How Should I Prepare My Car For Sale To A Dealer?

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Don't be afraid of getting ripped off- command more value by way of car detailing. We at SpeeDetail aren’t mechanics, so this article will be limited specifically to car detailing when prepping your ride for sale or trade. Trading your car in for another one is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. Whether you’re selling privately or to a dealer, getting the most value boils down to one thing. Maintenance. We preach this to every person we interact with, regardless of the year or model of their car. Interior and exterior protective coatings are the best way to do this.

If you’ve never, or rarely maintained your vehicle, its not too late to get the highest return possible. SpeeDetail has a Prep For Sale package to address everything on the dealer’s trade-in checklist. Some issues are obvious, like; a through vacuum, removing large stains and wiping off the dashboard. There are other, not so obvious things the dealership will be looking for. When is the last time you used a fine cleaning brush to remove debris from crevices, or steam cleaned the ventilation system to remove odors? These are just a few interior issues that we address with our ‘Prep’ package. Have you removed the iron particles from your paint and wheels lately? Over time, they lead to rust and dealers know this. Does your paint have swirl marks from the automatic car wash? More lost value.

The SpeeDetail Prep For Sale package includes our Signature Interior and our Gloss Enhancement details. This will bring your interior to as close to new as possible and address every crack and crevice inside the vehicle. The exterior will receive a gentle hand wash, wheels, wells and tires cleaned, complete paint decontamination, light scratch and swirl mark removal and a protective sealant to lock in the results. At this level of car detailing, we would almost guarantee that your vehicle will look better than 99.9% of trade-ins the average dealer sees. Have you ever noticed how many people don’t clean an item before listing it for sale online? Wouldn’t you be inclined to pay more for the item or car that is in great shape and was maintained regularly? I would!

Now that we’ve explained how to get a car ready for sale with a one-off service, the best way to get top dollar for your car is consistent, regular maintenance. We suggest getting in this routine the first week you have a new vehicle. You’d be surprised how many paint defects a brand new car actually has. Vehicles go through quite a bit before hitting the showroom floor. As far as maintenance, we recommend a thorough interior cleaning no less than once a month, with weekly wipe downs in between. For the paint, you should be trying to hand wash your car every 2-4 weeks at minimum. Interior and exterior coatings will make both of these tasks a breeze. We recommend these on nearly every vehicle.

Truly maintaining a vehicle is no simple task. That’s why our Monthly Maintenance program is so popular. An added bonus to our mobile car detailing services is that they are recorded to your vehicle’s CarFax report. Imagine going to sell your vehicle and the buyer sees that you’ve had monthly cleanings and paint protection applications for the last 3 years- talk about naming your price!

I hope this article provided you with a good foundation to getting your vehicle ready to sell. If you’d rather not mess with it and have us take care of it, fill out our quick quote form and we’ll get you scheduled: If you have anymore car detailing questions, please reach out to us!

Your SpeeDetail Team

Butler & Warren Counties

(513) 567-5696

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All