the floor mats whenever they’re caked in dirt and mud.
  • Consider car detailing – Car detailing is the next step up from cleaning your car. If cleaning your vehicle isn’t enough to return it to its former glory, then a car detailing service can help you restore its shine thanks to polishing and a much deeper clean. Car detailing is a great choice if simply cleaning your vehicle isn’t enough, but do keep in mind that it can cost a bit more. However, we believe that it’s a worthwhile investment that you should consider especially if your car is worth quite a lot of money.
  • Have your car serviced – Servicing your vehicle will help ensure that it’s efficiently before you sell it. It also helps to prevent scammers and fraudsters from lying to you about the condition of your car in an attempt to try and reduce the price. By having your vehicle serviced, you can fix any obvious issues with the internals before you try to sell the vehicle. Once you’ve confirmed that your vehicle is running correctly, you can place it on the market with no worries. Make sure you ask for any documents and reports so that you can offer these to the buyer when they’re interested in learning more about the condition of the car. If you don’t plan to trade or sell your car for a while, then regular maintenance will help ensure that it runs smoothly.
  • Fix obvious flaws – Whether it’s a dented exterior or a cracked window, obvious flaws absolutely have to be fixed in order to make your vehicle presentable. Even if it costs a lot of money to replace something like a windscreen or repair bodywork, it will help your vehicle sell and prevent people from trying to lower the asking price.

These are the basic tasks involved when preparing your car to be sold. It will help ensure that your vehicle is presentable, it will improve the appeal of the photographs you take and it will ultimately increase the amount of money that you can receive from selling or trading your car.

Creating an Effective Listing

Lastly, we’re going to briefly mention a couple of tips to help you improve the chances of selling your car through a private listing.

The listing itself is going to be an integral part of your car sale. Make sure your ad is complete with some flattering pictures of your vehicle and make sure you know the exact model and year of your vehicle so that it’s easier to search for. You’ll also want to try and post it on various websites that are trustworthy and have a reputation for helping people sell their car. Highlight the things that are special about your car and use keywords that are relevant to the make and model. In the actual description, give a brief history of the car itself so that your buyers know what the car’s been through. You should also include information about maintenance and servicing so that you can show that you’ve taken good care of your vehicle.

Of course, this only matters if you’re selling the vehicle privately. If you’re planning to trade your vehicle or sell it to a dealership then you don’t need to worry about the listing. The goal is to make your car look appealing and also give a detailed history of it to offer potential buyers all the information they need. This will help you sell your vehicle for a higher price and ensures that you get the best deal for the effort you spend.

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