How to get your car ready for a sale

May 8, 2017

It may be time to sell off your car and purchase a shiny new one, or even join those who use the public transport system. Either way, you’re probably looking to sell your car through a private car sale. When selling your car, what do you need to do? What exactly should be handled from your side as the buyer?

Even though you cannot account for a potential buyer pulling out of a sale, there are a few things you can do to facilitate a smooth transaction. Just make sure the car is at its best when showing it off.

Scratches and damage

The easiest way to bring down the value of the car you’re selling is the presence of physical defects, scratches, and scuffs. Your car has probably been all over the country with you and with that, it’s picked up a few dings, even if it was nicked thanks to someone else’s car door.

Take the car to a panel beater and make sure all of this is checked out. Make sure the marks, dents, and any other unsightly blemishes have been removed. After all, this will add to the picture of the car if you’re advertising it through a classifieds service.

Have the car valeted

Before you present the car to a potential seller, make sure to clean out all of the rubbish, old slips, and junk food packets that are littered across the back seat. It’ll be worth your time to have the car professionally cleaned as well. Sure, you vacuum it yourself, but what about the muck that forms on the windscreen from the aircon?

Professional cleaners know what they’re doing and will give your car that brand new smell again. They’ll also polish the dashboard, and find any dirt you will have missed, and can remove any unsightly stains, like soft drink or tomato sauce spills. After all, a clean car makes for an easier sale.

Up to date licence and pay fines

It’s true that renewing your car licence is an absolute pain, having to stand in a queue for ages, only to find out you have the wrong documents. Should this really be up to the new buyer of the car?

Take some time out to not only make sure the car’s paperwork is up to date, and that you’ve paid any outstanding fines or fees. Not doing so, and failing to disclose this to the new buyer, could result in a nasty court case or worse. Do the right thing.

While you’re at the local municipality, be sure to get all of the licence transfer papers and fill them out beforehand. This will save you some time in the future.

Display the necessary stickers

Make sure the car licence is visibly displayed on the windscreen. If the car is insured, and it really should be, be sure to display the insurance sticker somewhere on the car. This shows that you cared enough to make sure the car was financially covered if in an accident.

Have the service history book on hand

Typically, this is kept in the car’s glove compartment so you should be covered. If not, make sure to have it with you when the car is looked over by a potential buyer. Also make sure to have all of the invoices and stamps for any services the car has had, or work that has been done to it. This gives the potential a buyer a sense of how the car is looked after and what has gone wrong with it in the past. Be as open and clear as possible.

Think like a buyer

Go over your car a few times with the notion that you’re looking to buy it. What kind of questions will you ask and what will you want to look at? This will give you a better idea of anything that still needs attention before the car is ready for sale.

When selling your car, make sure it’s as perfect as possible and also be upfront about everything with it. If not, you could end up in a lot of trouble, unless the buyer is specifically looking for a dirty and partially broken car.

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