When the time comes to sell a car, everyone strives to get the highest possible price. However, for the first owner, most models will be worth just over half their purchase price in five to seven years. Whether you trade in your car or sell it, there are obvious things that will reduce its cost. Some hidden nuances that are not immediately visible can also affect the final value of a used vehicle.
Used car connoisseurs from Indy Auto Man explain what can reduce the car price and how to get the best deal even if you tick several points from this list.
1. Extra tuning
Technical and design improvements and modifications to the car are personal and very subjective matters. Some may like the spoiler, uprated suspension, modified exhaust pipe, chrome inserts, and moldings. But, as practice shows, car buyers in the secondary market prefer factory versions of vehicles and are very wary of all sorts of tuning. In this regard, any tinting, reinforced bumpers, spoilers, etc., if they do not immediately scare away a potential buyer, will act as a reason for bidding and reducing the cost of the car. Buyers are significantly negative about lowering ground clearance with the so-called sports tuning.
2. Lack of service documentation
Most US motorists admit that when buying a used car, it is worth investigating its Carfax history report. Such information helps the buyer ensure that the vehicle has been looked after, received regular oil changes, the suspension and brake system have been inspected, the air conditioning system has been serviced, the timing belt has been changed, and so on. The absence of such documents or records will be a good reason to reduce the price.
3. Dirty interior and engine compartment
Yes, many car owners prepare the car for sale so that after the inspection of the vehicle, the potential buyer has a good impression. But some consider cleaning and washing the interior and engine compartment a matter not only superfluous but also masking the real state of the car. Of course, when under the hood, all the details shine with brand-new metal and chrome, and the pipes stand out with fresh rubber, thoughts creep in about recent involvement in an accident. However, if there are oil smudges under the engine, and the battery, washer tank, and a layer of dust and dirt cover all wires, there will be thoughts about the previous owner’s bad attitude towards the vehicle and doubts about its good condition. When preparing a car for sale, you should always follow the golden mean rule – clean the underhood elements with a dry cloth, wash and vacuum the interior, and eliminate unpleasant odors.
4. Additional xenon
In a situation where xenon is installed on standard reflex-type headlights, certain difficulties may arise. Motorists know that when xenon is not provided by the factory design, it is hard to set it up properly, and headlight caps may be deformed due to overheating. Such a bonus will be a reason for bidding to reduce the price, as the future owner will want to replace xenon with standard lighting.
5. Poor body condition
The first thing most buyers pay attention to when inspecting a car is the body. The poor condition of the paintwork – scratches, chips, corrosion elements – will become a reason for spirited bidding, so it is better to prepare the car body before putting it up for sale. Fortunately, when you sell a car to a dealership, they estimate the car’s technical condition, and minor chips and dents will not considerably reduce the price.
Experts advise not to settle for a bad deal even if the car has shortcomings. If you have valued your car correctly, you have all the chances to get its fair market value. Settling for a much smaller amount is an easy way to lose money. Take your time and expect a fair deal. If you are going to trade in your car, it is wise to get offers from multiple dealerships, you may be surprised to find out that some dealers are willing to give you a little more than others. Large dealerships, like Indy Auto Man, can even pick up your car from your location.