The 5 R’s of preparing your car for a sale

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car salecar salecar salecar sale


The 5 R’s of preparing your car for a sale

Do you find yourself looking at your car and wondering who would buy this dust covered, just passing as roadworthy vehicle? Then take note of these TLC actions you will need to do before saying your goodbyes and selling your car.


1. Rinse

Rinse, wash, polish, repeat and say hello to the picture-perfect “used Polo for sale” advertisement for your car. Every nook and cranny needs to be vacuumed and scrubbed until you get the same giddy feeling you had when you first sat in your car in the showroom. This means lifting and moving seats, removing carpets, getting waist-deep into the boot of your car and sticking your hands between seats and encountering who-knows-what that’s been growing there for years. Prepare for the worst and, hopefully, be relieved to find that everything in your car was cleanable.

Don’t forget to add the sweet scent of something floral as an extra selling strategy, people love that kind of thing and it might detract from that spot you missed.


2. Retouch

Now that your car is clean, you are able to see what needs to be retouched. You can’t hide the fact that your car has scratches, granted they weren’t all your doing, but at the end of the day they’re still there and potential buyers will hold you accountable. Respraying your car is an expensive endeavour and the buyer needs to accept the fact that they are indeed buying a pre-owned car. Something you can do, however, is looking into scratch repair markers and DIY paint fixes as ways to touch up on those minor, yet somehow still visible, scratches.

If you have leather seats in your Polo, bring out the leather-food polish and feed your seats something they’ll actually appreciate. The sun doesn’t only bring old age to young skin but it is also harmful to your car’s meant to be durable materials. You might find that your steering wheel is peeling and not looking too attractive. Buy a simple steering wheel cover and just be honest when viewers ask about it.


3. Replace

You don’t want to be spending ridiculous amounts of money on a car you’re about to sell, but you can afford to replace a few elements to both secure the deal and ensure overall safety. For the aesthetic appeal, those carpets that refuse to be cleaned can be replaced and for certain windscreen cracks, try a windscreen repair kit to fix it up as much as you can without having to replace the entire thing. Safety features that need to be replaced include your car lights, which are super affordable to buy and easy enough to replace on your own. Lights are important, you know, to see the road and be visible to oncoming traffic.

You should also consider replacing the rubber blades on your windscreen wipers if that has not been done in the past few years. You really should have done that years ago, we all know how people seem to forget how to drive when it starts raining. Again, visibility is essential to road safety.


4. Roadworthy

If your car has not passed the roadworthy test by now, you deserve to be fined, and if the next owner gets fined, have him pass it on to you. Make it a priority to get your car inspected and fix any big issues. Have your wheels realigned, pumped up and handle any slow punctures. Be a good sport and throw in some petrol in the tank before D-day and check the oil that somehow always manages to stay full.


5. Registration and documentation

The last piece of admin you will need to take care of before finalising the sale of your car is to gather every piece of documentation that has been recorded during your period of ownership and re-registering whom the vehicle is registered under.

These documents include proof of ownership, alterations of ownership, vehicle registration certificate, service history, roadworthiness certificate and both your and the buyer's identity documents.

Soon enough this car will no longer be your responsibility. If there is anything you absolutely cannot afford to fix, or never got around to sorting out, just be honest with your buyer. Chances are they really need the car, you’re still offering a really great deal and, to top it all off, your car smells like roses.


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