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How to Get More Money for Your Used Car

If you’re selling your car, it’s only natural that you will want to get as much money back as you possibly can. Yes, cars depreciate rapidly in value, especially if they are new, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great price for your vehicle if you know what you are doing…

Get it running right

If you want to command the highest possible price for your old car, then it stands to reason you will need to ensure that it runs as close to perfect as possible. After all, no one is going to want to buy a car that has dodgy brakes or an engine that makes a weird clicking noise, and it wouldn’t exactly be ethical to sell a vehicle in such a condition either. So, before you do anything else, have a trusted mechanic give it the once over and correct as many problems as you can.

Improve its appearance

Although most car buyers are more interested in how well a car runs, it is fair to say that most people want to buy a car that looks good too, which is why it is so important that, before you put your car up for sale, you do whatever you can to make it look appealing, whether that means simply cleaning and waxing the vehicle or using Neutrarust to get rid of any rust on the car before repainting it. Yes, it may cost you a little money to do this, but if doing so means you can fetch a better price, then it may well be worth it – just make sure you do the math and any changes you make are likely to pay off or you could end up in a worse position than before.

Have it professionally valeted

Dirty cars are never going to fetch the best price, so either pay a professional to fully valet the interior of the vehicle or if you want to further maximise your profits, do it yourself. The cleaners and fresher the vehicle looks and smells, the more appealing it will be to just about everyone.

Ditch the dealers

Selling to car dealers may be the easiest route to go down for many people, but it is rarely going to be the most profitable for you because, after all, dealers have to make a profit on their purchase, and when you take that into account, a long with the fact they will probably want to further clean up your car, get it checked over by a mechanic and so on, you can quickly see how your potential profits will dwindle. No, it is usually much more profitable to sell your vehicle yourself using free websites and small ads in car magazines, although it may take a little more time and you will have to take a few extra precautions to ensure that you don’t get ripped off.

Know its worth

It’s hard to get the best possible price for anything if you don’t know the value it commands, and this is particularly true of used cars. So, it stands to reason that, if you want to get more money for your used car, you will need to do your research and work out how much it is likely to be worth. Of course, you can do a deal for less than the maximum value if you like, but if you don’t even know what that figure is, you can hardly negotiate effectively and you may well end up letting it go for way less than is actually reasonable, which would hardly be a smart financial decision for you and your family.


Haggling is a distinctly un-British thing, and many of us feel very uncomfortable entering into negotiations around a sale or purchase, but if you want to get the best price for your car, you need to be willing to enter into negotiations with potential buyers and hold your ground when you feel like you’ve reached the lowest price you’re willing to sell at. If you hate haggling, and you’re not very good at it, practice by visiting local markets and events where you can haggle over small sums until you feel more comfortable with the process.

Getting the best price for your used car might not be the easiest feat imaginable, but as you can see, nor is it particularly difficult if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do so, and if you’re serious about being money savvy, you probably should.