How Should You Prepare Your Car For Sale?

How Should You Prepare Your Car For Sale?

clean car ready for sale

There are so many reasons you could be selling your car, it’s gotten a bit old and you want an upgrade, your conditions have changed and you need more car space, or you simply need an extra sum of cash. Before you start advertising your vehicle, you should take some action to make sure it’s seen at its peak. Here’s our list of things to do before selling your car.

Clean the car

Often when people list their vehicles online or in ads, they showcase a dirty car. Now for the right price, this might not bother some people, but look at the buyers perspective for a second. They’re going to be spending a decent portion of their money on your used vehicle, and depending on how dirty it is, will need to spend even more time cleaning it and paying for cleaning products. With this thought process, it’s likely they will skip your ad. 

You don’t need to go overboard with car buffing or anything. If the car is dusty or has mud splashes on it, take a bit of time to clean up the exterior. Make it presentable and in a condition that you would buy it in. Clean up the interior as well, vacuuming any buildup of dust, food scraps or whatever else hides under your car seat. Don’t forget about the engine bay, or boot either. A bit of effort now could result in a faster sale, and peace of mind for your buyer.

After a good clean, your car should look impeccable for its photoshoot. A picture can say 1000 words, so try to make them really nice and show off the car’s features. A natural background can help too, just avoid the beach, as some people don’t like a vehicle exposed to the air from the beach.

Perform minor maintenance

Ensure that the car is able to run properly. Check the fluid levels under the hood. Make sure everything is clean and at the right level, top up if necessary. 

Check the windscreen wiper blades and any loose fittings or minor issues you may have noticed with the car. A cheap fix now could be used as a selling point later, so long as it’s within a reasonable price.

You should definitely check your tires as well and make sure they’re decent quality. Bald patches, smoothness or uneven wear will more than likely be seen, and is very discouraging to a buyer, as unroadworthy tires need to be replaced, and a buyer could use this factor to haggle the price lower. If you believe it’s still profitable, think about changing the tires, it will give confidence to the buyer knowing the tires will last, but it’s ultimately up to you, deciding on cost vs profit. If this seems like too much for you, or you don’t have the time, explore car inspections in Sydney. Getting an expert to check your engine can be the most effective. Have them check your tires and air pressure too for their opinions.

Understand your vehicles value

Before selling, you should know the price of your car’s year and model. There are many free online tools available which can help you determine a fair price such as You can also look on popular car sales websites for their average price on your vehicle, determine different factors of the car’s condition, kilometers, rego etc. and go from there.

Knowing a rough value can also help prevent you from getting low-balled, selling for much less than it deserves. Bargaining is most likely going to happen, but not all buyers are so honest, so it’s important to be wary and careful.

Have your documentation ready

Different states will have different rules on what documentation you must provide to the buyer. In NSW a seller must provide the buyer with proof of their entitlement to register the vehicle. This can be in the form of a variety of documents. Some of which include:

  • Certificate of Registration, renewal notice or other registration (NSW, interstate or overseas).
  • Motor dealer warranty forma
  • Motor dealer sales contract

For NSW, you can refer to the Transport for NSW website for the specific details. You’ll need to do some research for other states. 
At the end of the day, make sure you stay safe when selling and meeting potential buyers. Consider having a friend along so you’re not alone just in case. Make sure they actually pay for your vehicle as well, with cash or a reliable way to deposit money. Don’t hand over until you have it, or organise a plan with them. Your local mechanic in Mascot can also assist you with any advice you may need.

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