No matter how much you paid for your car, the resale value is always something you need to consider. Cars generally lose their value over time, but there are ways that you can maximise the selling price. Look after your car and it will serve you well right up until the day you hand the keys over to someone new.
Top tips to get the best price when you sell your car
Spend wisely on extras
Prospective buyers aren’t always interested in the aftermarket products. Practical products like iPod connectors and products that protect your car such as seat covers and floor mats are good investments.
The pristine logbook
Most car buyers will pay more for a car that has been regularly serviced. Regular servicing will save you money in the long run, picking up problems before they get become dangerous and keeping your resale value high. Stick to the servicing schedule recommended by the manufacturer and ask your mechanic to fill in or stamp your log book after every service. If you need to get major work done, keep your receipts and ask about warranty conditions on those repairs. If you have an older car, ask your mechanic about getting the timing belt changed after 100,000km.
Have your oil changed regularly and use the oil recommended by the manufacturer. Using a lesser grade oil may void your warranty. Change your oil filter regularly to maximise performance and the lifespan of your car.
Pump it up
Save on tyre wear and up to 3% on fuel by maintaining the tyre pressure recommended by the manufacturer.
Know your history
Along with your logbook, keep a record of the history of the car including previous owners and any accidents and repair history.
Check your VIN report
Sensible buyers and finance companies will check your vehicle identification number (VIN) report. It’s a good idea to check this before advertising to see that the information on the report is correct. If the information that you are telling the buyer conflicts with what they read on the report you may well lose the sale.
First impressions count
Cleaning your car can add hundreds to your resale value. Aside from the windows, stick to cleaning products that are specially made for cleaning cars. Hose your car down promptly after being near salt water as the salts can prematurely rust your car which will seriously affect its resale value. A regular waxing will also help protect the car’s surface.
Don’t dine in your car
Though most modern cars have cupholders, avoid eating and drinking in your car. Spills, stains and cigarettes smells can ruin a car’s interior.
Parking your car
The harsh Australian sun can affect the paint, trim and mouldings on your car. Park it under cover when you can. Sensible parking can also avoid careless dings and scratches in public carparks. Avoid parking too close to other cars, especially ones with child car seats where parents need extra space to buckle in babies and older kids may swing the door into your car without a second thought.
Fix small problems promptly
Mechanical problems can easily snowball into major safety issues, so get these attended to promptly. If you’re about to sell make sure that any warnings that are coming up on the dash are fixed before advertising. If your windscreen water is low buyers may think that you haven’t attended to more serious matters either.
A little respect
Treat your car with respect while driving. Excessive speeding, sudden braking, poor roads and overtowing will all cause excessive wear and tear on your vehicle.
The inside counts
Love the look of new car seats and carpet? So will the next owner. Floor mats and well-fitting car seats covers are great investments to help your car get the best price. When you’re ready to sell, clean or replace the floor mats, if necessary, and give the interior of the car a thorough clean.
See the light
Have your headlights cleaned professionally to improve night driving and improve the look of the car during the day.
Paint it black
Spruce up the wheels before the sale by giving them a thorough clean and rubbing some tyre black on the edges to make them look new.
To fix or not to fix?
Small dents and dings are usually worth fixing before the sale. Consider getting these done.