The car you own but barely drive could be your ticket to significantly reducing your debt. Whether you no longer need the vehicle or have decided that using alternative modes of transportation is better for your budget, selling your car can mean more money in your pocket. No matter how old the car is or what shape it’s in, you should be able to make some money off it by following these four tips.
Clean It Up
You might have owned your car for so long that you no longer notice the slightly strange smell in its interior, or the small stain on the upholstery in the back seat. But these tiny imperfections are things buyers will notice, and lead them to negotiate your price down. To get the best possible price when selling your car, take the time to give it a deep cleaning, inside and out, before you show it to anyone. The New York Times suggests having your car professionally detailed. If that’s not an option financially—detailing can cost hundreds of dollars—vacuum the inside of the car, deodorize the interior, and take your vehicle to a car wash to get the outside squeaky clean.
Take Care of Odds and Ends
Few people want to buy a car that’s going to require a lot of effort to make road worthy. Make your car appealing and increase the amount you get for it by taking care of small issues before selling. For example, it’s a good idea to change the oil before you show the car to any potential buyers. A mechanical inspection gives buyers the assurance that the car has been checked over and that it’s in good shape. Along with making sure the engine’s in good order, you might also want to invest in fixing up small cosmetic issues. Dents on the car’s exterior can deter buyers, but are relatively affordable and easy to fix, according to Kelly Blue Book. Replacing your car’s tires can also be an investment that pays for itself.
Have Documents Ready
Along with making small fixes to your car, ensure you have the documents ready to show that you’ve made the changes. Buyers want to see proof that you’ve kept good care of your car. Having records of any oil changes, the car’s inspection history, and other details can go a long way toward convincing a buyer that your car is the one for them.
A car that people can find is a car that is more likely to sell. It’s usually worth it to advertise your car in as many places as possible, from the freebie sites like Craigslist to the places that charge for classifieds. As well as getting the word out about your car, pay attention to the content of your ads. The more details you put in it, the better. Include pictures of your car, such as close-ups of the tires and interior, as well as specific information, such as the age, the mileage, and any details a buyer would want to know. Be honest when listing and describing your car, and make sure it’s presented in a realistic way.
Remember to be real with yourself when selling your car. Get a good idea of what you can expect to get for the vehicle before you list it, and use that figure to guide you on whether small fixes are worth doing.
Image source: Flickr
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY