6 tips on how to get the most money for your used car

Feb 25, 2019, 8:10 AM | Updated: 8:33 am

SPONSORED — If you’re considering selling your car, then getting every dollar out of it is a priority. Whether you’re looking at replacing it with a new car or buying another used one, you want to get as much as possible from your old car.

Whatever your plans for your earnings, follow these six tips to get the most money out of your used car.

Present it well

How you list your car will make all the difference in what someone is willing to pay. A poor presentation is the fastest way to lose potential buyers. Bad pictures, poorly written descriptions and an unwashed car all negatively communicate what your car is worth.

Take a picture of everything the most scrupulous buyer would want to see, Doug DeMuro suggests on Autotrader. This includes all sides and angles of the exterior, as well as several images of the interior, including the dash, backseat and trunk. Wash your car and wait for good lighting to get the best shots.

Then, write a description that describes the history of the car and its condition. Include details such as mileage, features and perhaps recent or regular maintenance you’ve done. Giving tidbits about why you’re selling, how long you’ve owned the car and what you like about it is also helpful.

Take advantage of trade-in offers

If you don’t want the hassle of listing your car and dealing with potential buyers, trading it in is an easy option. There may even be incentives from dealers that make financial sense.

For example, we found that Infiniti of Tacoma offers something totally unique. It’s called their Vehicle Shares program. They will buy your car today for at or above fair market value and when they re-sell your old car they will share the profit of that sale with you! Infiniti of Tacoma offers this on every car that gets traded in. Many of their profit share payouts have been over $1000 and there is no downside to the customer. We suggest that you check out their vehicle shares program yourself.

Additionally, many trade-ins qualify for a large tax credit. For example, a $30,000 trade in could mean a tax savings up to $3,000!

Do you have GAP coverage or an extended warranty still in effect? In most cases, you are entitled to a refund of the unused portion of the policy.

A trade-in might be the most profitable and easiest option.

Be a dependable seller

Respond to inquiries about your car — whether phone calls, emails or texts — as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Short responses or ones that don’t give all the needed information will turn off potential buyers, who will simply move to the next listing.

Although you may occasionally get questions that have already been answered in the listing, be patient and answer them, again. Buyers just want the information, so be polite and you’re more likely to find someone who will want to look at and buy your car.

Do basic maintenance

One way to quickly dissuade people from paying your full asking price is to have minor maintenance issues. Dead lightbulbs, squealing brakes, and minor dings all need only simple fixes. If you take care of them before photographing and showing your car, you’ll likely get more than they cost to fix.

To upgrade even further, look for ways to refresh the interior. This could include thoroughly scrubbing everything, replacing floor mats, hanging a subtle air freshener, removing your seat covers and emptying out personal items from the glove box and back seat.

Take it back to stock

Modifications on cars that weren’t built for racing may not fetch as much as a car that appears and runs as it did from the factory. Remove any modifications that may turn off a buyer who is simply looking for a reliable vehicle.

“Remove the wing, put the stock wheels back on, and if a young kid comes by just show them to him and offer to give them away with the car,” technician Adam Karner told Lifehacker. “Take a long hard look at these mods and decide if they are really something that someone who wants your specific car is going to like.”

Be patient

When you list your car, you likely will get a lot of lowball offers. If you’re impatient and just want to sell, you can accept one and be done. However, if you’re willing to wait for the right buyer who recognizes what your car is worth, you can make a fair deal.

If you want to get a good price for your used car and skip the stress of dealing with constant calls and texts, low-ball offers and unreliable appointments with potential buyers, Infiniti of Tacoma is confident they will pay as much or more than their competition for your car upfront. On top of that, when they re-sell your old car they will share the profit of that sale with YOU!


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6 tips on how to get the most money for your used car