How to increase the value of your car before selling

Posted: June 28, 2024 | Word Count: 548

Thinking about selling your car on your own? Although selling a car yourself can be challenging, it’s a great way to possibly get more money from your used vehicle than a dealer’s trade-in offer might provide.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a newer model or simply want to add cash to your savings account, your top priority should be getting the highest possible value for your car. Luckily, there are steps you can take to increase the value of your car before putting it up for sale.

Prepare your car ahead of time.

  • A clean and well-maintained vehicle is more likely to attract potential buyers and command a higher sales price. Spend some time cleaning both the inside and outside of your car to freshen it up, such as cleaning the tires, giving your glass a once-over with glass cleaner, installing new floor mats and cleaning the seats.
  • Small repairs can make a big difference in your car’s perceived value. A well-maintained and repaired car shows potential buyers that you have taken good care of it and that it’s in good, safe and drivable condition.
  • Organized service and maintenance records demonstrate to prospective buyers that your car has been properly taken care of over time. Make sure you have all of your car’s maintenance and service records on hand to show interested parties. A CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ may also be helpful to provide additional details on your car’s history.
  • A professional mechanic can identify any underlying mechanical issues with your car during a thorough inspection. Addressing these issues before selling can prevent potential buyers from negotiating a lower price due to necessary repairs. It also lets buyers know that the car has been well-maintained during your ownership and that there won’t be any surprises.

Before selling, research and set the right price.

  • Determine the vehicle’s market value. Consider factors like the make, model, year, mileage and overall condition of the car to find a fair price. You can also easily learn your car’s value and could get an instant cash offer from a TrueCar-Certified Dealer through the Navy Federal Credit Union Car Buying Service, operated by TrueCar.
  • Market your car in the best light possible, and that means being deliberate with your photos. Park it in an attractive setting with good lighting. Make sure the car looks clean and avoid highlighting any dents or scratches. Advertise the car on various channels, such as social media, car sale websites or sales forums.
  • Don’t rush the process! You want to take your time to find the right buyer who is willing to pay the price you’re asking for. Be open to negotiation, but don’t settle for a price that’s too low.

Adding value to your car doesn’t have to be an expensive process. With a few simple tricks like cleaning, minor repairs and thorough research, you can maximize your car’s potential profitability.

While your car is up for sale, make sure you’re considering your next auto purchase. Apply your car’s value to your new purchase budget, then turn to Navy Federal’s auto resources to explore loan options and much more.

Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA.

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