4 Secrets to Get the Most for Your Used Car

4 Secrets to Get the Most for Your Used Car

Cars don’t last forever. Maybe the engine has died, maybe it is the cost of maintenance, or it could be the simple fact that you have outgrown the car – say trading in that sports car for something more sensible when kids come along. But one of the hardest things to do is sell a used car for a great price. Let’s face it, who has the time to sell a car? Life is already pulling you in a number if directions, so selling your used car is probably the last thing you want to spend a lot of time doing. With that in mind here are four secrets to get the most for your used car. These secrets work and will help you sell your car faster and for more money.

1) Clean Your Car

Before you decide to sell your car, have it detailed. This is one of the easiest secrets to selling a used car and it is something that most people forget. The biggest reason for this is that most people lose focus of the end goal. Selling a used car means you are trying to get the most cash for the cars you own.

One of the best ways to achieve this is to give it a good cleaning inside and out. Have the interior detailed, get your car cleaned and waxed, and even have the engine cleaned. Doing so will add hundreds of dollars in value to your used car and this will make it more appealing to potential buyers.

2) Pictures are Worth a Thousand…

This is especially true if you are selling your used car online or in the classified. Don’t go through all the effort to clean your car and then post pictures which don’t show how amazing your used car is.

In doing so, you want to take high-quality pictures of the exterior and interior of your car. First, you want to make sure you get the lighting right. Second, you want to make sure you any pictures you take include any features which will add value to your car.

This could include high-end rims or interior features such as built-in monitors for passengers or a GPS system. In addition, make sure you get a picture of the odometer – this way potential buyers can confirm the mileage.

Remember, pictures are worth a thousand words and in the case of selling your used car, great pictures can be worth a thousand dollars or more. This is cash in your pocket. Don’t use your cellphone, get a high-end camera and take high-quality pictures to show off your car.

3) You Don’t Need to be Shakespeare

But, you should have an awesome description of your car to accompany your listing. If you are not a great writer, then reach out to someone who is – maybe a friend to write the description for you.

You might thing potential buyers will only look at the pictures, but you are only half right. A killer listing for your car should include the car’s make, model, year, custom details, mileage, as well as any information on major body work or something else a potential buyer will know.

In addition, you want to think about any questions which a potential buyer would have about your car. This might include the best way to reach you or the best times to see the car.

You don’t need to be Shakespeare, but you want to make sure your listing is clear and concise, doesn’t oversell and give potential buyers the information they need to reach out to you.

4) Kelly Blue Book is not Law

While the Kelly Blue Book can be useful when buying or selling a used car, it is not the law. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes that people make when selling their used car is to look at the Kelly Blue Book and assume the recommended prices are set in stone.

What the Kelly Blue Book does is list the likely ranges for used car prices based on the car’s condition. However, it is not useful if you have custom rims or other upgrades.

As such, you want to use it as a data point to establish your price but keep in mind you can (and should) list your price for more than what is in the book. Doing so gives you a starting point in price negotiations with a potential buyer.

Just remember if you are listing your used car for more than the recommended price in the Kelly Blue Book that you will need to be able to justify this price.


  1. Tamra Phelps says

    These sound like pretty good tips. My Dad has a car lot (yep, he’s the proverbial used car salesman, lol) & all of these things are things he did: clean every car & show off its good points as much as possible.

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