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Tips For Higher Resale On Your Vehicle

Selling a car isn’t anybody’s idea of fun.  But if you’re thinking of parting with your vehicle, it pays to take steps to ensure you get the highest price for it.  The same is true if you’re trading it in at a dealer.  Whether it’s a sedan, SUV, truck or sports car, here are some tips for maximizing your vehicle’s resale value.

According to the vehicle experts at NADA Guides, your vehicle’s appearance is closely tied to its value. It also makes a statement to prospective buyers about how well you’ve cared for it mechanically, so never underestimate the importance of making a great first impression.  The best way to do that is to make your vehicle as clean and shiny as possible, both inside and out. 

If it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, or if you’ve had kids in the back seat making a mess, you’ll want to have it professionally detailed.  This is especially true if there are stains that are ground into seats and carpet.  Professional detailers have the tools to remove stains and dirt in places that the average person can’t manage.  It pays to shell out a few extra bucks to have your vehicle looking clean as a whistle – the dollars you spend on detailing will come back to you when you sell it for a better price than if there are baby’s cracker crumbs and juice spillage ground into the back seat.

If you decide to detail your car yourself, take advantage of the many products that are designed to return your vehicle to its former luster.  Paint restoring products can remove oxidation and make faded paint shine again.  The vinyl on your interior will shine after a good cleaning and treatment with a product like Armor-All.  The same is true of tires and wheels – wash them well and shine them up with a product that restores their sheen.  Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Wash windows on the outside and inside and replace worn windshield wipers, if necessary.

Making a good impression on buyers also means getting any dings, dents or paint chips fixed.  It might not have mattered to you that your front bumper was cracked or the hood was dinged, but it will drain dollars out of your resale or trade-in value for sure.  Take them to a body shop and get them repaired.

Cracked windshields are another no-no when it comes to selling or trading in a vehicle.  Most insurance policies have coverage for windshield replacement with a small deductable.  Go ahead and get it fixed before you offer the car for sale or trade in.  Any cracks in mirrors, headlights, brake lights and taillights should also be replaced, as should any burned out bulbs.

What’s going on under the hood is important, too.  If it’s greasy and dirty under the hood, spray on a degreasing agent and hose it down. Check the battery for deposits and clean them off with baking soda and water.  Have your oil changed and your fluids topped off.  This shows buyers that you’ve taken good care of your vehicle.

If you haven’t had a tune up in a while, it pays to have that done, too.  Having your vehicle running in tip top shape can add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to its resale value.  Collect all of your vehicle maintenance and repair receipts to show to prospective buyers to demonstrate that you’ve taken good care of their future ride. Oil change receipts, tire rotation records, tune up and repair receipts provide important information about the road worthiness of your vehicle.

Remember that the more you can demonstrate the value of your vehicle, the higher a price you’ll get for it.  Taking the extra time and spending the extra money to do so amounts to dollars in your pocket when you make the sale or trade it in at the dealer’s.