5 Best Ways To Get Your Car Ready to Sell

Your car is an important part of your life, it takes gets you to work and brings you home safely daily. It’s practically an extension of yourself. But sometimes you know when your journey with a specific vehicle is coming to an end and you are ready for a new car. It seems like a big undertaking but it doesn’t need to be.

When it’s time for a new car there are a lot of choices to make, specifically how to get the most value out of your current car to put towards your upgrade. Finding a buy here pay here car dealership is a great way to go, they are ready to buy your car from you and they’ll take care of the reselling portion, leaving you to just focus on your new ride.

You may feel overwhelmed with the process but here are seven practical tips to get your current car ready to go to a new home. Following these tips will make for a stress-free process, letting you drive off into the sunset happily.

1. Time for a Tune-Up

It seems like a no brainer but if your car hasn’t been to a mechanic in a long while, taking it to a reputable mechanic is a great first step. If your car is in need of services it is better to know that so you can either be upfront with the dealership when you take it in, or you can take care of the problem so you can get more money for your car.

You would hate to bring your car to a dealership only to find out during their inspection that you need a new transmission or something else was wrong. Taking it to the mechanic of your choice also protects you from the potential of being lied to if after a clean bill of health is given someone else attempts to tell you there are fake problems to underestimate the value of your car.

A mechanic can also do a few little things, like a fresh oil change, topping off the fluids, checking the tire pressure and being sure all the lights are working properly to ensure your car is in tip-top shape and ready to go. Double-checking the date on your battery is also a good idea, if it’s coming towards the end of its life it may be worth replacing prior to the sale. 

2. The Devil is in the Detail(ing)

First impressions are incredibly important so be sure to put your car’s best foot forward when you will be bringing it in. getting your car detailed is an easy way to make sure your car is looking presentable and will make a big impact on whoever sees it.

More than just a car wash, a good detailing with clean the inside and outside of your car making it look the best it can. Obviously, if you have been driving around with accumulated trash in your vehicle, it is best to clear it out, but ridding yourself of the grime that has gathered on the surfaces is important as well.

Do you have pet hair in your seat? Are your cupholders sticky? If you wouldn’t buy a car with those problems then you should be willing to solve them before you sell your car. Be considerate of the future owners, just because you’re ready to move on doesn’t mean your car isn’t worthy of a little TLC.

One thing to keep in mind is that some people may be sensitive to fragrances, so while you may think the vanilla air freshener is covering up the old car odor, it may be off-putting. The smell of nothing is often the best option for a car that is ready to sell.

3. Determine Your Car’s Value

Before you bring your car to a dealer you should know what your car is worth approximately. Kelley Blue Book is an easy way to figure out your car’s value based on its make and model, the mileage and the estimated condition. If you’re not sure how to rate your car’s condition (from fair to excellent) there is a handy quiz that can help you figure it out.

While you’re figuring out the value it is a great idea to print the estimate or take a screenshot on your mobile device. There will be a lot to remember when you’re at the dealership but having a quick frame of reference will let you know if you’re getting a fair offer for your car within the expected range.

4. Gather All the Paperwork

You can’t sell your car without the title so if you aren’t sure where it is, it’s time to start looking for it. Getting a replacement car title can be a lengthy process so if be sure to give yourself plenty of time if a duplicate is needed.

If your car or even some of your car parts have a warranty, getting the paperwork is an important step, your car will be worth more if you can prove the warranty is still valid. Even having the original owner’s manual or vehicle specific materials can improve the offer you will receive so if you have it, bring it with! 

Other paperwork may be needed as required in your state so be sure to check with the motor vehicle website in the state your car is currently registered in. You don’t want to have an unnecessary delay because of missing paperwork.

5. Round-Up All the Extras

Remember when you bought the car and it came with accessories? Maybe an extra key or fob that has been sitting in a drawer? Did your navigational system come with a setup DVD? If you don’t have the items a car may need for a new owner your car won’t be considered having those features which can mean less money for you.

So be sure the donut tire and jack made it’s way back into the car. Dig out the remote that came with the DVD player. Even things like a missing floormat can affect the offer you will receive so decide whether you’d rather find a replacement yourself to get a better offer.


Don’t be overwhelmed! Getting a car ready to sell doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. With a little organization and planning, you can be an informed prepared seller. Your effort will pay off with a solid offer and you will be well on your way to your next car. 

About the Author Long Le

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