Thinking of selling your car? Before you find a new owner for it, consider whether you could push the price tag up by making a few repairs and modifications.
Many of us see no use in modifying a car that we’re about to sell – if the vehicle has brought you nothing but trouble, you may just be eager to get it off your hands – however investing some money in sprucing up your old used car could pay off by adding hundreds (and sometimes thousands) to the sale price. Here are just some of the major ways in which you can add value to your cheap used car.
Give it a professional clean
Simply cleaning your car could be enough to push up the value. For maximum impact, you’re best off paying for a professional clean. That said, if you’ve got the time, you can try some of your own DIY detailing. If the paint job is faded, consider first giving your car a thorough wash, paying attention to every nook and cranny (use car shampoo as opposed to ordinary soap as this will be friendlier on your bodywork). Next consider either waxing or polishing your car, depending on the coating – this will immediately bring a new car sheen to your vehicle which could add hundreds to the value.
Don’t forget to also clean up the interior. Antiseptic wipes can be great for getting rid of dust and finger marks on instruments and doors, whilst a good old vacuum will get rid of any crumbs on the seats and in the footwells. If you’ve got tough stains on leather seats, consider buying a specialist leather cleaner to try and shift these stains. Top this all off by adding an air freshener so that the interior smells clean and fresh – you may even be able to imitate that new car smell.
Shine the wheels
Shining up your wheels could also have an effect on your car’s value. You can buff them to a chrome mirror finish using a wheel polish. There are different polishes for different materials, so make sure you know what materials your hubcaps are. You’ll want to similarly wash them beforehand – be careful of using soapy water if they’re aluminium as this could damage the wheels. Also consider giving the tyres a good scrub if these are dirty.
Fix up those bumps and scratches
It could also be worth looking into repairing any bumps or scratches. Whilst you probably don’t want to splash out on any major damage, a small scratch or bump could be easily removable without costing too much and could have an incredible effect on the car’s value. Consider finding a specialist mechanic that deals with bumps and scratches – these specialist will be able to give a good evaluation of your bodywork’s damage and tell you exactly how much you can fix within your budget. Some bumps and scratches could be an easy DIY fix and there are plenty of guides online to help you, however you should be careful of misjudging certain bumps and scratches as a shoddy cover-up job won’t do you any favours.
Replace old headlights
Adding new headlight bulbs could also be an easy way to boost value. All headlights dim over time – you could be amazed by how much brighter and cooler they look with new bulbs. You’ll want to clean the headlight lenses themselves first, otherwise replacing these bulbs may not have much of an impact. There are special headlight deoxidisers on the market that you should use to do this to give your lenses a sheen without causing damage to the lenses themselves.
Revamp the interior
Consider whether there are any modifications that you could make to the inside of your vehicle. One easy replacement could be the floor mats – if your current ones are dirty battered, there’s no use trying to clean or fix them when you can quite easily get a new floor mat for cheap.
Replacing seats is likely to be an expensive job and probably not something that you want to be doing. If the condition of your seats is really bad and you can’t shift any stains or there are rips, consider throwing some seat covers on top. Adding premium seat covers will immediately make your seats look brand new.
Invest in a private number plate
Investing in a private number plate probably isn’t something you want to do purely to push up the value of your car, however in many cases it can have a positive effect. Personalised number plates can make a car feel unique and certain combinations may be particularly sought after. There are many companies that specialise in private number plates that could be worth looking into. Contrary to popular belief, custom number plates can be fairly affordable, so long as you’re not going for something in high demand. Try to avoid controversial names of words that could have the opposite effect on your vehicle’s value.
Get your paperwork in order
You may also be able to push up the value of the car simply by having thorough paperwork when it comes to servicing and repairs. Such information can help buyers know what they’re getting into, eliminating the risk of expensive future repairs, which may put certain buyers of. There are sites that you can use to get a full vehicle history report if you are unsure of improvements made by previous owners. Keep this all in an organised file that you can hand to the buyer.