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06.04.2016 How to prepare to sell your car

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Cleaning your car before you sell it seems like a no-brainer, but everyday thousands of cars change hands in a less than immaculate condition.

What many sellers probably don’t realise is that by flogging a dirty car, they’re actually pouring money down the drain. Although things like the service history and mileage directly affect your car’s value, its appearance is one of the biggest things that dictates what it’s worth. It’s also one of the easiest things for you to transform yourself. Giving it a good scrub inside and out will see your car’s value increase – in some cases dramatically.

A professional valet will generate even more impressive results. Spend £80-£100 on a and your car’s value should increase by even more -- perhaps as much as £300-£400 as a trade-in at a used car dealership.

It’s also important to ensure all the fluid are topped up and that you’ve got all the paperwork to hand. Any invoices will be useful, while the registration document and MoT are essential.

If there’s minor damage such as small dents, scratches or interior trim damage, it may be worth getting a professional in to fix things. Such work needn’t be costly, but you do need to make sure that you’ll get your money back by being able to ask a bit more for the car – if you’re selling a £300 jalopy, it probably isn’t worth bothering.

If the tyres are worn out, you probably won’t get your money back by replacing them, unless you fit some cheap ones – but the downside to this is that the buyer may then think that you’ve run the car on a shoestring. You’re probably better selling the car with tyres that will soon need replacing and lowering the price to account for this.

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