Many people these days are thinking about selling their car. Often, this is because of the financial climate. Many people would like to downgrade to a cheaper alternative and avoid paying the very high costs in loan repayments, fuel bills, insurance and so on that go along with their current vehicle. There are many ways to sell a used car, however, and some people are unsure as to the best way to go about it. It is important to take into account the vehicle’s quality, to make sure that it is in top condition, and to make a choice about exactly how you want to sell it. There is a number of channels through which you might do so. Private sales are one option, a dealership is another, and you might even consider scrapping a car if it is in very bad shape. In this article, we will look at some of these options concerning how to sell a used car and discuss what you should do to get yourself the best deal.
Quality and Condition
One of the primary considerations when selling a used car is simply its condition or quality. Cars vary a great deal in how they have been used, and even two cars of the same make and model from the same year can have vast differences in their quality. This can be due to both how consistent the models were when coming off the production line and how hard the life of the vehicle has been since then. Let us consider a few prime concerns.
Test the Major Systems
Anyone buying your car will want to see whether its major systems are in good working order. This means that you should test them thoroughly in advance in order to see whether anything needs fixing. Try all of the electric windows and observe their speed and their ability to seal. Try the air conditioning and the heater. Depending on your local climate, it may be some time since you have tried one of these. Make sure that all of the lights work, both interior and exterior. Finally, test any other electrical systems such as the electric seats and the stereo. It is much easier to sell a used car when everything is working as normal.
Clean Inside And Out
First impressions are important, and even though the cleanliness of your car is not very important long-term, any buyer will be turned off if it is dirty or full of crumbs. Have the bodywork cleaned properly; wipe down any hard interior surfaces and vacuum the carpets and seats to get the car as close to factory condition as possible. It might sound like a small part of how to sell a used car, but it really makes a difference and it should not be overlooked.
Check the Hood and Trunk
It is important to look everywhere you can for places to clean and generally improve. It may be the case that you have never personally had the hood up, but a savvy buyer will almost certainly want to see underneath. The area under the hood will invariably pick up a great deal of filth over the car’s life, from road dirt to dust to dead leaves. Spending some time removing this is a good idea. You need not render the engine spotless. Simply removing the worst of the dirt is good practice and can leave the buyer with good impressions of both the car’s quality and your own fastidiousness. Similarly, have a look in the trunk and see if anything needs attention. You may find that a vacuum cleaner is useful here, too. It hardly needs to be said that you should remove all of your personal belongings from the car well in advance of selling it. All too often, someone leaves a bag or toolkit in there and loses it permanently when the buyer drives off!
Fluids and Startup
Another aspect of how to sell a used car Leesburg is to fill the car with all the necessary fluids. That means that you should top it up with fuel, oil, water, brake fluid, washer fluid, and so on. Not only will the buyer be inclined to check the levels of each of these, but it has also happened in the past that a seller has only uncovered a lack of some important fluid when it comes time for the test drive. This will reflect poorly on you and it should certainly be avoided. The next step is to make sure the car starts. If your vehicle has been sitting unused for a long period, you may find that it fails to start the first time. The battery may be dead, or any number of other possibilities may have occurred. To avoid embarrassment and give your sale the best chance of success, make sure that the car starts reliably every time. It is a good idea to leave the car running for twenty or thirty minutes the day before the test drive so that you are certain it is working properly.
Methods of Selling
You can sell your car through a private sale, to a dealership or to a junkyard. Each of these options has its merits depending on your circumstances. A private sale has the best chance of producing a good price. Since the sale is direct, there is no intermediary, and thus you stand to make the best deal. However, some buyers prefer the security of a dealer, so you may be limiting your options. If you do decide to sell privately, you can take out ads in classified magazines and also try online methods such as eBay Motors. Going through a dealership can be a simpler and easier option sometimes, but you stand to make much less money from the sale since the dealer must be able to sell the car on for a competitive price. If your car is in very poor shape or not running at all then you may have difficulty selling it to anyone. In these circumstances, the junkyard may be the best option. There are now online services whereby you can arrange to have your car picked up and taken to a junkyard. You even stand to make some cash from this deal, especially if your car has enough working parts to be parted out to keep other vehicles on the road.
Selling Privately and Advertising Effectively
If you decide to go the private route, it will be important to advertise your car effectively. Many people go about this the wrong way and neglect the essential principles of used car advertising. Firstly, have a set of good photographs taken. Shoddy photos will often turn away a buyer for whom the car would be perfect. Include only the necessary and important information in the ad. That means noting the exact model and number, the year, the mileage, any major options or accessories, and any problems the car has. This is all the information a buyer needs, and crowding your ad space with unnecessary details or fluff will only turn people away.
To sell a used car it is mainly important to get a few things right. You should take the time to do a general spring clean, checking in all the hard-to-reach places for crumbs, dust, and road dirt. Make sure that all the systems work and that you are not going to get any unpleasant surprises when the buyer wants to try the sunroof for the first time in ten years. Choose a method of selling with which you are comfortable and advertise your car simply and honestly. Learning how to sell a used car effectively is not difficult and mostly involves common sense. Take care of these simple issues and you will give yourself the best chance of success.