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Properly cleaning your car before sale can add hundreds of pounds to its value. That doesn't mean just driving it through a car wash - you need to pay more attention to detail. That could mean paying £60-100 to have it professionally valeted, or you could do it yourself.

If you decide to do the work, buy some decent car shampoo and a decent polish. See this as an investment; 50 spent on the right products, plus a bit of elbow grease, could see your car's value increase by several hundred pounds.

Hose the car down then with the bodywork already wet, hand wash the panels using a sponge and some soapy water. Don't use washing up liquid as it smears and don't hose down the engine bay as you might damage the electrical systems. Once you've cleaned the outer panels focus on:

  • The wheels
  • The wheel arches
  • The door shuts

Once you've washed everything, leather down the bodywork and glass, to get rid of any drying out marks. While the car dries out, turn your attention to the interior.

  • Vacuum the carpets and seats
  • Empty the ash trays
  • Remove any rubbish in the boot and glove box

Wipe over the dashboard and trim panels with a damp cloth and if the headlining or seats are dirty, clean them with a mixture of upholstery cleaner and warm water. While the interior dries out, you can then finish off by applying a coat of polish to the bodywork, which will help to keep your car clean for a few weeks.

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