How to prepare a car for sale

Car body 

The body without scratches, abrasions, and chips attracts special attention. The appearance, like a coat rack in a theater, begins any acquaintance with the customer. Over time, the dirt from the road, like an abrasive, covers the entire body with a fine mesh of scratches, a cramped city puts marks on the bumper and other vulnerable spots, and unwary neighbors on the road also make adjustments. Shallow damage can be polished, and scratches that have reached the paint can be removed locally by painting with a special kit with a corporate color.

It is important to estimate the amount of investment – sometimes it is easier to sell at a lower price than to spend money on fixing the defect. 

In some cases, repairs may cause additional questions. It is better to leave a small crack on the “native” windshield so that they would ask less why the whole part was changed. Coloring the entire element because of a small scratch is also a dubious decision. If the car does have painted parts and new body parts, it is better to tell about them in advance and explain why this happened. You will be able to show the “before” photos to the arriving buyer – great. So you will confirm your words about the non-criminal past of the renovation.


The engine compartment needs to be kept neat, but it is not worth washing. Just remove the foliage, brush away the dirt. Any oil stain is a reason for doubts and additional checks in the service – sparkling cleanliness is not needed here. A clean engine will not allow you to assess its condition, see drips, and fogging.

The power unit itself must operate smoothly, without floating speed, clanking overtones, and other extraneous noise. Gray or black smoke from the tailpipe will surely be the decisive point to put an end to the inspection of your vehicle. Either honestly warn about problems with the engine, or invest in repairs, indicating this in your ad. 

Add oil and coolant if necessary. An empty air conditioner is also a reason for reasonable bargaining. 


Suspension and steering problems will make themselves felt on a test drive. Breakdowns on level ground, a beating steering wheel, steering wheel play, crunching and other extraneous sounds are at least a reason for bargaining, or a good reason to inspect the car on a lift. Worn SHRUS, wheel bearings requiring replacement of their brake pads, unexposed camber and much more will be on one list for reasoned bargaining. If you have repaired the suspension, and it does not require investment in the near future, indicate this in your ad.

Important details

Often, owners want to get back the cost of additional equipment, such as a sports body kit or an upgraded engine. This is difficult to do. The average price on the used car market usually reflects their real condition, and in most cases does not account for various extras. However, their presence distinguishes the car from other offers with a similar cost, makes it more attractive. So an expensive body kit or pasting the body with vinyl can be considered a plus, but it is unlikely that it will be possible to return all the money spent on it. This is especially true for inexpensive cars in the price of which all these investments are simply lost. Other advantages of the car include a set of discs as a gift, a service book with a full history and a still valid warranty. Recently done maintenance is another plus for your ad. 

We hope that our blog article will help you prepare your car for sale. If you find it hard to sell your car, you can always sell it at Trade Cars For Cash.