How to Prepare your Car for Sale
Buy & Sell

How to Prepare your Car for Sale

If a car dealership is reputable and part of a national network of other dealerships, then the market access is such that cars in almost any condition will be taken. It is always possible for such companies to find a buyer, their resources for renovation and refurbishment being significant.  For residents of Sacramento and across California, Cash for Cars in Sacramento is one such dealership, offering to take any car, truck, or SUV, in any model or condition. 

Of course, the condition a car is in will affect the price it will sell for, and many sellers wish to give their car the best chance of fetching a good price by applying a bit of preparation to their vehicle before selling. The decision to do this, however, needs to be taken carefully and with due concern for balancing how much you expect to spend on any vehicle restoration and how much extra cash your vehicle will fetch as a result. There’s little point in paying to extensively service your vehicle, only to make less than you paid to do it!

That said, there are several things you can do to really help your sale prospects – and a few of them don’t cost anything at all. 

Clean Your Car

Of course, this one is rather obvious. Yet it is important to clean your car before selling it – and for more reasons that you might initially imagine. A clean car does more than simply look attractive to potential buyers or dealership representatives; it actually sends out a message about how well the car has been cared for.

At the end of the day, dirt is not a great problem (any dirty car can simply be cleaned later, right?) but a dirty car actually suggests to potential buyers that the relative neglect shown in its appearance might be replicated under the hood. To give the impression that everything is “good under the hood,” make sure things look good over the hood as well. 

You should also look into acquiring the professional cleaning products that car garages use. This does not mean matching the prices they pay, though. Most of the products can be bought in much smaller quantities. 

It is also wise to generally avoid using usual household cleaners, as many of these can actually damage a car’s paintwork. You might also want to hire a particularly powerful vacuum cleaner, and plastic restorers can be amazingly effective when used properly. 

Simple DIY Work 

The DIY work that you should perform on your car should follow a very simple principle – make sure any glaring problems are resolved, but don’t overdo it. Steam cleaning your car, for example, could raise suspicions about why so much work has had to be performed on the car. 

Nevertheless, things like topping up the engine oil as well as the water and coolant tanks is a fantastic way to give the impression that the vehicle is in working order and ready to drive. 


Coming to bodywork, the principle to follow is “yes” if the car is new but “no” if it’s older. New cars with the odd dent or scratch can usually be restored to looking new. With older cars, bodywork imperfections are expected and accepted by buyers and, at any rate, the price of fixing such blemishes on a model with significantly more wear and tear can be expensive. 

Ultimately, the trick, when it comes to preparing your car for sale, is to spend less money doing so than the extra you will make from the sale. Because some of these methods cost nothing at all, it’s always something worth doing. 


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