They say it’s the little things that count. Whether it’s sending a bunch of fresh flowers to your mother for no particular reason other than saying “I love you mom” or allowing the omie-in-an-obvious-hurry to take off first at a four-way stop. The same applies to how you present your used car when to a potential buyer.
At You Drive We Sell we see all sorts, believe you me. And time and again the seller who did a little more effort than average is the one who walks away with extra cash in the pocket. Here’s five simple things you could do that will help you get the best price for your used car:
Of course you should do this in any case, whether the car is still under warranty or not. Servicing your car at the recommended intervals ensures that your car remains in top running condition and certainly extends its life, improves safety, economy and lowers the odds of being stranded in the middle of the Karoo. Make sure that you keep copies of the invoices of these services and/or that your car’s service booklet is stamped by the dealer when a service is completed. Present this booklet to the potential buyer.
Make sure you have all the sets of keys you received when you bought the car. Modern replacement spare keys and your car’s immobiliser/alarm codes are surprisingly expensive and time consuming things to replace. Also ensure that the spare tyre, warning triangle and automotive tools are present and stowed in the appropriate places. Lastly, clear your glove compartment of all the junk you gathered, leaving only the owner’s manual and registration papers.
A little bit of spit and polish goes a very long way in squeezing more money into your pocket. Wash and wax the exterior, vacuum the upholstery and carpets. Polish the interior trim and get rid of old funky odours. Spending a few hundred rand in having your chariot cleaned all over professionally could easily mean a few thousand rand more on offer. Few things say “I am a well-looked after vehicle” as much as a gleaming paint job and a fresh interior.
When last have you replaced tyres? Do they still have sufficient and legal tread remaining? Replacing tyres, especially luxury SUV’s and German sports sedans’ could amount to silly money. Of course slick tyres will negatively influence any offer made on your vehicle. If you are planning to sell your car and receive a really good price, make sure you sell it well before the tyres are done for.
Don’t stay mum about or “forget” to disclose any unhappy and unfortunately events and accidents in your car’s history. Although the Consumer Protection Act does not apply to private sellers, Murphy has a way to catch up with up sneaky moves and you might just find yourself on the receiving end of a common law suit. Even “voetstoots” requires full disclosure of the car’s history and previous or current problems. Car buying companies and dealerships could also make a little black tick against your name, and good luck with selling or trading in your next car.
There you have it. 5 simple things that could make the difference between an average and an excellent offer on your used car.