You’ve done all the research, you’ve looked up pricing, and you’re ready to put the car on the market. But how do you get the best price for your used car or truck?
The best way to maintain the value in your ride is to look after it over the entire time you own it. The decisions you make early on can have a big impact on resale value later. A set of laser-cut floormats might cost you between $150 and $250, but they can pay for themselves many times over at the other end when your carpets look pristine. You can even resell them afterwards.
Rust proofing and paint protection are two other low-cost techniques to look after your car. You can apply wax or spray-on ceramic coatings yourself, and they’ll help protect your paint. Rust proofing is better done by a professional, but it will still cost you roughly $200 while making your car a high-value unit at the end of your ownership.
Even if you don’t do any of those things, you can still maximize your profit with these steps:
Stage it right
Selling a car has a lot in common with selling a home. You need to show your ride in the best possible light, to help its new owner fall as in love with it as you did.
That means taking the time and energy to clean thoroughly. While you’re at it, clean up as many of the dents, dings, and nicks as you can. You can that appear over time, and it can pay dividends when it comes to selling.
Change the oil
Doing a thorough pre-sale service might sound pointless, but it definitely helps with the marketability of your vehicle. Old oil looks cloudy and dark, new oil looks light and clean. If you’re able to show a clean dipstick to an interested buyer they’ll know you’ve taken care of maintenance. We also recommend having your mechanic do a quick inspection. Don’t be shy about your car’s flaws or the things it might need in the future. A forthright seller makes the buyer feel confident and more amendable to paying you the asking price.
Make a list of your upgrades
This one is especially true if you’re selling a truck. Maybe you added running boards or extra tie downs to your rig. All those little touches that add functionality deserve to be highlighted. Help your buyer understand why your vehicle is better than the rest.
Remove your “mods”
“Wait, didn’t we just say to list your upgrades?” Yes, we did. But there’s a difference between upgrades that add functionality or performance, and those that reflect your personality and taste.
Your goal here is to give the prospective buyer a blank slate for their own connection to the car, not to show them your cool sense of style!
We even suggest you remove that Maple Leaf’s sticker from the back window – because some car shoppers like the Red Wings. The same is true of custom interior trim, decals, and any knick-knacks hanging from your rear-view mirror. Get rid of the vent-clip air fresheners and mobile phone mounts too.
Make life easy
Get your paperwork in order and ready. In Ontario, that means having the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) and plate transfer documents on hand, ready to go. Your prospective buyer should be able to pay you money and drive away in their new-to-them ride.
The easier you make it the more likely you are to get a fast, no hassle deal, at maximum price.