Many of us have moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic successfully, but one industry that is still feeling the effects is the motor trade. The global shortage of microchips coupled with lockdowns meant that new car production came to a grinding halt, and it is still struggling to recover. That has led to a surge in the sales of used cars, now making it very much a sellers’ market.
If you are looking to sell a used car, it is important to make it stand out from the crowd when demand is so high, and the market is moving so quickly. It can be hard to know what to prioritise to attract the most interest and command the highest price, so to get your started, Tracy Hill, Marketing Manager at Car Mats UK shares her expertise to help you find your car a new home.
1. Know your worth
When it comes to selling a second-hand car, you need to know what it is worth. No matter how much you love it, there will be a maximum price that you can ever achieve for it, and you need to know what that is instead of plucking a number out of thin air and hoping for the best.
The value of your car will be affected by several factors, including the age, the mileage, the condition, and its service history, so try to do some research on car sales websites to find something similar to yours. Once you have found a few in the same sort of bracket, you should have a better idea of what your car is actually worth, and you can then start to set a realistic price.
2. Decide what you want to achieve
Are you looking for a quick sale, an easy one or the one that brings in the most money? Very often, these ill not be the same thing, so you need work out what matters most. Once you have this in mind, you can think about how you market your car.
A quick sale might need you to go low on the price, whereas if you are looking to maximise the value, you need to find an avenue that allows you to detail all the fantastic things your car has to offer. If you want convenience, then a part exchange at a garage allows you to drive away in something new and shiny the same day.
3. Pick where to sell your car
Different selling routes will affect how quickly your car sells and how much you can get for it. Selling privately often achieves a greater value, but will require more work from you, and there is no knowing how long the process might take. There are plenty of companies now who are willing to offer you cash for your car straight away, but it is worth remembering that this will often be below market value.
There is also the option to talk to local garages to see if they want to purchase your car outright or as part of a part exchange deal – these are easy to do, but again, do not always give you the full value of your car.
4. Get your MOT up to date
One of the first things any buyer will look for is when the MOT is due. If it has expired or is close to doing so, then getting a new MOT certificate can make a big difference in attracting a buyer, who will then have the confidence that the car is in good working order and they do not need to spend much money on it straight away.
5. Get your paintwork shining
When buying a used car, most people expect to see the odd scratch or mark on the paintwork, but you want to make sure this looks as good as possible. Many car buyers go to look at a minimum of at least three different vehicles, so you want to make sure that yours is shown off at its very best. You need to make sure that the car is clean and polished, so that it looks the very best that it can. If there are any scuffs or scratches, it is sometimes worth visiting a detailer to find out how much it would cost to put this right.
6. It’s what’s inside that counts
Many car sellers fall into the trap of not thinking about the inside of their car as much as the outside. When someone gets in for a test drive, they want to see it in good condition, as they will spend more time looking at the inside than the outside when they are driving it.
Investing in car mats, boot mats and seat covers can be a great way to give your car a new lease of life. They can cover any problem areas of wear and tear and protect your car from dirt, mould and mildew while you continue to drive it. They can help to give your vehicle that ‘new car’ feel that will help to make a buyer think that they are driving away in something really special.
7. Get everything working
If you know your car has a few funny little glitches, then now is the time to get them fixed. If a buyer turns on the radio while they are in the car and all they hear is fuzz, they are likely to walk away wondering what else doesn’t work. Take the time to make sure all of your bulbs are working and as many electronic features as possible do what they are supposed to do.
The used car market is currently buzzing with activity as people cash in on the demand. You therefore need to do all you can to make your car as appealing as possible to the right market. By pitching it in the right place and at the right price, you should start to generate plenty of interest and very soon you will be in a position to shopping for a new car yourself.