If you have been following along in the series, you now know that preparing your car for selling is a big part of actual being able to sell it. New car sales are down, but used car sales are up. However, the competition is fierce, so you need to put on your game face and learn to think like a used car buyer. Thats what getting your used car ready to sell is really all about.
Used car buyers want to find a car that is cared for, properly maintained, and properly serviced per the manufacturer's recommendations. In other words, they want a car that's in good order. Not perfect, just in good order.
Excellent (less than 5% of all used cars fall into this category):
- Looks new, is in excellent mechanical condition and needs no reconditioning.
- Never had any paint or body work and is free of rust.
- Clean title history and will pass a smog and safety inspection.
- Engine compartment is clean, with no fluid leaks and is free of any wear or visible defects. Complete and verifiable service records.
- Free of any major defects.
- Clean title history, the paints, body, and interior have only minor (if any) blemishes, and there are no major mechanical problems.
- Little or no rust on this vehicle.
- Tires match and have substantial tread wear left. A "good" vehicle will need some reconditioning to be sold at retail.
- Some mechanical or cosmetic defects and needs servicing but is still in reasonable running condition.
- Clean title history, the paint, body and/or interior need work performed by a professional.
- Tires may need to be replaced.
- There may be some repairable rust damage.
- Severe mechanical and/or cosmetic defects and is in poor running condition.
- May have problems that cannot be readily fixed such as a damaged frame or a rusted-through body.
- Branded title (salvage, flood, etc.) or unsubstantiated mileage.
David Bynon is an automotive industry blogger, online community builder, computer science author, and co-author of multiple patents for car care products. Founder and former owner of the Autopia forum, Bynon loves finely detailed vehicles of all makes and vintage. You can tune-in to his blog at GuideToDetailing.com or follow him on twitter.com/Guide2Detailing.