No matter how much care we take, our cars tend to age with time. Given the deteriorating atmospheric conditions and rough usage our vehicles go through, one year old car feels as if it is being driven for the last five years. Under normal circumstances, we might not pay attention to the car’s condition though when we decide to sell it, we have to look into each and every aspect of the car. We discuss below some of the important tips that will help you to get a good deal for your used car.
1) Take it to a service station
This will cost you somewhere around Rs 5,000-8,000 depending upon the model and variant you have but then this moderate investment will pay you back handsomely. Comprehensive service at an authorized dealership will infuse a fresh lease of life to your car and don’t hesitate to change all the necessary things such as oil filter, air filter, engine oil, gear oil, AC filter, etc., during the service. A car running without any kind of mechanical issue with all the parts working in perfect harmony will be the preferred choice of buyers on any given day. While a prospective buyer asks for a test drive, make sure you highlight the smoothness with which your car glides over roads. Then attach a premium to this smoothness when you sit down for price negotiations.
2) Clean it, wash it, and scrub it
A comprehensive exterior and interior cleaning package is something you must take for your car before putting it out for the sale. With technology making inroads to all aspect of modern life, car cleaning and washing has also become sophisticated nowadays. Take, for instance, the technique of foam wash or for that matter steam process for the interiors – not only these techniques will help you to get your car cleaned inside out but also make sure that the buyer get the right first impression of your car. This quality image is sure to come handy while negotiations and will help you to get the best deal for your car. Many companies today offer a combined package of foam washing and steam process which will cost you between Rs 1,500-2,000 which is not a huge investment especially when we consider its benefits vis-à-vis cost.
3) Deodorize and Role of Fragrance
An important, intangible aspect of the car is the way it smells. Many people underestimate the role of fragrance although it’s extremely important that your car must smell good during its first interaction with the potential buyer. Somebody might overlook stains in the upholstery or lost sheen of the dashboard; however, ignoring the foul smell is almost impossible. Fixing the issue of bad smell is quite easy and cost-effective. Deodorize the car while it undergoes washing and steam processing and then use a good quality car perfume for keeping it fresh afterwards. You can easily buy a car perfume from the market in Rs 200-350 but make sure you go for a quality product as some cheap car perfumes tend to leak when the car is parked in the sun.
4) Add some style quotient
Addition of some important accessories to the car is a good idea to increase its resale value but make sure you don’t go overboard in your urge to make the car attractive. Adding some of the basic accessories like door protectors (Rs 50-600), side rubbing protective strips (Rs 800-1200), bumper protectors (Rs 800-1200), and window visors (Rs 500-600) enhance the basic protection while adding to beauty quotient of the vehicle. This enhanced look, in turn, will help you to ask for extra bucks while finalizing the deal. Again, we emphasize you should be cautious about not to over accessorize the car as it will push the price point higher; thereby reducing the number of potential buyers who will be interested in buying your car.
5) Fix Dents and Scratches
Having small dents or scratches on the car is a normal thing especially in the metropolitan cities where we drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions. However, this can influence the resale value of the car by giving an impression that the car hasn’t been maintained well by the owner. Therefore, it is advisable that you fix all the dents and damages on the car before you start the process of selling it. It is not a costly affair and small surface irregularities can be easily done away with. For example, you can use the toothpaste to remove the scratches (small and not deep). Toothpaste can be easily considered as sandpaper (albeit a softer one) as it sticks to the irregularities on the surface. Apply it gently on the dent or scratch by firstly cleaning the surface and then wear it off to get a smooth, shiny surface. That said this method is suitable only for the small scratches and for big dents, you have to visit the body shop of your authorized dealer to iron them out.
6) Replace the tires
Tiers are the point of contact between your car and the road. These are one of the most important components of the vehicle and ideally you should change them after every 50,000 kilometers. This is an ideal range and depending upon your style of driving, situations might warrant the change even before 50,000 km. A dull-looking pair of wheels certainly cast a bad impression on the buyers and doesn’t speak highly of you. It gives the negative impression that the owner of the vehicle has a casual approach towards the maintenance which, in turn, will reduce the resale value of the car. Hence, before you put out your car for the sale, make sure you get it a new pair of wheels or if existing pairs are still good enough for say next 20 or 30,000 then make sure you get them cleaned and shined using good quality shining products available in the market. A regular cleanup will also make sure that the wheels don’t corrode with the passage of time and retain their operational efficiency.
7) Think to change lights
The car’s illuminating prowess is quite critical and you must make sure that headlamp and tail lamp of the car are in good working conditions. After a couple of years, illumination capacity of headlights tends to deteriorate which warrants the replacement of the lightning elements. In addition to a stock bulb, you can also go for other OEM bulbs which are available in the market but make sure their specification matches with the stock bulb.
8) Adopt a sedate driving style
The way you drive has a considerable impact on running condition of the car. An aggressive driver not only exhausts himself/herself but also put an extra strain on the chassis and mechanicals of the car, not to mention the high risk of accident that accompanies the speedy driving behavior. It’s obvious for a prospective buyer to opt for the car which hasn’t met with the major collision or accident. Still, if your car has met some major collision then make sure you visit only the authorized dealership for repair and maintenance rather than visiting local garage nearby.
9) Maintain Documentation and updated paperwork
Maintaining the documents related to your car in a proper and organized manner is also going to have a positive influence on the prospective buyer. All the documentation related to the car right from its service record, history report, financial contract, owner manual, etc.; need to be maintained and well-organized for evoking positive impression from buyer. This not only increases the valuation of your car but also reassure the buyer psychologically that the car has been taken good care of.
Similarly, all the essential documents related to the ownership of the car such as registration certificate (RC), valid insurance, and pollution under control (PUC) certificate need to be kept separate in a different file so that you can show it to the prospective buyer whenever he/she demands.
10) Avoid parking under direct sunlight
Some little measures which seem to be insignificant for many of us really go a long way in keeping the car in good stead. One such step is not to park your car under direct sunlight especially during the summer season. Cars having metallic paint are particularly prone to lose their shine if parked under direct sunlight for hours. Try to park your car in a shady place even if it means that you have to walk to and fro the parking place. Similarly during winters, it’s a good practice to let the engine rev for a while before you start driving. This is particularly important for diesel vehicles as the oil-burners require some good time to reach optimum working temperature.
Also Read:- How to Get the Maximum Value for your Car