I can pretty much guarantee you that there isn’t a single person on this planet that keeps their car throughout their lifetime. Everyone has a change of lifestyle needs, and people often change their cars every few years.

Most car owners want to upgrade to newer cars that offer better safety, performance and practicality. To buy their “new” cars, most will usually need to sell their existing cars first. Once they do that, they can use the money made towards buying their new cars.

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The trouble is; some folks aren’t aware of the best ways to sell their cars. Those people often make a lot of mistakes that usually end up costing them money in some way.

Are you planning on selling your pride and joy soon? If so, make sure you read this blog post in full so that you’re aware of common selling mistakes you need to avoid!

Not cleaning your car

You know when you go on your first date with someone and you want to impress them as much as possible? Imagine what they would think if you turned up looking like a bum (and smelling like one too)!

They will soon make their excuses and leave, and you will doubtless never see them again! First impressions count when you go on a date with somebody. And they also count when you are trying to sell a car too.

When someone comes out to view your car, they will often form a judgement of your car within the first few seconds of seeing it. Does it look like it’s never had a clean since you owned it? Does the interior smell like something died inside of it?

Most prospective car buyers will get put off by things like that. Some enterprising car buyers might offer you a small percentage of the car’s value to take it off your hands. That’s because they can clean the car up and sell it on for a massive profit. That’s profit which should go in your wallet, not theirs!

That’s why it is important any car you sell is in a spotless, showroom-like condition. If you loathe the idea of cleaning your car, pay someone else to do it for you. You will maximize your chances of getting a good price for your car if it looks brand new.

Not removing your belongings

Let’s say that you post up a classified ad for your car on a site like Craigslist. What impression do you think you would leave if people saw your possessions inside of the car? They will assume you still use the car on a daily basis and might not care about making the car presentable to buyers like them.

Even if you do still drive the car each day, make sure your car is ready to sell at a moment’s notice. Remove those empty food and drinks containers, baby seats and CDs from the interior.

Not giving up smoking (in your car)

Are you a smoker? If so, you must stop smoking in your car. People don’t want to buy cars that stink of tobacco. You will also increase the likelihood of accidental burn marks in the car’s interior, such as on the seats or door panels.

It will take a while to get rid of the smell of cigarettes from your car. So make sure you keep the windows open when you drive and consider using air fresheners to help mask the smell. And stop smoking in your car!

Not ensuring the car is roadworthy

Are you a bit of a hapless driver? Do you have a habit of scraping your car’s wheels against the curb or forgetting to have the car serviced when it was supposed to?

Unless your car is an old clunker with only scrap value, it is in your interests to make sure the car you are selling is roadworthy. That means getting any urgent repairs carried out, or oil changes done.

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If you sell your car for a few thousand bucks, the buyer will be pretty angry if your car blows up a mile down the road! At best, they will sue you if you don’t give them their money back. At worst, they might find other ways of getting their money back from you…!

Before you sell your car, take it to an auto shop and have them check it over for you. They will tell you what essential work needs to get carried out.

Not selling your car through the right channels

There are scores of ways that you can sell a car in today’s modern world. For example, websites like www.scotlandcarbuyer.co.uk let you enter your car’s details. You can then get an instant estimate of what it’s worth to them.

You can use online classifieds websites and Internet forums to place ads for your car. And you can even use conventional methods like local newspaper ads. But whatever channel you use, make sure it’s the right one for you.

In my experience, you will have more of a chance selling your car to someone local than to someone that lives in the next state. Aim for a local market at first, and if you don’t succeed, then you should consider branching out into a wider region.

Not supervising test drives

Do you have a trusting nature? If so, this could be your downfall when it comes to selling your car! Most people that go and see cars for sale will ask to go out on a test drive. The worst thing you can do is let them take your car out by themselves!

Some folks think all you need to do is take a copy of their driver’s license for backup. But we all know that people can show fake driver’s licenses. Unless you are a cop or work for your local DMV, there’s no way you can verify their details.

That’s why you need to go with them when they take your car out for a test drive. And make sure they are insured to drive your car too, in case they end up crashing it.

Good luck!

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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