Part 1: Getting your car ready for sale
Like most drivers, you will likely buy, own and sell a number of vehicles in your lifetime. While it’s different for everyone, the average period people own a vehicle before reselling and replacing it is currently between 5 and 7 years – which is about the average period of a car loan.
Cars are one of the most valuable assets you’ll own, usually only second to your home. However, unlike your home, your car is an asset that depreciates in value. While that can’t really be helped, it’s worthwhile taking the time and care to present your car in its best light when it comes time to sell.
The great news is, there has never been a better time to sell your used car with values skyrocketing since May 2020, so it might be worth going to the effort of selling privately and avoiding a trade-in.
Regardless of your reasons for selling, you’ll want it to make a good first impression. How your car looks, the advertisement, and how you respond to buyers are all important factors in achieving a successful sale.
- Consider having it professionally detailed inside and out
- Get a service to ensure it runs smoothly
- Check the tyre pressure is at the recommended PSI so it is handling at its peak ready for buyers to test drive
- Have an independent inspection or get a vehicle safety or “Roadworthy” certificate to give potential buyers greater confidence
- Don’t spend too much on minor cosmetic or non-essential repairs. They may cost more than the value it will add to the sale.
Pricing your car
Get the advertised price wrong and you’ll either be inundated with calls from people looking for a bargain or you won’t get any calls at all.
Search on Redbook and Carsales to find vehicles of the same make and model, year, mileage, and in a similar condition to yours to get a good indication of the price you should expect to get and advertise at.
While it’s tempting to advertise for thousands more than it’s really worth, buyers have so much information at their fingertips these days “testing the market” by overpricing your car is usually just a waste of your time.
On the contrary, advertising much too low can also work against you by giving the impression of there either being something majorly wrong with the car or that you are desperate for a quick sale – which is often seen to indicate to a buyer that your price could be driven down even further.
Our advice is to keep within reason of the market value.
In Part 2 we’ll cover the best platforms to advertise on, making up your ad, the information you should include, tips on dealing with potential buyers, your personal safety and precautions, selling a leased or financed car, and negotiating a sale price.
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