How expensive to sell a used car: the secrets of resellers

Despite the development of the Trade-in system, you can still get the most money by selling a car on your own. But for this you will have to conduct pre-sale preparation and meet with buyers.

Professional resellers understand the sale of old and even illiquid cars – in this matter, they can and should be taken as an example. Modern resellers and auto-pickers maintain accounts on Instagram and Telegram – if you subscribe to them, you can borrow their manner of preparing a car for a profitable sale.

If the car already looks more like iron junk than a vehicle, then no matter how you prepare it, it will not sell for a lot. It is more profitable to sell it for parts, if possible, or give it for disassembly. Serious and costly breakdowns include dying engines that have outlived their usefulness, automatic transmissions, corroded bodywork, electronics failure, vehicles after severe accidents, fires and floods. If none of the above is found in the car, it can be profitably sold on its own.

Expensive additional equipment

Many sellers inflate the cost of the car if it has additional equipment installed, such as satellite alarms, body kit, subwoofers, cool media systems, winches, etc. But all this should not affect the price of the car. Firstly, a potential buyer may not need such extras, so he will choose a cheaper car without unnecessary functions. And secondly, the buyer is not sure that the equipment was installed correctly if it was not the factory and the dealer who did it.

To draw attention to the car, you can write in the ad “I will give the roof box along with the car”, but the cost must be indicated without the “gift”. And remember: selling a set of winter tires, tuned wheels and roof rails separately, you can get more money than trying to sell it all together with the car.


The buyer is more likely to choose a fully serviced car in which at least the consumables have just been replaced than a car that will have to spend a considerable amount of money on before getting behind the wheel. Do not spare money for pre-sale preparation – these investments will pay off.

New brake pads and discs, replaced technical fluids and filters will be the bait for buyers. Usually, after buying an old car, the first thing the new owner does after registration is going to the service and changing consumables to new ones. If the previous owner of the car does this for him, then the buyer will be ready to pay a little more for the car so as not to waste his time. Especially if the owner provides checks and acts of acceptance of work from a car service, because a potential buyer is unlikely to believe a word.


A car without scratches, scuffs and chips looks more attractive and desirable for purchase, although there is nothing critical in these damages. But a spot fix can add a few hundred more to a car’s value. Microcracks and turbidity can be corrected with car polish, they are sold at gas stations and even in supermarkets. If a potential buyer has nothing to complain about, he will not be able to bargain.

Headlights and wheels

Headlight polishing is offered in almost every car service, this will make the light brighter and save them from a cloudy coating. All burned out light bulbs should be replaced before selling – in a car that they want to sell for the highest possible price, everything should work.

If the rims are scratched, then it makes sense to bring them to life. A cheap rubber blackener will turn even tired tires into shiny and pretty ones. Purchase and glue caps and plugs on discs that have come off during operation. Good wheels enhance the overall appeal of the car.


Before photographing and before showing to potential buyers, remove all trash and trash from the cabin, pockets and trunk. The fewer items, the better.

It is not necessary to order an expensive dry cleaning, but it is necessary to vacuum the interior and wipe the surfaces from dust. Remove dirt even from hard-to-reach places – under pedals and carpets. A polish with an unobtrusive smell will make surfaces shiny and almost new. If there is no time to do this on your own, choose a set of services at the car wash with a vacuum cleaner and interior cleaning.

Engine compartment

It is better not to wash the engine, it is enough to wipe the surfaces and casings with a rag. Seasoned used car buyers will suspect something is wrong if the engine compartment is washed. Regular drivers don’t do this for decades, so they don’t wash before selling unless they’re trying to cover up oil and antifreeze leaks.

Washing the engine is not a good idea. But it is advisable to wipe all accessible surfaces


The ad should contain as many informative photos as possible from the outside – in profile, full face, from all sides, and inside – the condition of the seats, steering wheel and the general view of the cabin should be visible.

Photos with a washed and tidy car attract more attention from buyers. Before each show, the car will have to be prepared. On a clean car, the color of the body, all parts, damage and overall condition are better visible.