How to Increase Your Car’s Value Before Selling

Buymycar.com just launched which allows you to sell your car to dealers. As anyone who has ever sold or bought a second hand car knows the price ultimately comes down to more than the specifications of the car but will also take into account other factors such as its condition in various senses and even cleanliness. Roughly 65% of the value of a used car is down to its make, model and age and the rest is entirely down to condition. Bearing this in mind, doing a few little things to improve its condition before sale can be worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds to you. Obviously it is important to balance the cost of these repairs with the possible increase in value but if handled carefully doing this can leave you quids in for only a little extra effort.

The main thing to bear in mind is that a car that works sells for far more than a car that doesn’t. If your car is currently on blocks or on the verge of breaking down then it is very likely that you’ll be able to increase its value by getting a little bit of work done – just the bear minimum to make it properly road worthy. The goal of this exercise is to spend absolutely as little as possible on the cheapest possible part so that the car passes muster at inspection.

Then there are more cosmetic problems. Many chips to window screens can be easily and cheaply fixed, dents can be beaten out and scratches t-cut away. If moving parts such as broken wind mirrors and car seats can be replaced cheaply by getting a second hand part on ebay then this is usually worth doing.

The issue of road tax is slightly more complicated. On the one hand, you can’t transfer the road tax that you purchase as part of the sale and so it will not directly impact your car’s value to purchase or renew road tax if it is about to expire. On the other hand, cars tend to be worth more if the inspector can legally test drive it on roads. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to optimise value in this regard except to sell your car sooner rather than later if the road tax is about to be up. If it has already run out there is no point in re-taxing it just to have it inspected.

Cleaning is also an important element as mentioned above. Obviously it does not materially affect the substance of the car but value is always based on someone’s impressions of a thing. If the inspector or valuer gets a better impression of a car’s value then they are likely to rate it more highly. It may be silly as it would always be cleaned before resale anyway but it’s human psychology and it works so it’s best to use it if you’re going to sell your car.  That’s the way to increase value: little, cheap tweaks that alter the overall impression someone is likely to get of the vehicle when they first see it.