If you trade-in your car without doing some basic maintenance, paint correction, and detailing, you're essentially leaving money on the table. Even a single weekend's worth of maintenance work and elbow grease can substantially increase the value of your car on the used market.
Here are four easy ways to spruce your car up quickly before you put it up for sale.
1. Scratch and Stone Chip Repair
Scratches and chips stand out like a sore thumb, especially to the scrutinizing eye of a potential buyer. Even minor scuffs can significantly hurt your car's resale value while making it much more difficult to find a buyer.
Before you put your car up for sale, seek out stone chip repair services. The price you pay for paint correction and windshield chip and crack repair will likely only be a fraction of the extra money that your car fetches on the used market.
2. Professional-Quality Paint Detailing
Compliment your newly corrected paint with a professional detailing job. Don't merely hose your car off and wipe it down. If you want your used car to fetch top dollar, it has to really shine.
Take your car to a professional detailer or invest in some quality paint detailing equipment. You want to start with a thorough wash and wipe-down to remove the majority of dirt. You should then opt for a clay-bar or polishing job to remove every last stain on your paint and reduce the number of swirl marks. Finish off your car with a fresh coat of sealant and wax. It will shine better than it did on the showroom floor, and it will earn you top dollar when you put it up for sale.
3. Deep Interior Cleaning
An immaculate paint job gets potential buyers to look at your car and perhaps sit in it. A spotless interior keeps them sitting in the driver seat until they sign the pink slip.
You want your interior wiped clean and vacuumed thoroughly. Most importantly, you want it to smell like new to really make the potential buyer fall in love. Add some quality air freshener if needed, then apply a coat of protectant spray on your dashboard and door panels to make everything shine.
4. Routine Maintenance and Inspection
Your car will also fetch much more money on the used market if it's properly maintained. At the very least, you should have a fresh oil change and brake inspection job performed. Keep the receipts so you can show them off to prospective buyers as proof that you took proper care of the car. It will make your car seem much more dependable, and they'll appreciate the convenience of not needing to worry about taking the car in for routine service right after they drive it home.