Car Cosmetics: Preparing Your Motor For Resale

When it comes to selling your car on there are a lot of little things that can make a big difference in its value. Think about how you approached buying the vehicle. What things influenced your decision to pull the trigger and make the buy? How was the owner helpful? How was the car presented?

A car is a big money item, so it’s worth thinking about these little things you can do to make it an attractive purchase. A speedy sale will be convenient for you, freeing up cash for your next vehicle, whilst also ensuring that you get as much as possible. A little bit of hard work will definitely pay off, and most of it is cosmetic anyway. Here are a few of our tips on how to best approach your resale.



Hoover and clean the interior. This may not seem hugely important, but it will serve a number of purposes. It makes the car a generally more attractive purchase, as it will look closer to showroom quality. Remember when you bought your Lifestyle Mazda? That “new car” smell is what you’re trying to evoke.

It will also provide your prospective customer with a general indicator as to what kind of owner you’ve been. Someone who keeps their car neat and tidy is more likely to have taken care of the engine and wheels as well. Someone who has stacks of empty fast food containers in the back seat is more likely to have neglected their maintenance duties.


Have all of the documents that came with the car ready and available. This will give your prospective customer a further sense that you are a responsible owner who is passing the car on to them in good shape. It will also give them a sense that you are not trying to conceal anything about the condition of the car. From this, they will also see that it would not take long for you to prepare the administrative aspects of the sale.


Be friendly and helpful, but don’t be pushy. Show your customer around the car, outlining anything you’ve found particularly good about it. Let them know about the features that you have discovered through extended use, as well as more general information on mileage. Make sure you’re on hand for the first half of the showing.

For the second half, it’s worth leaving them to it. They’ll feel less pressured as they have a look around. As a result, they should come to the conclusion that the car is a good product in itself, without any need for a pushy salesman.

Basic Maintenance

Make sure that all of the basic maintenance is taken care of. This means taking care of oil, washer fluid and the like. Although these are not arduous jobs, they will all add to the value of your car. A new owner wants to be able to drive their car away without doing any work, and anything you can do to facilitate that can mean that you get a bit more money.

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.