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How to Prepare Your Car for Sale

When you buy a new vehicle, it can be tempting to try and offload your old car as quickly as possible. But wait! To get the best price for your car, it’s worth spending some time to make it look as good as possible. Also, if you have personalised number plates, you need to allow time to transfer the registration. Here are some tips for preparing your car for sale.

Do the Paperwork

Getting the paperwork in order can be tedious, so it’s best to get that out of the way first. Check that the V5C log book has the correct details on it. If you want to transfer a private registration number from your old car, you’ll need to allow up to six weeks for the new log book to arrive.

If you sell your car with your personalised number on the log book, the new owner inherits your prized plates. If you don’t have your new car yet, you can transfer the number to a V778 retention document.

Other papers such as service records, garage repair bills, receipts for batteries and tires, and current and previous MOT certificates should be put into date order. These show a potential buyer that you’ve cared for the vehicle. Make sure the owner’s manual is in the car. If you don’t have it, you can get a replacement from the car dealership.

Clean the Car Inside and Out

You want buyers to see the car at its best, and running it through the local car wash won’t do it. Wash your vehicle by hand, using a decent car shampoo. Don’t forget to clean the door, bonnet and boot openings, the wheels and sills. Rinse the car and dry it with a chamois or microfiber cloth. Afterwards, give it a thorough polish.

For the interior, use quality products to clean the carpets, upholstery and headlining. Try to remove any stubborn stains. If you’re a smoker, make sure the ashtrays are scrubbed clean. Use a dashboard cleaner to polish all the interior plastic surfaces and a proper auto glass cleaner for the windows.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to clean the car properly, it will be well worth the money to have it professionally valeted.

Under the Bonnet and Boot

An experienced car buyer is likely to have a thorough look under the bonnet. Check the engine oil, coolant and screenwash levels and top them up if necessary. At the other end, remove any clutter from the boot and vacuum the carpet. Check that your spare wheel is correctly inflated and that the jack and wheel brace are there.

Know Your Car’s Value

You don’t want to undersell your car, or price yourself out of the market. Check the price of similar cars for sale in your area. Your friendly local garage may be willing to give you a valuation which will help you to optimise the price you get for it. Good luck!

If you don’t already have personalised number plates for your new car, check out the number plate database at CarReg for your perfect private registration number.