How to best prepare your car for sale

Selling your car can be a daunting process but with a little help it doesn’t have to that difficult. Prepare your car for sale by taking a few simple steps, you can reduce the stress and increase the probability of getting the price you want.

The first area to address to prepare your car for sale is the paperwork. If possible, get all your service records and receipts together. Also, if you have manuals or handbooks and brochures, they really add value. Any warranty paperwork, such as paint protection or rust proofing can also be important, as it adds value to your vehicle. By having all the paperwork for your vehicle, it reassures the buyer that you value the vehicle and haven taken care of it. As an added suggestion, it’s a good idea to keep your manual, handbook, service book and receipts in your glove box. This ensures that your paperwork for your vehicle is always in the same place.

The most important paperwork to have ready is the registration papers and also the registration transfer paperwork. If your states requires you to have a roadworthy, you should have this available and have the roadworthy done prior to advertising the vehicle, as getting a roadworthy could delay or possibly lose the sale.

The next step you need to take is to present the vehicle in its best way possible. You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression. You want to ensure that your car is clean and tidy inside and out. If possible, we would suggest that you lift the appearance of your vehicle with a cut and polish. This will remove oxidisation and improve the gloss of the paint. We would also recommend that you have any bush scratches or abrasions addressed. Any paint issues such as scratches, may turn a buyer off or cause them to push for a price reduction. If you are selling a 4WD, bush scratches can be dealt with efficiently and cost effectively.

A cut and polish can be performed cost effectively and can increase the price of a vehicle dramatically. Many buyers make their decision of buying a vehicle on cosmetics. Having your car clean and shiny is a given, as it increases the likelihood of the vehicle selling. Ensure that the interior of your vehicle is clean, vacuumed and deodorised. People don’t like buying dirty cars, and a dirty interior can turn them off completely. Also consider your headlamps as they may need to be restored which will aid a sale and may even be a requirement for your roadworthy.

Another area to also ensure is clean is the engine bay as it will reflect on the mechanical condition of the vehicle. A quick pressure wash at the local car wash can remove dust, dirt and grime, and bring the appearance up dramatically. By cleaning the engine bay, it will also alert you to any fluid leaks from split hoses or gaskets, which can be addressed prior to sale. If you ever visit a used car yard, you will notice that the cars are spotless. As this is their bread and butter, they go to great detail to presenting their vehicles to in the best saleable condition as possible. These things don’t cost a lot to do, but really increase the saleability of your vehicle.

How to best prepare your car for sale

How to best prepare your car for sale

The next step to prepare your car for sale is to determine your selling price. You obviously want to get the highest possible price, but also be realistic and competitive in the market. The elements that impact price are condition, km’s travelled, accessories, service records, damage or wear and tear, and series within the model. If your vehicle is at the top of range within the model with extra inclusions, it obviously be worth more.

One way to price your vehicle and prepare your car for sale can be having it appraised by a used car dealer, but expect a lower than retail price as they have to make a profit, usually have the vehicle serviced, and provide a warranty period. If you want to sell it privately, you can search websites such as, e-bay or gumtree and compare prices of other vehicles like yours. Also, allow for a bit of extra margin as buyers usually like to barter.

Once you have had your car well-presented and priced accordingly, you can prepare your car for sale by placing your advertisement online with the website you checked for comparative pricing. There are two main elements, other than price, that will ensure your success. The first of these is a good photo. You want to take a photo in good light, with minimal distractions in the background, and if possible, in a lifestyle location such as beach or a park . The location will put the purchaser in the picture, and build emotion towards the vehicle, as the buyer imagines themselves driving and parking the vehicle somewhere similar.

The second element is the advertising copy. You want to write a good ad. If you have a brochure, you can take some information from it such as features and benefits. You also want to highlight that the vehicle has been looked after and regularly serviced. If you have all the service records and handbooks, list this. Other things you may mention is the amount of km’s, if it is garaged and what accessories or added options, warranties etc. The more positive information you are able to list will provide the buyer with more reasons to buy.

Last and not least, prepare your car for sale by producing a clear sign to put on both back windows and the rear window. A price with ONO (Or Nearest Offer) and your contact number. If people like the look of your car, or they someone who is looking for a car, they need to know it is for sale, and should be able to write your details down or photograph the sign. By having a sign on each side of your car, you turn it into a mobile billboard, and having it on the internet sites such as, gumtree and e-bay, you increase the likelihood of finding a buyer for your car dramatically.

So to summarise, here is what you need to:

By following the above tips, you should be in the best position to not only get your car ready for sale, but to sell it. If you need help with removing scratches or improving your vehicle’s paint with a cut and polish, call 1300 283 333 or go to our website to contact your local What Scratch technician for a no obligation, free quote.

Our mobile technicians are available through-out the following & Surrounding areas: Wangara, Victoria Park, South West WA, Perth, Perth CBD, Rockingham, Perth South East, Sydney South, Penrith, Osborne Park, Maddington, Central Coast, Cardiff, Campbell Town, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast

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