There has never been such a bad year for the automotive industry. Every year, millions of vehicles are produced and released into the market. And this makes us wonder, what happens to the old ones? Are they crushed and recycled, or just sold off as second-hand vehicles? The later is more likely to be the case. For every new car manufactured, a used car is likely to be sold off.
The second-hand car market has continued to soar over the years and it’s becoming more and more competitive as newer models constantly flow in. So if you’re thinking of selling your vehicle, it’s worth taking a bit of time to ensure it stands out.
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You can employ some simple tips and tricks to maximise your car’s value and get more return, or ensure it gets sold as quickly as possible.
There are certain minimal standards the buyer will be looking at. So, it is important that the car you are about selling be in good shape to make it more attractive to the buyer.
The vehicle should at least appear like it has been cared for in its life: clean, less bodywork faults, and fewer issues under the bonnet.
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Sorting out some of these issues before putting the car up for sale can really add value. However, for older models, fixing these issues in advance of sale may give you less return.
We asked some leading ‘used cars’ dealers for advice on how to get the most money from an old metal. And here’s what they said.
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Wash the car inside out
It only costs a few dollars to get a deep wash. Over the course of your vehicle’s life, it will have collected dust, dirt and general wear and tear. When selling to a dealer, they’ll have to give the vehicle a full valet after they purchase it and removing any smells and serious dirt will reduce the level at which the buyer will have to service the car or van.
It may seem like a pain but giving it a clean, cared for look will add around £100 to your vehicle’s value.
Diagnostic/ health Check
Auto dealers do a health check on every used vehicle before they can aquire it, but doing your own before sale can make a big difference – it will cut down on the work the buyer will have to do post-sale.
You can begin by making sure the tyres are correctly inflated before checking the oil, coolant and brake fluid levels are all up to standard. Then, check that your lights are working fully and that there are no reasons for a warning light to flash up on your dashboard. Finally, ensure there is a spare tyre if your vehicle carries one, it is the specified size and has the legal tread depths.
Decide what’s to be fixed and what’s not
After you might have done your health check, the next thing is to decide what you want to fix and what isn’t worth fixing. Deciding what to repair and what not to can be hard. Minor things such as windscreen chips are usually cheap and can be repaired on your insurance without effecting your no-claims discount.
Other cheap repairs that can make a difference include repairing damage to your wheels and touching up any scratches. With bigger repairs, you’ll have to consider the age and model of your car or van, evaluating whether it’s worth spending the money and if you’ll get a good return on the spend.
Enhance your packaging
To make your car even more attractive to potential buyers, dig out evidence of your full-service history as this can prove that your vehicle has been well maintained. Also, if it is due for a MOT, getting a new one before sale may be worthwhile as a new MOT certificate adds value to buyers.