How to Get the Most Out of Selling Your Used Car

Are you putting your car on the market? Well, then you want the best price for your old set of wheels. So, how do you earn extra dollars on your vehicle? And what can you do to sell your car quickly? We have a variety of tips to help you get rid of your current vehicle so that you can upgrade to your next. Here’s our advice:

Clean, Clean, Clean

First and foremost, it’s essential that you clean your vehicle. We’re talking about a deep clean here. Clean the interior, the exterior, the trunk, you name it. If you have an especially dirty vehicle, it may be worth it to have your car detailed. That’s doubly true if you have a valuable vehicle that’s just dirty on the inside, since the cost of detailing will pay for itself with the increased price tag for the car.

If you’re doing it yourself (a good option for less expensive vehicles), take the time to clean every surface of your car’s interior — clean the dash, your cupholders, the floor mats, the windows, and even the space underneath your seats. Get a shop vac to make the job easy, or head to a carwash that is outfitted with vacuum bays.

Next, give the exterior a thorough scrub. Get a bucket of soapy water, a hose, and a sponge and go to town. If you have a more valuable vehicle with a pristine paint job, it may be worth it to wax the exterior for that primo-gloss look. Don’t forget to clean your rims to a high sheen. Also, you can invest in light cleaner if your lights are especially dirty.

Finally, you should consider cleaning the engine. Many potential buyers will want to take a look under the hood, so it’s best to give it a thorough cleaning to make sure it looks like a working engine, not a mess of grease and metal. You can have a mechanic clean your engine, or do it yourself with the proper equipment and degreasers — just make sure that you aren’t spraying grease off of your engine and onto the driveway.

Make Affordable Repairs

If your vehicle needs repairs, it can be off-putting for buyers. That said, you might pay more for repairs than you’ll get back when you opt to sell your vehicle. So you’ll have to ask yourself, is this repair worth it? Will I be able to earn more than the cost of the repair to cover its cost? We recommend making affordable and essential repairs for your vehicle before you place it on the market. If you have a radiator that overheats, for instance, it may require replacing before you sell your car. However, if you have struts that are losing their shock absorbency, it’s probably not worth it to replace them before you sell the car. If you’re curious about the cost of repairs for your vehicle, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Denver-based auto shop for an estimate on your work.

Collect Your Papers & Information

Collect any and all service papers that you have. If a buyer asks about your vehicle’s history, service papers will help you to prove that you’ve had your vehicle maintained regularly,. You can also check and print off CARFAX™ information. Be sure to put your owner’s manual in the glove box while you’re at it. You’ll also need to find the title to your vehicle, so that you can sign it over when you’re ready to sell.


Now that your vehicle is ready, it’s time to advertise. There are a number of ways that you can spread the word about your vehicle. Here are a few suggestions:

Use the Web

List your car on Craigslist, Autotrader, and You can also sell your car to a dealer that you find online. In modern times, these are the best ways to find potential buyers. Posting your vehicle online will instantly put your car in front of thousands of eyes.

Put Your Car on the Right Corner

It can be a good idea to go oldschool and simply park your car on a busy corner with a for sale sign. Be sure that your vehicle is parked legally. Folks often opt to put their car at the end of their driveway, or in a parking lot (with the owner’s permission), in order to attract the attention of passersby. Investing a few dollars in a for sale sign or some window paint can be enough to sell your vehicle.

Word of Mouth

If you’re selling your car, tell people! Talk to your coworkers, relatives, and friends, and let them know that you’re thinking about putting your car on the market. You’d be surprised how far word of mouth can travel, and you really only need to reach one buyer. Just remember that friends and family members may expect a discount if you’re selling your vehicle to them.

Count on Thompson Automotive

If you need to bring your car into the shop to get a few repairs and a tune-up before you sell the ol’ gal, we’re here for you. We’ll make sure that your vehicle is ready for the market, and we’ll provide affordable repairs, so that you get more value out of your auto. Get in touch with us today to schedule service!