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How to Prepare Your Car To Be Sold Online

by recycler on November 29, 2010

Be Prepared!

Before selling a used car online, you want to take the necessary steps to be fully prepared to make the most profitable sale. Learn how to prep your car for a quick online sale!


First, you’re going to want to clean the car. And we mean clean it good, real good. Vacuum the seats and floor mats, wash and wax and shampoo, clean the windows, polish the dash…do it all. Wash the outside, including tires and under the hood (you’ll be amazed how dirty it can get under the hood…how so many leaves can find their way under there I do not know…).

Check under the seats, clean the trunk, organize or empty the dash/door compartments – you might just discover why your car has smelled like cheese for the last year. And if there is an unpleasant odor (does you car have B.O.?) you might want to think about getting the used car professionally detailed. A basic cleaning will run you from anywhere between 20 to 50 bucks, though for a more hard core cleaning (for a car with beyond B.O.…B.B.O.) it can be a bit more.

Top it Off:

After the vehicle is sparkling, squeaky spick and/or span, there is still plenty to do before selling the used car online. To wit: top it off! Cars run on all sorts of fluids, many of which will run lower and lower as the car is driven over time. You want to make sure all this fluid is refreshed and topped off before selling your car—wiper fluid, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, oil, etc!

Now that your used car’s thirst has been quenched, make sure all the lights are working—either just the bulbs or electrically. Cars have lots of lights, and they all need to “light up” when they are supposed to: brake lights, reverse lights, headlights (normal, brights, fog, etc), interior lights, dash lights…all the lights!

Dotting Your “i”s:

Now that the car is ready for to be sold online, make sure you are ready yourself. Have all the car’s history (make copies!), including receipts, ready to show and give to any potential buyer. The more prepared and upfront you are, the more trust you will build…and with online classifieds, trust is king!

Most buyers, if they are smart, will get the car inspected before purchasing it. Just so there aren’t any surprises, you can have a pre-inspection inspection. Not only could any discovered problem look bad and will negatively affect your reputation and your chance of selling the vehicle; you will probably have to repair whatever is found (or drop the asking price significantly). If something is wrong with the car, you probably want to know about it!

You will also need the title of the vehicle so you can transfer it to the new owner. You can get the title by contacting your lender and request the title with a lien release. You can also contact the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 888-206-4662 for assistance retrieving your title.



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