Selling Your Used Car? You Should Clean up!

Cleaning a car before putting it up for private sale can add up to £600 to its value, according to the used car experts behind Glass’s Guide to Car Values.  And it only takes a few hours and a relatively small amount of money to get the results which will help to achieve a healthy premium.

EurotaxGlass’s has revealed that, by presenting a car in prime condition, a private vendor can increase the chance of securing a sale at their desired price, and remove the need to deal with low offers and stressful haggling.

“Private buyers are easily put off by a dirty car – they think it is unloved and poorly maintained, and will feel justified in offering a lower price than the seller would like,” says Jeff Paterson, Chief Car Editor at EurotaxGlass’s.

“A thorough wash and polish and a comprehensive interior clean can really improve a vehicle’s appearance and add hundreds to its value in the private market.  A very well presented, three-year-old, lower-medium-sized car like a Ford Focus or a Vauxhall Astra might realise an additional £300, while a six-year-old example would still be worth at least £150 more.  For a one-year-old, upper-medium prestige car – a BMW 3-Series,for example – the premium could be as much as £600.”

The advice from EurotaxGlass’s is timely given the current level of competition in the used car market.

“The introduction of the new ‘08’ registration plate in March brought a considerable number of part-exchanged vehicles on to dealer forecourts,” explains Paterson.  “With a significant volume of cars now available on the second-hand market, private sellers are urged to do all they can to make their own vehicle stand out from the crowd.  A clean car will create a good first impression, which can be vitally important in winning over potential buyers.

A car not only has to look clean, however – it also has to look cherished, as Paterson explains.

“At around £40 a professional valet could be a sound investment to help boost a vehicle’s appeal and resulting sale price, and could be crucial if the car is being sold by a smoker.  For older vehicles even a new set of wheel trims can improve the appearance of a car, while new floor mats will do the same for the interior – all for a fairly small outlay,” he concludes.

6 May 2008 Staff

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