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The Rules of Upgrading: How to Sell Your Old Car

September 19, 2014

Just as you would expect when buying a car, you want a fair deal when you come to sell your old one. With so many part-exchange offers about, it’s hard to know whether selling or trading in your car is going to get you the best deal.

Part-exchange deals

Many dealerships will offer to take your old vehicle off your hands, essentially part-exchanging it for a newer car. This offers some key benefits in that you don’t have to organise getting your old car scrapped as they will complete all the necessary paperwork for you. It’s as simple as driving in with your old car and driving away with your new one. It also means that the value of your old car will be taken off the value of the new one, lowering the purchase costs. Don’t be put off if your dealership initially offers you very little for your old car, for the most part – this exchange is subject to bartering and you can usually get them to offer more if you refuse their first offer.

Featured Expert: Car detailing expert Richard Cooper from shares his top advice with us when it comes to preparing your car for resale.

The bodywork should be clean and smooth to the touch. To achieve this, wash the car first and then use a tar remover followed by an iron dissolving gel to quickly and easily remove all forms of bonded contaminants.

Once the bodywork is clean and smooth, use an all in one (i.e. one-step) polish and protectant to lightly cut the paint back and lay down a temporary coat of protection. This will make the paint look richer and glossier.

Make sure the windows are crystal clear inside and out. The secret to achieving a smear-free finish is to use two lint-free towels; one to apply the cleaner and do the cleaning, and a second to gently buff the glass dry. 

Selling privately

Due to the ease of part-exchange deals, selling privately has lost its appeal to many drivers looking to upgrade. However it’s not without its benefits, the vast majority of private sales generate a higher return than part-exchange deals – meaning you’ll get more money for your old car. Just like selling a house, there’s plenty of things you can do to ensure you get the most money back for your old car, ensuring a quick and profitable sale.

Most private buyers will want to see a full MOT and Service history, including any additional paperwork with the vehicle and proof of any recent repairs. Boost your car’s resale value by ensuring you keep all of this information safe and up-to-date.

Cleaning is top of the priority list if you want to impress prospective buyers. Investing a small amount of money on repairing any cosmetic damage and thoroughly cleaning your car inside and out can lead to much higher sales prices. Check out the advice from our featured bodywork repair experts below.

Featured Expert: is the UK’s leading minor car body repair specialist, and they’re sharing their top tips on how to get the best possible price when selling your old car.

When it comes to selling your car, you clearly want to achieve the best price you can for it. A spotless appearance will help with this and so we’ve put together a few simple ways to help you secure the highest return.

The interior of the car is a great place to start; make sure the carpets and mats are vacuumed thoroughly to eliminate all traces of dirt and pet hair, clean all surfaces including the air vents to remove any dust which may have built up over time and polish the windows inside and out – making sure to leave them smear-free! An air-freshener also helps to create that appealing ‘new-car’ smell.

Externally, obviously it is important to make sure the paintwork is ‘up to scratch’ and if you can, have any minor damage such as paintwork scratches and bumper scuffs, repaired. ChipsAway offer a convenient, mobile paintwork repair service at a very reasonable cost, which could therefore help you to achieve a far higher price for relatively little outlay.

Washing, waxing and polishing your car will also help you achieve the best price, but make sure you use products specifically designed for this purpose. Alloy wheels are a particularly important area to focus on, as brake dust and grime can quickly build up and take the shine off your vehicle. Better still, it might be worth employing a professional valet/detailer who will have all the necessary equipment and skills to ensure a spotless and sparkling all-over finish!

If you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, you’re in the right place. The Car Loan Warehouse are professionals when it comes to car finance, simply apply online for a quick, no-obligation decision. Try our easy car finance calculator for an instant quote!

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.