How to increase the book value of your car when selling

27 items to consider when preparing to sell your car in order to get the most money possible.

Except for a few notable exceptions, cars don’t appreciate but according to the Car Care Council, the book value of a "mid-range car" can be increased by $2,000 or more when selling it privately by just sprucing it up and making minor, easy repairs ## Before you sell your car * Consider practical products, such as iPod connectors or other items that make a drivers life easier. This is a quick and easy Bluetooth receiver to install into an older car that will hook up to a drivers smart phone * Similarly, utilitarian items such as a bed liner, car bra or bug deflector might be worthwhile to do to help your vehicle from scratches and dings and will increase the appeal to potential buyers * Ensure you perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. Potential buyers will be interested that your vehicle has been well cared for during your ownership and this will show in the sale price. Try to have documented proof that you performed all the regularly scheduled maintenance at the manufacture requires. * Another item that you might want to consider but is more expensive is new rims for your car. New rims and tires can add curb appeal which will increase the value of the vehicle and set it apart from it’s competitors. This is a bit of a risk however, as they will likely appeal to younger buyers and not to older ones possibly splitting the group interested in your car in half. * Take a look at your vehicle do any minor repairs that need to be performed. Simple repairs like fixing a taillight or filling in a scratch will add a fair amount of value to your car and will get you top dollar when it is sold. These repairs can be done cheaply in your own driveway and the return on investment is quite high * Ensure your car is properly cleaned. This is pretty basic advice but is often overlooked. You want to put your car’s best wheel forward so spotless carpets, and a clean dash are a must. Also clean the road dust around the door frames and vacuum out the vents. The closer your car or truck looks to new the better money you will get. * Also properly waxing and buffing your car will give it a glossy new coat that will make your car look like new. This is the reason that cars at trade shows look as nice as they do. Shinny sells! * Clean headlights so they are not yellow. Nothing gives away the age of a car like yellowing headlights. Most people think that you have to replace the light cover in order to fix this but that is not true. There are products out there that will clear up the headlight and remove the yellowing that occurs. * Clean and shine your tires and rims. Like cleaning the interior and waxing, ensuring that your tires and rims are clean will make a bit difference to the re-sale price. People are drawn to nice tires and rims and you want to make yours stand out. This again is something that you can do yourself in your driveway. Just make sure that you don’t use the same cloth for cleaning your rims as the rest of the exterior. There is a lot of grit on your rims that will end up scratching the paint. * Clean the floor mats. A super easy job. The floor mats pop right out. If they have a lot of salt or mud on them, wash time with a hose and hang to dry. If they are really bad or overly worn, get some replacements. * Get your paperwork in order. When a buyer asks about the cars maintenance having all the paperwork in place and available will provide confidence that the car has been well maintained. It will give the buyer peace of mind * Replace windshield wipers. Having the windshield wipers leave streaks or dirty spots on the window is like having sand in your eyes. Most buyers will be testing all parts of the car and will give the wipers a try. Make sure that they are in good shape. * Air conditioning check-up. If your air conditioning is a little weak, the system may need to be re-charged. Head over to your local mechanic and have them do it. It makes a big difference. * Get a Bluetooth stereo. If your car didn’t come with a Bluetooth connection and you don’t like the look of all the wires hanging around if you buy the connector mentioned above, then a Bluetooth stereo will fix both these problems. It is a bit more expensive but it lets you list “Bluetooth” in the add * Get it detailed. If all the cleaning mentioned in the above steps seems to much work, hire a professional to clean and detail your car. They will make it look brand new. ## What won't help * Gaudy custom modifications. If you have a spoiler on the back of your car that is the size of a soccer net, it won’t add value to the resale price and will likely turn a lot of potential buyers away. Same goes for “unique” paint jobs or excessive body kits. * Tinted windows. Some people like them, some don’t. Depending on the location they might not be legal. If your windows are already tinted that is fine but don’t do it just to sell your car * Lack of maintenance records. This is a big one. Make sure you have that documentation or else smart buyers will be looking elsewhere ## Things that can help but might be to late to do These items help increase the resale value but they are the type of thing that you have to think of when you are purchasing a car. * Type of car. There is huge brand loyalty to cars when it comes to resale. Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Volkswagen all command a premium on their prices just because of the manufacturer * Keep your car in good condition. Again, an obvious one, if your car has a crumpled body panel, won’t start or is starting to rust through, people are not going to be paying you much for it. * Type of transmission. Historically the cost of an automatic transmission stays with the car. So if it cost $1, 000 more when the car was new, a used car with an automatic transmission will be worth $1, 000 more than a manual one. It also will increase the pool of buyers as the number of people who know how to drive a manual transmission are declining. * Supply of other cars. This is an odd one that you can make work towards your advantage if you are not in a hurry to sell. If there are hundreds of your type of car for sale, you will most likely be selling it for a little less. However, if there are only one or two out there you might be able to get more for yours due to the lack of selection. * All wheel drive / 4x4 drive. Like the automatic transmission, these tend to hold their value. That is all we have for now. Hopefully these hints will help you get top dollar for your car.