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Get Top Dollars Selling Your Old Car

Though it is nice to have a backup ride in your driveway, keeping your old car can be costing you more than you think. You have to worry about renewal fees, taxes, routine maintenance, and unexpected repairs. So, rather than keeping your old ride, consider selling it.

Plus, now is a good time to sell your old vehicle. According to statistics, for many years, secondhand vehicles’ total auto sales are two times more than that of new car sales. In 2018, there were 40.42 million used cars sold compared to just 17.21 million new vehicles.

You have two options in selling your old car — you could either trade it in with a dealership or sell it yourself to a private party. Nonetheless, people who prefer to sell their old cars by themselves usually end up with a lot more cash than those trading in with dealerships.

True, it can be daunting and eventually exhausting to sell your vehicle on your own. There are ways to avoid common pitfalls and earn more cash after the deal is closed.

#1 Remove Personal Touches

The number one thing you need to do when selling your used vehicle is to depersonalize it. Remove any personal touches you placed on your car over the years. This includes bumper stickers, fresheners, personalized floor mats, or seats. The goal is to make your car look neutral as possible.

More than a hygiene or cleanliness issue, you would want to remove personal touches on your car to make it easier for potential buyers to picture themselves in your car. Psychology plays a lot in encouraging people to purchase an item — and in this case, your car.

#2 Deep Cleaning Can Go a Long Way

It is essential to have your car washed before putting it up for sale. A clean car signals that it is well-maintained and cared for. Thus it has no, if not little, issues at all. And buyers would want to buy a second-hand vehicle that is in good condition.

However, putting in a bit of extra work would not hurt as well. Consider deep cleaning your car’s interior, shine the wheels, and even get your vehicle detailed. All these efforts can make a huge difference in marketing your car.

driving a car

#3 Top-Notch Photography

A good wash and removal of personalized decors can make your car pop in photos. But those are not the only aspects you should consider when posting photos of your car for listing. You should also consider the surroundings where you are snapping pictures of your vehicle.

Move cars out of the way when taking pictures of your vehicle on the driveway or the streets. Avoid showing any members of your family or pets. And perhaps most importantly, never snap a photo that includes any junk in the background.

A much better option would be to take pictures of your car in a park or another picturesque spot.

Furthermore, take as many high-quality photos as you could from various angles. This includes both the interior and exterior of your car. The more photos you post on your listings, the more prospective buyers would be hooked.

#4 Craft a Good Description

Apart from taking good shots of your car’s interior and exterior, posting a brief yet detailed description of your vehicle is crucial. People would want to know what exactly they are buying. It is not enough to mention that it is running in good condition, then name your price.

What you can write on the description are the following:

Your reason for selling the vehicle.

Its features.

Any work it might need.

Any recent repairs are done.

It is good to be honest in describing your car’s condition. But it does not mean you have to go excessive in describing its flaws. People get it — it’s a used car.

#5 Do Some Repairs & Be Honest about Your Car’s Condition

Doing some cheap fixes for your old vehicle has a huge impact on increasing its perceived value. You should consider de-fogging old headlights, changing cracked tail lights, and fixing trimming pieces. It may mean spending some dollars, but it is totally worth it.

Major repairs are usually left to the buyers. Sellers merely note any issue that needs fixing on the vehicle description. However, you can always choose to do major overhauls on your vehicle before posting it for sale. Tuning your car’s dyno performance also helps prevent any costly repairs in the future.

When you decide to sell your old car on your own, you should prepare for a lot of work. Unlike when you trade your car, you have to put significant effort and time into creating listings, replying to emails, and handling no-show potential buyers.


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