Purchasing a new (or new to you) vehicle is par for the course for any driver, and one of the biggest investments we make. But first, you often need to sell the car that’s shuttled you from points A to Z and back again to raise a little money.
Some drivers plan and research the decision for months. For others, a spontaneous need arises.
In either case, be sure to send off your current car looking and running its best.
We’ve gathered some tips to help you sell your car while netting top-dollar for your next automotive sidekick.
Fix any minor issues
Do the windshield wipers work? Do the power windows roll down? How about those lights? Are any out and in need of replacement?
These are easy fixes that could break the sale or reduce your final offer.
Quiet noisy brakes
If a test drive reveals brake noise, chances are the deal is off before it begins.
Make sure brake pads and rotors are operating without issue. AMSOIL Brake and Parts Cleaner quickly removes contaminants from brake parts with no major disassembly.
Consider buying new tires
While a more expensive investment, tire tread and wear are among the first things car buyers look for. If you can swing a new set before putting it up for sale, it can increase the value significantly.
If new tires are needed but you aren’t inclined to change them, prepare to take in a few hundred fewer dollars.
Change the oil and top-off fluids
Change oil and top off other fluids, like the windshield washer fluid and power steering fluid.
Buyers will appreciate knowing this step is taken care of should they become the new owner.
Before you sell your car, give it a good cleaning
Much like preparing for a first date, you want your vehicle to make a great first impression.
Doing so requires more than a spin through your local car wash.
Get inside with a shop-vac and go to work cleaning up all the evidence of your kids, dogs and bad habits. Clean all surfaces with a product made specifically for vinyl, leather and upholstery.
Open the hood and shine up the engine with AMSOIL Engine Degreaser.
Remember the trunk. Give it a good cleaning and remove all the riff-raff you’ve accumulated back there.
Use a quality glass cleaner on both the inside and outside window surfaces.
AMSOIL Glass Cleaner is excellent at this task, removing grease and grime quickly with no streaks or haze.
Pro-tip: put this to work on all the glass surfaces in your house, too.
Spray a coat of AMSOIL Miracle Wash on the vehicle and wipe it down for a quick and easy sheen with no soap or water.
Bonus: its unique formulation delivers a protective finish to shield the surface against dirt and ultraviolet rays.
Know your worth
Whether you’re taking it to a dealership or selling it privately, know your vehicle’s value and be prepared to negotiate.
Kelly Blue Book is the standard for determining value, but be realistic as to the vehicle’s condition. Don’t list your car at “Excellent” pricing when it’s more on the ‘Good’ side of the spectrum. You can be sure your potential buyer is researching this number, too.
Check online for comparable listings in your area to ensure you’re in line with the going rate.
Get the paper trail ready
Before it comes time to sell your car, have the title, maintenance records and any relevant paperwork ready. The last thing you want is an offer before you’ve had time to locate the items necessary to close the deal.
Hopefully, you’ve been tracking maintenance in MyAMSOILGarage. If so, you can easily print your records for the potential buyer.
Take great pictures before you sell your car
Now that you’ve taken care of any minor repairs, cleaned the vehicle and gathered the paperwork, it’s time for the car’s close-up.
Shoot photos just before sunset or sunrise to get the best lighting. Be mindful of unflattering reflections on the freshly cleaned, shiny surface.
If you can, find a good location that removes distractions from the background; no one needs to see the interior of your garage or other vehicles on the street.
Following these tips should reward you with a nice return when you sell your car. Your vehicle’s next owner will also drive off satisfied with their new (to them) investment.