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How to prepare your car for sale

If you are looking to get the best price for your car, you need to ensure it looks its very best. First impressions count particularly for cars. Possible buyers will first judge your car based on the photos they see online then home it looks, feels and smells when they see it in person. If your car looks well maintained, then they will have an assumption that you have looked after the car mechanically also.

Many people choose to get a car detail, however if this is not possible – you can give your car a full detail at home. Below we describe everything you need to do to ensure you give buyers the best first-impression of your car

complete list of how to prepare your car for sale

Remove bad odours from car interior

As ridiculous as it may sounds, when someone buys a second hand car they want it to feel like a new car. In short, they do not want to smell evidence of a previous owner. Here’s the rub – you may think your car smells fine, after all you’ve become acclimatised to your everyday scent. However, to the potential car purchaser – the smell of your car interior may be off-putting.

Cars can be full of odours that you have become accustomed to. These smells include musty odours, cigarette smoke, and dog scent.

Removing odours needn’t be too difficult and will certainly leave you car with a clean, fresh feeling. To start, work on any obvious smells. If your car smells musty work out the source of the musty odour. Finish with AutoSmart Odour Eliminator to kill bacteria-causing odours and refresh the car with a pleasant smell

Remove Marks from the interior

Over time marks accumulate on car interior surfaces that you regularly touch. In particular, you will find build up of oils on your gear stick, indicator, window buttons and more. While you are cleaning, have a look around for inconspicuous marks on the ceiling lining. Don’t forget your door shuts.

To remove marks and staining, use AutoSmart G101 multipurpose cleaner for fast removal of tar marks, stains and grease.

Clean and renew car dash and trims

Make your car interior feel just like new. Wipe and replace dust with a new-car sheen using ArmourGlow Interior Dressing. Spray directly onto your dash and wipe over with a clean microfibre cloth. Be sure to also wipe down the door trims and seals, along with boot mats and seals.

Vacuum carpets and lift upholstery stains

This is the time to give your vehicle it’s best-ever vacuum. Paying close attention to removing sand and debris from crevices around car seats, and being certain you have cleaned everything under the front seats.

If you have stains on upholstery, now would be the time to use an upholstery cleaner or G101 stain remover to improve the overall look of your car seats. Brisk 101 upholstery shampoo has the added feature of brightening and reviving the colour of your cloth seats and carpets.

Clean and condition leather

The look of aged, dry leather can give the impression of a car that has not been looked after. Before marketing your car for sale, give your car leather a gentle clean and a condition. If your leather is looking tired, apply a conditioning treatment such as Leather Rejuvenate to restore lustre and suppleness to your seats. Be sure to also condition your leather steering wheel and leather arm rests.

Clean Engine Bay

Use a specialised de-greaser top clean your vehicle’s engine bay. To do this, Make sure your engine bay is cool before you start cleaning. Clean away the grease and grime using TW 39 Express Heavy Duty Degreaser and a microfibre cloth. Be sure to rinse to turn over and rinse your cloth regularly to ensure a thorough clean under the hood.

Once clean, use Rubber restorer to revive the colours and lustre in your engine bay.

Clean your car exterior

Once the interior is looking fresh it is time to give your paintwork a good clean. Using a microfibre cloth and wash & wax, clean your car from top to bottom.

You can further improve the look of your paintwork by removing bug squash, fallout, swirl marks and light scratches. These will require specialised cleaners or cutting compounds but may add hundreds to the final value of your car.

Revive Black Trims

The black trims around wheel arches, door trims and bumpers can quickly age the look of your car if it is not looked after. AutoSmart Vinyl and Plastic Rejuvenator instantly revives these exterior black trims – giving them an as-new look

Degrease Wheels and add Tyre Shine

Don’t under estimate how much of a difference clean wheels can make to the overall appearance of your vehicle. Red 7 wheel cleaner – or if you are already using it to clean your engine bay – TW39 degreaser will help make cleaning your wheels near effortless.

Add a tyre shine, and your wheel cleaning job is done

Clean your windows

Finally, clean your windows. To give your car the most clean streak-free glass possible, follow our glass cleaning guide. If you find that your glass quality is looking fairly dismal, or if you have a film of fog grease you simply cannot remove, we recommend a glass polish to restore the glass back to a crystal-clear visions