Follow These Tips to Increase the Value of Your Car

February 10, 2012

If you’re in the market for a new car and want to get rid of your current car then read on.

Selling a car is no easy business and especially in this weak economy.

Buyers want to pay the cheapest price as possible while sellers want to raise the price as much as possible.

Used car dealerships keep their cars clean for a reason. They know that people tend to judge a car’s condition by its appearance. If a car looks and smells like new then it must drive like new.

Giving your car a thorough detail can increase its value by hundreds if not thousands of dollars. You don’t have to go to a professional detailer either.

You can increase the resale value of your car by following these easy steps.

Wash and Wax

Wash your car thoroughly and then give it a nice coat of wax. Give your wheels a good scrub too.

You want to give a good first impression to a potential buyer. The first thing he or she is going to see is the cleanliness of the exterior.

Fill in Those Scratches

A scratch can really destroy the looks of a car. For light scratches I’ve heard good reviews about 3M Scratch Remover. But for deeper scratches you may need to buy touch up paint.

A potential buyer may try to take hundreds off the asking price because of a scratch. You can fix it yourself for under ten dollars.

Brighten up Your Lights

After years of exposure to the elements, your headlights may become oxidized and form a yellowish or foggy film. It really makes old cars look their age.

Fortunately, the Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer kit works well and costs around ten bucks at your local auto store. The kit has everything you need to restore your lens to almost new condition but it takes a lot of work.

It’s amazing how restoring your headlights can make such a difference in appearance. Try this if you have an old car and see what a difference a day makes.

Clean the Engine

What’s one of the first things you do when looking at a used car? You pop the hood and take a look at the engine. Imagine if the engine was dirty and the battery terminals were corroded? Your first impression would be that the owner didn’t maintain the car well. You don’t want prospective buyers thinking the same about you.

If you’re not familiar with cleaning an engine with a water hose then play it safe and use a damp cloth or paper towel. The engine doesn’t have to be sparkling clean but try to clean as much as you can and especially around the battery terminals.

Change the Fluids

After popping the hood what’s the next thing you tend to look at? The fluids of course.

Change your engine and transmission oil if you haven’t already. It doesn’t show well if your engine oil is as black as your morning coffee. It’s not pleasant to look at and it’s not good for the engine.

Freshen Up Your Interior

Buy some Armor All and give the dashboard and surrounding areas a nice scrub. If your mats are worn out go to your local auto store and buy some generic brand mats. Generic mats don’t cost much and can make the interior look new again.

If there are stubborn stains on the seats then I would recommend taking the car to a professional detailer. Though car detailing isn’t cheap it can do wonders for your car’s interior.

Keep Your Service Records

Make sure you keep all service receipts. This shows a buyer that you are a meticulous owner and have maintained the car very well.

Most savvy buyers will ask for service receipts so be sure to keep these in a safe place. I always ask for service records when looking at a car. I just can’t trust people claiming “the timing belt was replaced last month” without any proof.

Sell the Car Yourself

Most importantly of all, do not sell or trade in your car to a dealer. It doesn’t matter how well maintained your car is, the dealer will give you their “book value” and give you pennies on the dollar.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Zulkefli March 14, 2012 at 2:10 am

Believe me, I do understand the merkat. I am in the automobile business in a senior sales position with 16 years experience. Used car prices have risen as more people can’t afford a new car. People will always need some form of transportation and in most areas that is the automobile. Vehicles are depreciable and eventually expendable. Yes, it is too bad that these vehicle can’t find another home. This program has proven to be a big boost to dealers and the manufacturers, not just the American ones either. Many low cost cars never qualified as their MPG rating were too high. Low cost, good MPG vehicles are the ideal ones for people with low incomes since the cost of ownership is less. A gas hog for the working poor is a bad choice, but sometimes the only choice. This is a perfect example of helping one facet can be at the detrimit of another. The local charities are getting the short end of the stick. But the program is over and it will hopefully be back to normality soon. Many who quailified chose not to sign up for a new car payment and I respect that. I still believe that more good than harm resulted from the program. People with used cars to trade or sell will see increased value for them. The middle class is the driving force of the economy and this program was a success in stimulating sales and considerable tax revenue for the states. People are going back to work at assembly plant and the suppiers that provide parts. Hopefully the economy is starting to recover, or at least not contracting further. It will be quite a while before we may be back to 2007 levels. Again, nothing can be positive for all concerned, just hopefully help more that it hurts and the help will be in a range that affects the economy positively in a broad way…..and cash for clunkers came in under budget—now that is rare for a Federal program!


Leave a Comment

2 + 5 =

Previous post:

Next post: