Tips for Preparing Your Car for Sale

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Are you in the market for a new or used car? Instead of trading your existing car in to the dealership, consider selling your car to a private party. While this requires more effort, it also generally will net a substantially higher selling price. Follow these recommendations from the automotive professionals to get top dollar for your used car.


Remove all personal items from the vehicle. This includes that oh so cute keychain you snagged from Kate Spade using a money savings coupon from Groupon coupons. Dispose of all trash and any items not provided by the manufacturer. Vacuum the interior of the vehicle, paying special attention to the console area. Shampoo or replace floor mats as necessary. Using a mild detergent, wipe down all leather, vinyl and dash area, again, paying special attention to the console. Shine the windows on the interior.  Using a car wash detergent, thoroughly clean the exterior of the vehicle and apply wax according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Buff to a smooth finish. Polish wheels and tires. Shine the windows on the exterior.

Gather title and all service records for prospective buyer. Take multiple photos of the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Research asking prices for vehicles in the area similar to your vehicle’s  make, model, year and mileage. Be honest when establishing a price. Prepare a written description of the vehicle, noting why you are selling as well as any known defects.  Select a website on which to advertise or list your vehicle. Complete the questionnaire and upload photos.  When responding to inquiries about your vehicle, do this in a time fashion. Prospective buyer’s often want to view vehicles on the same day. Arrange to meet in a public place. If you reach an agreed upon asking price, retain your license plate after the sale and return it to your local department of motor vehicles. Best of luck to you in selling your car and getting top dollar!