How to prepare a car for sale

car for sale

It rarely happens that a person owns one car throughout his life. Cars age, and people change them just like other household items. If you decide to buy a new car, and there is no need for several vehicles at once, then it’s time to say goodbye to the old car and sell it. How to prepare a car for sale is a matter that requires investigation, and in this article, we will figure it out. Whether you are ready to sell your car or need a car value depreciation calculator, JunkCarsUs will help you get ready to sell your car.

Stages of preparing a car for sale

Selling a car is not an easy task, it requires a special approach. Regardless of how the car has been used, it certainly cannot look like it just left the salon. Of course, it is not necessary to achieve such an appearance when selling, but it is much more pleasant to look at a well-groomed and put in order car than at a car that looks “tired” and whose interior has not even been cleaned up. Preparing a car for sale takes place in several stages.

Body preparation (appearance)

The appearance of the car and its exterior is the key to the buyer’s heart. Surely, you know that love for a car begins with its design, its appearance, and if it is attractive, the probability of a successful car sale increases significantly.

Let’s assume that you have been driving a car for a long time, the paintwork has accumulated chips, a bumper is rubbed somewhere, and scratches from car wash rags have appeared somewhere.

We will consider a set of actions, some of which are mandatory before demonstrating a car to a potential buyer, and some are optional and depend on your willingness to invest in the car you are selling.

  1. A car wash is a must, as showing a dirty car is simply impolite.
  2. Body polishing is desirable since the procedure itself is inexpensive, but after it, the paintwork sparkles, as if the car had just left the assembly line.
  3. Tinting chips and scratches – you can do it yourself or turn to specialists. Of course, the second option is better, since self-painting in any case will not look perfectly harmonious, while professional colorists will select the color and paint the part in compliance with the technologies.
  4. Minor body repairs – if there are cracks on the bumper, dents on the body, or something else that requires not just removal and painting, but repair, this is up to you. You can either lower the price for these damages, or fix them before selling, but in this case, we are talking about a serious financial investment.

Salon preparation


Another aspect of preparing a car for sale is bringing the interior to a pleasant appearance. If the owner has to see the exterior of the car only a few times a day, in fact, when he opens and closes the car, then he is constantly in contact with the interior. People don’t want to buy a car that looks great but is dirty and untidy inside.


Car interior procedures should not be neglected. The amount of effort and money that will be required to bring the interior into a presentable form will depend on how you have operated the car, and how it was operated before you if you purchased it in a used form.


If the vehicle has a well-groomed interior, there are no stains on the seats, and the leather has no scuffs and tears, then simple procedures such as cleaning fabric and leather with a vacuum cleaner or a non-aggressive product. It is best to take the car to a good car wash or to a detailing center, where they will clean and polish the plastic in the cabin, clean the seats, and after all the procedures in the car, it will be perfectly clean and smell nice.


If the salon is in an average condition, not perfectly clean, but not killed either – look at what exactly needs to be fixed. If the plastic and other interior elements are dirty, or the seats are very dirty, contact the specialists for dry cleaning of the interior. This procedure is more expensive than regular car wash services, but it leaves the interior in perfect condition.


If the interior elements are damaged and the cabin is very dirty – first of all, sort out the blockages in the cabin. Often people use the back seat as an “extra trunk” – remove everything from there, and evaluate the condition of the seats and plastic. Eliminate damage, and return unreliably installed interior elements to their place, this will eliminate squeaks. If the seats are damaged, burned, or worn, it may make sense to reupholster the interior. This is an expensive procedure that returns the interior to its original appearance. After the repair procedures, you should also carry out a comprehensive cleaning of the interior, possibly even dry cleaning.


Engine preparation


Preparing the car for sale should include engine procedures. There is less trouble here than with the interior or exterior, but a lot also depends on the condition of the car and how it was used. Much more important here is not the visual factor, but the technical condition of the motor.


  1. Change the oil. This is a nice bonus for the buyer, and it also indicates that you are a caring car owner.


  1. Wipe off the dirt. The motor, like the rest of the external parts of the car, also gets dirty and covered with dirt, even though it is under the hood. Make sure it looks nice.


  1. Make sure that it is fully functional. Carry out the necessary actions if you understand that something is wrong with the engine. Spend time and money diagnosing and troubleshooting possible problems, and replace all consumables.

Final thoughts


Preparing a car for sale is a responsible step that will allow you to speed up the process and avoid possible problems and misunderstandings with a potential buyer. If you don’t want to search for a buyer and you want to quickly get rid of your old car, JunkCarsUs will help you solve this problem. The company’s 30-year experience allows it to successfully carry out operations for the purchase of cars in various technical conditions, including drowned, burned, and broken cars.