Preparing your car for salePreparing your car properly can make a used car look new, adding hundreds of pounds to its value.

Car maintenance checks

Most car buyers will check under the bonnet when viewing a car. Remember to:
• Check the oil level and top it up if needed – information on this will be included in the car’s handbook
• Fill all water and coolant vessels – again, check the handbook
• Check tyre pressures and replace any worn or damaged tyres
• Repair damage to trim if possible

Washing your car

Spending a few hours cleaning your car could add hundreds to the car’s value by giving it a cared-for look. You could hire a professional valeting service, but washing your car yourself will be much cheaper.

Give the bodywork a wash and remove watermarks with a chamois leather cloth. Alloy wheel cleaner helps remove stubborn dirt from wheels and it’s a good idea to replace damaged wheel trims.

Clean the interior

A clean interior is as important as sparkling bodywork. Make sure you:
• Vacuum the carpets, mats and seats
• Empty the ash trays
• Remove rubbish from the boot and glovebox
• Wipe the dashboard and trim panels with a damp cloth
• Clean glass with a window cleaner and damp chamois

The paperwork

Buyers will want to see the car’s history, so gather it all together and put it in a folder, removing any credit card receipts. Don’t forget to include:
• The V5C registration document (logbook)
• Service history – receipts and service book
• MOT certificates
• Warranty documents
• The car’s handbook

The final step is to gather your car’s documents. Most car buyers will expect to be able to see the VSC registration document (logbook), service log, MOT certificates, any warranty documents and the car’s handbook.

More in-depth selling advice:

Setting the price | Writing a car advert | Taking great photos
Preparing your car for sale | Dealing with buyers
Dealing with canvassers
Closing the deal | Doing the paperwork

How Auto Trader can help:
Closing the deal
Sell your car