Selling your Car
Selling your car an be an overwhelming task, not to worry! We will detail everything you need to know on these pages with regard to describing your car, setting the right price, taking great pictures and getting the most out of your listing among other things. Don’t worry it’s pretty easy and if you need any help just drop us us an email here: Help!@EcoForecourt.com
Alright, lets get to it!
Before we set off, let us say that this isn’t rocket science. For the most part, if you put yourself in the shoes of the buyer you won’t go far wrong, imagine what you would like to see if you were buying a car and think what you can do to improve things on the vehicle you are selling. Here are a few tips to get you going...
Preparing Your Car
Give it a wash.
There is nothing like a clean car to show off it’s good looks. Cleaning a car is a simple 15-20 minute task that will make it look it’s best and therefore present well in your advert. When washing the car, always start from the top and wash down or else the parts you washed below will only get dirty again by washing the dirty water down off the roof, annoying! Use proper car shampoo too and avoid washing up liquid, this can actually damage your paintwork.
Always wash the wheels last. The same thing happens with dirt from the car washing over the wheels as it does your body work and it sucks to see your hard work go to waste. Once you are ready to clean the wheels, pay special attention to them, wheels really set off a car. Think of a cars wheels as it’s shoes, you can tell a lot about someone by their shoes!
You might find after spending some time washing your car you have looked at every inch of every panel on your car and have discovered a few minor scratches on the bodywork? Well if they aren’t too deep, T-Cut can work wonders on small scratches and it might be worth spending some time rubbing them out with some T-Cut that matches the colour of your car. Be careful not to get this stuff on any plastic body work like bumpers and sills it can stain it white and is hard to get off. You can normally find T-Cut from stores like Halfords. Or you could try Amazon.co.uk if you cant be bothered to go out!
Dry the car off using a chamois leather and you’re done!
Clean the inside
Cleaning the inside of the car is arguably as important as the outside, after all, you spend much more time inside your car than standing and looking at it so the drivers experience of a clean interior is just as important.
This mostly comes down to vacuuming the seats and carpets, cleaning the windows and getting rid of any dust on the dash.
For the dashboard use a low gloss cleaner, not the stuff you clean your french antiques with!
The glass can be cleaned with household window cleaner and wiped down with a clean cloth.
It’s always worth emptying the ash trays and putting an air freshener in the car too to help eliminate the smell of smoke.
If there are any holes in the seats or damage to the interior it might be worth getting a specialist to repair it for you but they can be expensive and it depends on how much you are going to sell you car for in the first place or how quickly you want to sell.
General maintenance makes for great selling points
Before anyone comes to view your car it is worth carrying out some basic maintenance on the vehicle to make it both safe and reliable and to help the vehicle feel at it’s best in case the car is taken on a test drive, knowing that important elements fo your car are in good working order are also bonus points for mentioning in your adverts description. Here are a few tips to consider:
Check and change the oil
Use your dipstick under the bonnet to check the oil levels and it’s condition. To check the level, remove the dipstick and clean it off using some old cloth. Then, re-insert the stick and remove it once again to see where the oil level lies. If it is below the recommended level line indicated on the stick it is time to top it back up - but only to that line! Don’t over fill it.
Also if the oil is a deep black colour it is probably time to replace the oil anyway which won’t cost the earth and can be done at your local garage. This will ensure your engine is running smoothly and is a great bonus point to let any potential buyers know it has just had an oil change.
Check Tyres & Pressures
Aside from the car needing to be in top shape, tyres are the first and last point of contact wit the road, I can’t stress enough how important it is to maintain your tyre quality anyway, regardless of selling your car or not this includes watching out for punctures, wear and tear, tread depth and having the right pressures.
Obviously if you have any punctures you are going to need to get that fixed up or else no one will be able to test drive your car and they certainly don’t want the hassle of getting it fixed themselves.
Check your tyre tread, not only is it law to ensure your tyres have a tread depth of 1.6mm or over (3 points for every tyre below) but it will also make for a better driving experience, especially in the wet where the tread plays an integral part in dissipating any water on the road. If the tyres have plenty of tread this is also another bonus point to mention in your cars description, this way any potential buyer knows they will not have to fork out for new tyres soon after buying the car.
Check your pressures. This is really important as it effects every aspect of your cars driving characteristics from handling to breaking, ride comfort and tyre wear and ultimately your safety. To find out your optimal tyre pressure you can look in your cars manual or sometimes it can be found on the inside of the driver side door. Failing this, many air pumps at petrol stations have recommendations on the side of them for your type of car and or tyre so it’s worth checking them out if you cant find the info you are looking for. Getting the pressures right in your tyres will pay off if someone comes to test drive your car as it will feel it’s best in ride comfort, handling and breaking. So it’s worth getting this right! It might be worth me mentioning that the maximum pressure listed on tyres is not the correct pressure!
Check your lights
Ensuring your lights are in working order is handy for any potential buyer to know so that they don’t get put off by the thought of having to replace any bulbs themselves, it is also a legal requirement so it’s worth checking anyway.
The best way is to get your friend to help you out with this one by checking each light from the outside of the car while you press the brake, turn on indicators, fog lights and reverse light.
Check washer & Coolant levels
Washer and coolant levels are pretty easy to check, lift the bonnet and you will more than likely see two, semi-transparent, tanks. One will indicate the washer levels on and the other will show the coolant levels, both by a line on the side of these little tanks. You can often tell which is which by the logo on top of the caps, coolant is often a different colour liquid to the water in the washer tank too. In cars where the washer and coolant tanks are hidden from view, it will more than likely be the case that an indicator light will alert you on your dashboard in the car that either of the levels are low so watch out for that too. Oh yeah, and never open the coolant when the engine is hot - my dad had a really nasty accident with that once so let it cool down first!
Consider spending a little money
Depending on the value of the car you are selling, it might be worth spending a little money on it to get little scratches and bumps fixed, such as kerbed alloys, scratched paintwork or damaged trims. A lot of these things can be fixed cheaper than you think. I had quite bad scratches taken out of 2 alloys recently for just £40 and it made the car look so much better, so you might want to consider it if the cars value is worth spending a little extra to make it stand out from the rest.
Taking your cars picture
When it comes to selling a car online, the pictures are arguably more important than the descriptive text. A picture allows the potential buyer to get an instant feel for the car and it’s colour and allows you to highlight it’s best features or any damage that needs to be displayed. Taking the pictures are really easy, all you need is a standard digital camera, there is no dark art of car photography when it comes to putting it for sale on EcoForecourt, here are a few tips though...
Capture the most of the car, and the easiest way to do this is to get pictures of the front, back and both sides. It is tempting to get all fancy with your camera if you have just washed your car and have it under a tree, in the sun, looking all exotic, but really the buyer is interested in the car and the simplest angles are the best.
Wheels are always a good one to capture too, wheels often make the car and people take pride in them so if they are well looked after it is worth taking a photo of them to show their good condition.
Once you have those shots take a couple of the interior, the best shot of the interior is the one that shows the most! Often this shot is best acquired by opening one of the front doors and shooting the inside by just leaving the cars door frame out of shot, a bit like this one...
If you do have space left to upload more pictures to your cars advert then you can be a little more creative by taking a picture a little off central to capture it looking good, like so:
Setting your cars price
Setting the right price for your car is obviously really important, too high and you won’t get much interest and too low and you are going to loose money, so getting it just right is the plan!
A great place to start is here: http://www.whatsmycarworth.co.uk/ just enter your cars registration number and it will tell you it’s estimated market value. This gives you a pretty good idea to start off with but to really get the picture you should combine that estimate with other prices of cars similar to yours by doing a search on EcoForecourt.
Just do a search here for your make and model to find other cars like yours.
Pay attention mostly to their age and mileage, compare it with your car and the price from ‘Whats My Car Worth’ and you can’t go far wrong!
Adjust your price up or down accordingly by if your car has more or less miles than those compared to your vehicle and also raise or lower your price a little by the year/age of your car too, indicated by the registration plate.
Look out for engine sizes when comparing cars, a lot of car models look identical but can have very different engine sizes, the larger the engine is the generally more expensive they are so don’t price yourself out of the market by seeing a car that looks like yours but is asking over the odds for it. It is probably faster!
If you are in a hurry to sell your car it is always worth considering dropping the price a little and likewise if the car has any additional features or packages that make it stand out from the rest this can often demand a higher price.
It’s mostly about comparing though and with the above tips you will hit the nail on the head.