I see a lot of cars these days that are rare and interesting yet poorly maintained. It always makes me feel sad when i see an M3 or a Ferrari with battered alloy wheels and stone chips allover it. Yes I know cars are made for driving and I put tens of thousands of miles on all of mine, but I nurture their bodywork and maintain everything as pristinely as possible. When you sell or part ex a car you have to think of the dealership or the buyer as the enemy. Think of any flaws or weakness they’ll find and use against you and rectify them. So many times I’ve seen cars listed for sale that look like they’ve had a neglected life which gets you thinking “what else have they neglected” and before you know it you’ve lost the buyer. My first RS4 was a saloon and I was fortunate to acquire it cheaply. The side-skirts were so stone chipped I could’ve used them as sand paper and little bits of rust really sapped quality away from what was intended to be the elite family sports car. A thousand pounds of paint later (most of the car repainted) and no one believed the mileage on my example, this how you want to sell a car. Not only did my car look like a car with half the miles but thanks to a major service before my listing it drove like one also. There’s nothing I despise more than the phrase “needs a little work but it’s reflected in the price” if the work is so minor why didn’t you just do it you moron?
I spent £5 the other day on a “touch up” pot for the GT-R. I used this to fill a few stone chips and on the leading edges of my doors, this takes attention away from the flaws and helps a potential buyer see the car as a whole. For 10 minutes of my time and a few pounds I’ve saved myself the offensive haggling people do because a car has hit a stone after 80,000 miles or so. Give your car a detail, our cars have a hard life in the UK. They’re forever being rained on covered in road grime and general crap. I’ve always found a regular wash routine with high quality products, followed by a decontamination and clay-bar really improves the quality of a car. I wax and seal my cars every couple of weeks and I pride myself on asking buyers to feel the paint with the back of their hands, it feels silky smooth and flawless which gives them confidence it’s been well cared for. A deep gloss and mirror shine will only cost you a few hours of your time yet adds so much quality to your vehicle, making it looked cherished and well cared for.
Add high quality pictures to your listings. Either book a photographer or find some nice angles of your car and flaunt them. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than a car I really want to buy where the listing has lacklustre or blurry pictures allover it. You’re selling something imagine it’s for yourself, how would you want to view it? What would capture your imagination and make you spend your hard earned cash?
Know how to haggle! Price your car accordingly, slightly above your target figure as people like to feel like they’ve knocked a bit of cash off. As mentioned before be mindful of any issues they may find and have this in mind. You’re going into battle with the seller so have your tactics ready! You don’t want to be caught off guard when Dave tells you someone’s keyed the drivers door. Last but not least have a genuine reason for sale. Buyers want a vote of confidence from you that the car is good and not about to bankrupt them, if you’re fancying a change then be honest with the buyer. Don’t say I’m selling this old rot-box because it’s ruined my life and I just want it sold. Do you have any funny car sales or buying stories? Feel free to comment below or drop me an email and I’ll share the funniest.