By: Sarah E. Sanuth, is an insider in the automotive industry  with many years of experience in the car dealership and repair business, is guest contributing an article sharing insightful tips increasing the value of your used car before selling it.

Whether you’re trading your vehicle in or selling it private party, you want to get the most for it. With a little elbow grease and a few dollars, you can increase the value of that used vehicle, as well as increasing the probability of selling it.


First impressions are everything. A potential buyer will assume if you didn’t care what the inside or outside looked like, that you didn’t care what happened under the hood either. Take the time to make sure that these areas look impeccable. A simple vacuuming, shampooing, wash and wax will take care of this. Don’t forget the engine compartment. A simple degreaser and a rinse will take care of this. If you don’t want to do this yourself, for about $100, you can have it done.

Cosmetic Repairs

Anything that makes the vehicle look as though it is in disrepair needs to be fixed. This can include anything such as broken mirrors, glass, headlight, tail lights, missing heater and radio knobs, and tires. These items are inexpensive to replace and a simple trip to a junk yard can save you a bundle. Many items are attached only by a few screws and can be changed in minutes.

Remove aftermarket parts and accessories

If your vehicle has any modifications that aren’t factory installed, a suggestion would be to remove these and replace them with the factory parts. If a buyer sees these modifications, they may assume that the vehicle has been beaten on or taken for one too many joy rides.

Maintenance Records/Receipts

If you have your maintenance and repair records, include them with the vehicle. Giving this information will allow the customer to see that you have properly maintained the vehicle.


When you’re buying a vehicle, you would research to see what the vehicle is actually worth, do the same when selling. Not only should you check book values from sites like, but check classified advertising sites (our site allows you to see used car prices across a number of different classifieds sites) to see what people are listing the same vehicles for with same make, model, trim, year and similar mileage and options. When checking these prices, always underestimate the condition of your vehicle. This will ensure that you sell the vehicle, and sell it for a reasonable price. Market value is more important than book value and a vehicle is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

When trying to sell a vehicle, look at it as if you were a potential buyer. Anything that turns you off will turn a buyer off. Make those simple repairs; a small investment can go a long way.

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