Preparing Your Vehicle For a Sale

Even though most automobiles have a useful life of more than 10 years, studies show that the average American only holds onto his or her vehicle only for about six years. Even if you keep yours for longer, you still have to figure that you will sell a car a few times in your life. The process is not all that easy, so it’s important to be well prepared. Here are some of the most important things involved in preparing your vehicle for a sale.


Get it inspected

Vehicles can have hidden problems that you may not know about, and if those problems rear their head during or after the sale process, it can cause you a lot of problems. It’s better to discover those issues and get them taken care of before you try to sell your car or truck. If it occurs to you that, “hey, maybe I should get my vehicle inspected,” you should listen to your brain. An inspection will point out any problems with your vehicle, and even if it doesn’t find any problems, you can use the inspection as a selling point with potential buyers.


Make needed repairs

Most people aren’t looking for a vehicle that’s a fixer-upper opportunity, and even those who are aren’t looking to pay much. There’s a reason why companies that specialize in buying junk cars are only willing to pay a couple hundred dollars. That’s why it’s important to make needed repairs to your automobile before putting it up for sale. That could include fixing or replacing a damaged windshield, replacing tires that are in bad shape and fixing any other minor issues. You probably don’t want to spend a ton of money on a vehicle you are getting ready to sell, so if it needs major repairs, you may want to go the junk car route.


Clean it thoroughly

It’s important to offer a clean car for sale, even if you are just trading it in at a dealership. Offering a clean vehicle for sale shows pride of ownership, and it makes it look like you have taken care of the car. You should thoroughly clean the vehicle inside and out, taking care to remove any stains from carpets and seating. Make sure you vacuum it out thoroughly and clean all surfaces, including windows and the dashboard.

Make sure you have needed paperwork

One of the most important tasks in vehicle sale preparation, yet also one of the most overlooked, is making sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order before putting your vehicle up for sale. The piece of paper you definitely must have is the vehicle title. If you own the automobile outright with no liens, you should have the title. If you can’t find it, you can go to your local DMV office or your county treasurer to see about getting a duplicate. You cannot sell a car without signing over the title. If you are selling your car on your own, you might also want to create a bill of sale contract to use.

Following these steps to prepare for the sale of a vehicle should make the process go more smoothly. They may even help you sell your vehicle faster and for more money. That’s why it’s important to take the time to prepare properly for your potential sale.