Prepare Your Car

We've done our job, in creating the ideal Sellers Pack to help you sell your car, but our committment to ensure you get the best price for your car continues with our easy to follow step-by-step guide to preparing your car - you could add hundreds of pounds to the value.

Sell for more and sell faster

A clean car makes a better impression whether it's seen in an ad photo or at a viewing. Increase your chances of selling, and potentially add hundreds of pounds to its value, by taking the following steps:

Clean your car

Exterior

Use a car wash - A shampoo and dry at your local car wash can cost as little as £2.00.

Clean the car yourself -The following cleaning kit will let you have your car sparkling in no time:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket or hose
  • Car shampoo - make sure you buy the right sort of shampoo to avoid creating rust
  • Sponge
  • Leather chamois
  • Window cleaner and cloth
  • Low-gloss cleaner
  • Car wax or polish   

  • Mix the shampoo with water as per the instructions on the shampoo
  • Wash your car from the roof down using a shampoo and sponge, and leave the wheels until last
  • Once you've washed the whole car, rinse it with water to stop foam marks forming
  • Use a leather chamois to dry the car. This will leave a smear-free shine. Leaving the car to dry in the fresh air will leave you with dried water marks, meaning you'll have to start all over again
  • If the dirt on alloy wheels is particularly stubborn, use a special alloy wheel cleaner
  • Use car wax or polish to create the perfect sheen

Bodywork and Alloys

  • Scratches on the paintwork can be treated with T-Cut. In most cases they can be fixed in minutes
  • Have dents or chipped paint repaired professionally
  • Alloy wheels and wheel trims are easily damaged over time. If yours are in bad shape why not get them repaired or replaced?
  • If there are badges, stripes or other original features missing from the car, consider buying replacements before advertising

Interior

There's something incredibly powerful about the look, feel and smell of a new car. Remember how you felt when you bought yours? If you can recreate that experience for your buyer you'll generate that same excitement in them. Here's how:
  • Remove all rubbish from the car every time you use it. Leaving litter could cost you a sale.
  • Vacuum carpets, mats, seats and the dashboard. Really try to get in the gaps, but be careful not to scratch the console area
  • Use a low-gloss cleaner on the dashboard
  • Use window cleaner on the windscreen and windows to create a smear-free shine free from grime
  • If the ashtray has been used, wash it out. Try not to smoke in your car for at least 2 weeks before you advertise your car as the smell of stale smoke lingers
  • Leave the windows open for a few hours before a viewing to get fresh air circulating, and use an air freshener if you're still driving it whilst it's advertised.

Car Maintenance

Buyers may want to look under the bonnet to make some very basic checks on oil, coolant, screen wash and brake fluid.
  • Change the engine oil a week or two before a car buyer sees your car. Clean oil looks far better than old oil
  • Check the car's brake fluid, windscreen washer and coolant levels and fill accordingly
  • Clear away any leaves and twigs that have got stuck at the bottom of your windscreen
  • Clear leaves and debris from the air intakes and grille(s) at the front of the car as cluttered intakes could reflect on how well you have looked after the car
  • Fix mechanical problems before you advertise the car. If a buyer finds them they are likely to want to pay less or even walk away completely
  • Check the tyres aren't worn, and replace them if they are

A Haynes manual, or similar, will help you carry out maintenance work yourself, or you could contact your local garage. These checks don't cost too much and could make the difference between making or losing a sale.



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