How To: Prepare a car to be sold

Prepare a car to be sold

A few quick and easy jobs could add hundreds of pounds to your car's value before selling. Watch TV's used car expert Jason Dawe show you how to prepare your car before selling.

Cleaning the exterior:
1. Clean the car from top to bottom using a good-quality car shampoo. Don't forget wheel arches, bumpers, outer skirts and inner door panels
2. Rinse the car thoroughly with a hose or bucket of water
3. Dry with a chamois leather
4. Clean the wheels. Use a special alloy wheel cleaner if dirt is particularly stubborn to remove
5. Use car wax or polish to create the perfect sheen. Don't worry if paint residue appears on the cloth – this is just a layer of 'dead paint'
Stone chips can be removed with a paint touch-up stick. These aren't expensive and can dramatically improve your car's presentation.
Minor dents can be repaired but be realistic – if your car isn't worth much more than the cost of repairs, it might not be worth it.
Consider replacing any wheel trims and repair damaged alloys.
Finally, missing badges stand out like a sore thumb, so consider buying replacements before putting your car up for sale.

Cleaning the interior:
1. Vacuum the carpets, mats, seats, dashboard, door trims and any dusty crevices.
2. Remove mats and vacuum the carpet underneath. If these are particularly grubby, you may need to wash them with shampoo
3. Use low-gloss cleaner on the dashboard (avoid household polish)
4. Clean glass using a window cleaner and damp chamois – wipe in a side-to-side motion on the rear window to avoid damaging heating elements
5. Empty ashtrays and cubby holes before spraying and wiping them clean
Remove ink stains and cigarette burns from the upholstery. You can do this yourself using surgical spirit, but be careful as it can discolour your car's upholstery – not all do, but check before buying.
It may be worthwhile to pay a professional – research shows an average cost of up to £3,483 is lost on a car with a stained interior.

Prepare a car to be sold

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