Thanks to the Internet, there are more opportunities to sell your car than ever before. Whichever method you choose, you’re often pitting the price against convenience. In other words, the quicker you need your car sold, the less money you’ll likely be getting. On the other hand, if neither time nor convenience are the issue, you can hope for the best price for your car. Also, no matter which method you choose, there are things you need to do to bring your ride into a hot sale condition.
Make it look awesome
Since everyone likes nice, crisp clean cars, stains, dirt and crumbs will make your car appear cheaper than it is, or worse, like you haven’t been maintaining it right. Convincing potential buyers that the car was well-taken care of should be you primary concern. Even an older car can be detailed with surprising results. A $100-200 worth of detailing can add $500 or more to the resale value. Let professionals remove scratches, dents and paint imperfections, as well as degrease the engine compartment and dry-clean the interior.
A thoroughbred sport coupe like a BMW Z4 or a Nissan 350Z with the body kit, smoked tail lights and riding low on custom springs looks hot any day, and you’ll probably find a buyer who appreciates what you’ve done. On the other hand, people in the market for a small family car like a 4-door Corolla, will likely pass on your spoiler, blue LED interior lights and the oversized muffler. And if a younger buyer shows up, you can always give those away with the car.
Get it servicedRest assured that buyers will be meticulous so you need to have your answers in line. If your car’s price is expected to drop by more than the cost of the repairs, don’t do them. On the other hand, you should definitely fix the little things that buyers like to ask about. Remember that they will always compare your car to the ones they have seen up to then and the ones they’ll be checking out in the next few days. New tyres and brakes can make or break the deal, while a high-efficiency Walbro fuel pump will be quieter and provide up to 20% better performance.
Sell it yourself
While selling privately can be time-consuming, you’ll probably get a better price than by any other method. Your resources are classified ads in local or national papers, as well as specialized websites. There’s always a potential buyer among your friends or friends of friends. When selling the car yourself, you need to allocate time for calls and emails form potential buyers, as well as viewings and test drives. Finally, you need a safe way of being paid for the sale.
Sell it to a dealerEven if you don’t buy or trade in for a new car from them, many dealers will purchase your current car. Keep in mind, though, that the dealer has to make a profit, so they’ll likely give you the lowest value possible for your car. A dealer might offer you to trade in your car for the new one. This method puts the dealer in a powerful position, but if speed and convenience are essential, this is the best option. On the other hand, you can always walk up to the next dealer if you’re not happy with what is offered for your car.
Have a repair shop sell it
Repair shops are places that see many car owners come and go, and having one sell your car isn’t a bad idea at all. Ask around which one will agree to have your car parked at their place of business and handle the potential buyers for a small fee. This way, you’re technically selling yourself, minus the time-consuming visits and phone calls.
If you’re looking for the best price, sell it yourself, but be ready for phone calls, viewing and test drive appointments. If you don’t need the car on daily basis, ask your mechanic to let it sit at their place for a small fee, so a lot of people can see it. A dealer will offer you the lowest price or trade-in value, since they have to make money on the deal, as convenience has its price.