Don’t Resell Your Car Without Doing These 5 Things

So you’re interested in reselling your car and getting something new, but you don’t know where to start? Well, that’s where we come in! Whether you’re trying to resell your car independently or want to trade it in to a dealer, we’ve got some tips for you. Although it can be hard to drive a hard bargain when you decide to take this route, there are ways to add value to your car before you go to sell it. These five points are sure to help any seller get a better price for the car they are letting go.

1. Give Your Car a Deep Clean, Inside and Out


Make sure that before you go to resell your car, you clean it thoroughly. Not just like, “Oh, maybe I’ll do a little scrubbing here and there,” kind of clean either. I’m talking about a master blast of water, soap, and suds.

If you’re anything like me, you might actually want to pay someone to detail your car. This way, you’ll know that someone spent a few hours cleaning it inside and out, like you were not planning to do.

If you decide to take it somewhere, make sure you ask for the full treatment. Floorboards, mats, dash, steering wheel, seats, everything and anything that the human eye can see, because someone is bound to pick out a flaw and ask for a discounted price. This includes the exterior as well. Spend extra time honing in on the dirt and grime.

Try to get your car in the best shape of it’s life before you show it to someone. It’s sort of like going on a first date. The first impression is the most important part of reselling a car.

2. Update and Clean Areas with Lightbulbs


They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but most of the time the beholder is going to want to see something that is in pretty good shape when it comes to cars. If your headlights are looking a little dim, it might be time to do some revamping.

My brother taught me a great trick for cleaning headlights and it really works. You’re going to need some toothpaste for this one. Make sure it is the old school kind of toothpaste (white) and not the new fancy bleaching gel ones. The baking soda works to remove the foggy look.

Make sure before you start scrubbing that you wash off the area first and remove as much dirt as possible. Get an old toothbrush and start using a little elbow grease to remove those stains.

If that doesn’t work, check out’s article on headlight restoration. This will be sure to help! 

New-looking headlights can really make a difference in the appearance of your car, thus improving the value.

3. Create a Great Listing Featuring Any Add-ons


When listing your car, always do it through a website that people trust. That means one with CarFax capabilities. Seriously, try to stray away from Craigslist. No one wants to be on Judge Judy five months down the road.

Make sure that if you’ve added a few perks over the years that they are listed in the car description. Add-ons like backup cameras, lift kits, headrest TVs, and GPS systems can increase the value of your car. Don’t be reluctant to share that information with future buyers.

You also want to make sure that you take really great pictures of the car. Pair them with the listing in order to create a visually stimulating ad for the viewers. Cars are more likely to sell if they are advertised in a user-friendly manner. No one wants to be texting pictures of their car at 2:00 a.m.

Provide as much information and disclosure about the car that you can in your ad’s description. It’ll limit down questions and increase your car’s demand. Who knows, you might get several offers on the table and decide to sell to the highest bidder!

4. Maintain and Provide Copies of Paperwork


Keep a file folder of all of your records, starting with all of the paperwork you signed to get your car. You probably want to keep a digitally scanned copy as well on your computer.

This will help later on down the road when you are ready to sell your vehicle. It shows that you’ve been a responsible owner and that you have everything in order. Plus, it means less digging around for you when a buyer starts asking questions.

It is more likely if you sell your car independently that a buyer will trust that you’ve taken great care of your car if you’re able to provide the records they are looking for.

If your records are disorganized or you don’t regularly get maintenance done on your car, the value will decrease significantly. Buyers aren’t looking to purchase a vehicle that hasn’t been properly taken care of. Keeping accessible records is a great way to show that you’ve been a responsible owner!

5. Keep the Miles Low


You’re sure to encounter some problems with your car’s value if you rack up on miles. If you don’t plan on keeping your car forever, you might want to consider ride sharing with your friends and crossing off that road trip on your list.

Mileage on a car is one of the top determining factors of resale value. If your car has over 200,000 miles, there’s a likely chance that it won’t be very appealing to new customers looking for something a bit more dependable.

Try to keep the miles low in order to have a great focus point to list in your description of the vehicle. If your car is only a few cars old with 30,000 miles on it, it more than likely will sell pretty quickly or have an awesome trade-in value.

Overall, these five pointers will help maintain and increase the value of your car as the years pass. Make sure to keep your car clean, save all your service records, and keep those miles low!

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