No matter how much care we take, our cars tend to age with time. Because our vehicles are subjected to harsh weather conditions and excessive use, a year-old model feels like one has been driving it for the last five years. It is not unusual to overlook a car’s condition under normal circumstances, however, when selling the car, all aspects have to be taken into account. As you prepare to sell your car, you obviously want the highest price possible. Nevertheless, whoever is buying it will also want to get the best deal possible, wouldn’t they? In what ways can you ensure that you are getting the best price for your car? The following tips will help you to get a good deal on a used car.
- Visit authorized service station always
Car servicing and maintenance are essential to keeping it running well and extending its life. It is recommended that you service your car only at authorized workshops and use original spare parts for repairs and replacements. Original parts allow your car to be repaired more neatly and make the car look as good as new, and this is a huge advantage when reselling. You will have to invest around Rs 5,000-8,000 depending on the model and variant you have, but in the end, it will pay off handsomely. An authorized dealership can give your car a new lease on life and don’t be hesitant to change all the necessary things during the service, such as the oil filter, air filter, engine oil, gear oil, and AC filter. Any buyer will prefer a car that runs without any mechanical issues with all the parts working in harmony on any given day. When prospective buyers ask for a test drive, showcase how smoothly your car glides over roads during the test drive.
- Make it shine by washing, scrubbing and cleaning
An unclean car will always appear in poor mechanical condition. Prior to putting your car up for sale, you must have a comprehensive exterior and interior cleaning done. Car cleaning and washing have also become more sophisticated as technology invades all aspects of modern life. Using techniques such as foam wash or steam process for the interiors, etc. will not only help you to clean your car inside out but also make sure the buyer has the right impression of your car. A high-quality image will come in handy during negotiations and will help you to get a good deal on your car. In today’s market, many companies are offering a combined foam cleaning and steam cleaning package that costs about Rs 1,500-2000. This is a reasonable investment considering the money you save.
- Update and maintain all documents
The best way to ensure that the prospective buyer sees your car in its best light is to keep all relevant documents organized and in a proper place. From its service records, history report, payment contract, owner’s manual, and so forth, every form of documentation pertaining to the car should be organized and maintained well to generate a positive impression on the buyer. The seller will not only increase the value of your car but the buyer will also be reassured that it has been well cared for. All documents related to the ownership of the car, such as the registration certificate (RC), the insurance policy, and the pollution under control certificate (PUC), should be kept separately in a separate file so the prospective buyer can inspect them whenever they are required.
- Maintain the electrical system
Illuminating performance of the car is quite crucial, so you have to make sure that the headlights and tail lamps are well maintained. Lighting elements need to be replaced after several years as their illumination capacity is reduced. Additionally, you can consider opting for OEM bulbs. Make sure that all the electrical elements, from the sunroof to the number plate light, are functioning properly by spending some time and money.
- Drive in a sedate manner
A driver’s driving style has a significant impact on the condition of the car. Driving aggressively is not only exhausting for the driver but also strains the chassis and mechanical systems of the vehicle, not to mention how fast they drive increases the risk of an accident. It’s obvious for a prospective buyer to opt for a car that hasn’t met with a major collision or accident. Listen for any small noises and rattles – they may seem inconsequential, but they can give the impression of a poorly maintained car, reducing its resale value. It is still important to get your car repaired and maintained only at an authorized dealership rather than a nearby garage if it has suffered some major damage.
- Keep it clear of traffic tickets
Today’s traffic regulators are stricter and technologically advanced than they were several decades ago. E-Challans are in force in many parts of India. Your car’s registration number can easily be verified online to find out if it has any outstanding challans, which can reduce its value if you have any.
- Replace the tires
The tires are the points of contact between your car and the road. Ideally, you should change them after every 50,000 kilometres or so, since they are among the most important components of the vehicle. A change of this type might be warranted even before 50,000 km, depending on your personal driving style. A dull-looking pair of wheels certainly cast a bad impression on the buyers and doesn’t speak highly of you. A casual approach to the vehicle’s maintenance creates the negative impression that its owner is negligent towards its care, which lowers the vehicle’s resale value. Make sure, therefore, before you put up your car for sale, you get it a brand new set of wheels or if your existing set is still good enough for say next twenty or thirty thousand, make sure to clean and shine it thoroughly using good quality polishing products available in the market. It is also important to make sure that the wheels are thoroughly cleaned so they do not corrode and remain operational.
- Avoid parking under direct sunlight
A few simple things that may seem insignificant to us can go a long way towards keeping your car in good condition. One such step is not to park your car under direct sunlight especially during the summer season. Metallic paint has an increased tendency to dull over time if parked in direct sunlight for hours on end. Try to park your car in a shady place even if it means that you have to walk to and fro the parking place. A similar practice is to let your engine rev before you start driving during winter. A diesel vehicle needs considerable time to reach the optimum temperature since the oil-burner needs some good time to reach that temperature.
- Replacing scratched and dented surfaces
In a metropolitan city where we are accustomed to bumper-to-bumper traffic, small scratches and dents on the car are common. If the car has been neglected, it can negatively impact its resale value as it gives an impression that the owner has not been keeping the car well. It is therefore important to repair all dents and damages before you sell the car. You can easily remove surface irregularities with no cost and without causing a lot of trouble. For example, you can use toothpaste to remove the scratches (small and not deep). Toothpaste can be easily considered as sandpaper (albeit a softer one) as it sticks to the irregularities on the surface. Apply it gently on the dent or scratch by firstly cleaning the surface and then wear it off to get a smooth, shiny surface. That said this method is suitable only for small scratches and for big dents, you have to visit the authorized dealer to iron them out.
- Keep accessories to a minimum
Modifying the car with alloy wheels, spoilers and other accessories may enhance its appearance in your eyes, but it is subjective and in the resale market, these accessories or even a different paint colour may be a deciding factor. In order to increase the resale value of the car, you should add some important accessories, but don’t go overboard in your desire to make the car attractive. Adding some of the basic accessories like door protectors, side rubbing protective strips, bumper protectors, and window visors enhance the basic protection while adding to the beauty quotient of the vehicle. We strongly discourage engine mods and performance tunings such as accessories. As a result, you’ll lose potential customers and you’ll need to lower your prices. We firmly believe that over-accessorizing your car will increase its price point, limiting the number of people who will be interested in buying your car.