When I need to sell my car, I like to get a nice chunk of cash out of it. I’m guessing you’ve got the same idea. Fortunately, there are a few things that can take a car’s resale value up a notch. Often, the cost to fix these things is less than the increased resale value!
This is the first–and easiest–update I do when I want to sell my car. It costs next to nothing. So, put on your cleaning gear and haul out the trash and assorted relics left in your car from past excursions. Vacuum, wash, wax, and buff until the car is sparkling inside and out. And put an air freshener in it to hopefully cure all less-than-desired smells. If you’ve got an expensive car, cleaning it could make a difference of several thousand dollars.
Install New Lights
It only takes a few dollars at the auto parts store and a few twists of a screwdriver to replace burned-out light bulbs. This is an easy fix that will increase your car’s perceived value immediately!
Install Seat Covers
For as low as $8 per seat cover, you can give your car an immediate facelift. So if you’ve got ratty seats, just run to your local Walmart or Kmart and score a fast update.
Replace the Car Mats
Again, this is a cheap fix that does wonders for your car value. Nobody wants to set feet on car mats that have unsightly coffee stains or who-knows-what on them. For as low as $8 each, you can get rid of those curled-up, ratty floor mats and get an instant cosmetic update.
Tack Up the Ceiling
Yes, if your car is really old, the ceiling might be floating down toward the passengers. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can invest in a set of specialized headliner tacks. With this method, the sections between the tacks will still sag, but it will still be an improvement. You can also purchase a headliner glue kit or, if you’re really serious about it, an entire headliner replacement. If you’re more interested in paying someone else to fix it, you may be able to get it repaired by a reupholstery shop for $150 to $175.
Repair the Dents, Dings, & Scratches
Minor dents, dings, and scratches are expected, but if you have a few unsightly dings or scratches, you can get them repaired for around $100. The same goes for a windshield with a chip or a crack. While this may cost several hundred dollars, the cost to get it repaired may still pay off.
Replace the Tires
Used tires can cost between $30 to $50 per tire. With a price like that, it might be worth your cost to replace your old, worn tires with used ones that could increase your car’s value up to $700.
When I sell my car, I do my best to create the perception that my car was well cared for. That’s sure to put more money in my pocket, where I need it for the next one!