Preparing your car for resale

Are you planning to sell your car soon? The first step is to work out both where you want to advertise your car for sale and where you want to sell it.. If you’re planning to sell your car privately or want to trade it in as part of a part-exchange deal, preparing your car for resale is an important part of the process. However, if you’re considering selling your car with, not all of these checks are required.

How your car looks and ensuring everything is in working order will influence how much a potential buyer will be willing to pay when selling privately. When preparing your car for resale it is recommended that you clean your car, check the electrics and print the accompanying paperwork.

Although will buy any car in any condition, it is not essential for the vehicle to have no mechanical faults, but a better condition will result in a higher resale value. Let’s take a look at what to do when you sell your car and what the benefits are for preparing your car to be sold.


30 second car valuation


Step 1: Clean your car

hand cleaning car

Whether you have your car professionally valeted or you wash it yourself, a clean and shiny car can look more desirable than a car covered in dirt and filled with rubbish. Cleaning the car inside and out, as well as clearing out the glove box and the door bins may help to add a bit of value to the car during a private sale. But, why? Other than making the car more attractive, it means the buyer won’t have to then clean the car as soon as they have purchased it. If they can argue that they would need to pay to have it cleaned, then they may haggle for more money off the resale price.


Step 2: Check the car’s electrics and warning lights

car dashboard warning lights

PCP often involves a final lump sum payment called a ‘balloon payment’. This payment is also known as the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV). The amount you pay per month is determined based on how much value your car is expected to lose during the term of the agreement. If the car that you buy is expected to depreciate at a slow rate, then the monthly payments will be lower than a car of the same value that is expected to depreciate quickly. This means that there are often good deals on popular makes like Mercedes, BMW and Audi. When you come to the end of your PCP deal, if you don’t want to purchase the car you can just hand it back and walk away.

With both PCH and PCP the lender could repossess the car without a court order. But for PCP, once you have paid at least a third of the total amount payable, they can’t repossess it without a court order.


Step 3: Check the paperwork

car paperwork checklist

Preparing your car to be sold doesn’t just include the car itself, but also includes the paperwork that goes with it. To sell a car you will need the logbook, V5 Certificate, spare keys, service history documentation and MOT certificates. Making sure you have these to hand and they are fully up to date is just as important as checking the car has no faults; you can’t sell your car without the appropriate legal documents and if they aren’t complete this could affect the value of your car.

Once you have completed these three steps, you are probably ready to sell your car. Enter your number plate into our car valuation tool to find out how much it could be worth.


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