How to Prepare Your Vehicle if You Want to Sell it – 2023 Guide

There can be various reasons why you would want to sell your vehicle – maybe you want to get a new vehicle, maybe you need a bigger one, or you might simply need the money. Well, whatever reason you have, you can boost the value of it by simply following a few steps. If you have decided to sell your vehicle, the text below might help you understand the steps you need to take. In the article below, you will read about the best methods for preparing your vehicle – both inside and out – for sale. Let’s take a closer look at the tips:

1. Set Up a Budget

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Yes, you will need to spend some money to get it ready for sale, however, setting up a budget and sticking to it is quite important. Usually, people set up a limit of around 350 to 400 dollars. Once you have set up the budget, try and stick to it, because if you don’t, you will end up spending more money than you can get back from the sale. An individual who is looking to purchase a used car will not expect it to be perfect, but, they will expect it to look representable.

2. Start From the Electrics and Mechanics

Before cleaning your vehicle, ensure that the electrical things are working properly. Especially since the electrics and mechanics will be the first thing potential buyers check. If something does not work, the potential buyer can try to lower the price. Check the lights (inside and out), the stereo system, windows, wipers, the USB/AUX sockets, and air conditioning. If there is something not working, get it fixed since it can influence the price quite a lot.

Besides the electrics, the mechanics are equally important. If you have been getting a warning light on your dashboard, get it fixed. If the washer fluid is empty, fill up the tank. If you suspect there are or if you know there are some mechanical problems, definitely take the vehicle to a mechanic. You might think that this is going to be bad for your budget, however, you have no idea how much value it will actually add to the selling price.

3. Start Cleaning from the Exterior

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Like with everything else in life, first impressions do matter – and that is why it is necessary that the outside of your car looks spotless. The best thing to do is to put on an old shirt and pants and give your car a good clean by yourself. You can either buy a cleaning kit that is around 20 dollars, or you can use a mixture of warm water and baby shampoo if you did not get a cleaning kit.

Keep in mind that it is important to buy a car paint cleaner since using shampoo or other substances might damage the oil and wax on the paint and might leave annoying residues. Dents can greatly influence the potential buyers’ decision about the car since for most of them, it will look unappealing. According to Carsellzone, if you get the bump fixed, it can add 10 to 15 percent to the value. This also applies to any scratches that there might be.

4. Clean the Interior

The one thing you should keep in mind is that the inside should be spotless. Think about it as selling a house – no one wants to see the seller’s personal items since they want to imagine the place as their own. The same goes for your car, getting rid of any personal items should be the first thing on your to-do list.

If there are any unpleasant odors or stains, try to get rid of them. There are various tutorials online, hence, you can easily find methods that will allow you to get rid of there things. If the carpets in the car have a lot of wear, simply purchase a set of mats – that will cost you around $25 and you will make a big difference in how it looks and feels.

5. Gather All The Paperwork

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Gather all the documents on the work done, the NCT report for it, the service history records, the manual, and of course, the registration certificate. If you have all the documents already prepared, the potential buyers will know that the vehicle has been properly cared for and you will also let them know that you do not have anything to hide.

It is up to the potential buyer to pay for the vehicle’s history report, however, if you cashed out some money for a vehicle history report before you purchased the car, prepare this for the potential buyers as well. As previously mentioned, it will add trustworthiness to the entire process, and hopefully, it will help you sell it faster. Transparency will make the buyer feel better about the car and you will put yourself in a strong position as a seller.

6. Take The Perfect Pictures

Once you have cleaned the interior and exterior of the car, it is time to start snapping pictures. You can use a professional camera if you have one, however, your smartphone camera will work as well. Remember to take pictures early in the morning since the light will be softer and it will allow you to avoid shadows that can make your vehicle hard to see in the pictures. The background should not be busy (meaning that there should be no people/cars behind it), you can take photos in your driveways, just remember to put the bins out of view.

You should snap different angles of your car – get one from the front, side, three-quarters, and one of the rear. Some detail shots like the wheels, side mirrors, and wipers are welcome as well. Photograph the back and front sears, as well as your dashboard. If you are worried about your privacy, you can blackout the license plates, but, the potential buyers will not be able to check the history reports. This will lead to you getting a lot of emails and calls, and that is why a lot of people recommend to leave them visible.

7. Writing the Advertisement

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You will want to write as many details and information about the vehicle as possible since this will help your ad appear in the search results. This will also prevent you from getting a lot of calls/messages/emails from people asking basic questions about it. Include the make/model/year, as well as the fuel type, engine size, mileage, and so on.


There are various things that you can do before placing an advertisement that you are selling your car. And although all of these things seem unnecessary since the car will not be your for much longer, all of them will make your car more valuable, and in return, it will increase the price you can sell it for. Hence, now that you know what steps to follow, do not waste any more time and start from the first point of this article which is checking the electrics and mechanics of your vehicle!