Tips for selling a car

Selling a car on your own is one way to make sure you get what it’s really worth. The reality is that you won’t necessarily get the true value of your car if you trade it in at a dealership. After all, the dealership needs to make money, too. They offer you less money, so they have room to mark it up. By selling it yourself, you can make up to $1,000 to $2,000 more of the sale. To make the most of selling a car on your own, though, you have to make sure you get the car in the best possible shape. A little bit of hard work can really pay off.


  • Wash the entire car when preparing for selling a car. Rinse off the car first. Next, gently wash it with an automotive cleaner and a soft sponge or wash mitt. Don’t use dish detergent -- it can be harmful to your paint. Be sure to rinse as you wash, too, so the soap does not dry on your car. Dry the car with a clean, soft towel.
  • Next, focus on the tires. You can use WD-40 on the wheel wells by spraying it on, letting it dry, and then wiping it off. You can use a household degreaser to clean the tires, rims and hubcaps. A little elbow grease can really improve the looks of your tires.
  • Also, don’t forget to wax your car to give the exterior that polished look. When you’re selling a car, the first impression of the outside can make a huge difference.


  • Cleaning out your car is a must. The first thing you should do is clean out the junk. Throw away trash and anything else that you’ve been storing in your car. Dig down into the seats to remove all of the food, change and miscellaneous items that have accumulated.
  • Next, wipe down and condition all of the surfaces inside your car. This will give the interior a nice, clean look.
  • Using a window cleaner, clean all of the windows, both inside and out. Don’t forget to clean the mirrors, too.
  • Finally, thoroughly vacuuming the interior is important when selling a car. Vacuum not just the carpets, but also the seats and crevices. Try a carpet cleaner to remove any spots or stains.


  • Be sure all fluids are topped off.
  • Check the air in the tires, and add some, if necessary.
  • Make sure any lights or fuses that have burnt out are replaced.
  • Remove any bumper stickers on the car.

With a little effort, you can increase your profit when selling a car. There are great online resources available to you for assistance. For instance, you can list your car on a site such as so buyers in your area can find your car and buy it. Such websites make is easier than ever to sell a car on your own.


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