How to Get More for Your Car – Private Sale or Trade-In

How to Get More for Your Car – Private Sale or Trade-In

When preparing your car for a trade or for private sale there are some things you can do to maximize the sale price. Here are a few tips on How to Get More for Your Car

Keep in mind that every dollar you spend in the areas I mention will generally add more than that amount to the car’s value. It will also make the car a far more attractive product and, therefore, increase the demand for it. This will mean selling it more quickly. Here are a few tips on how to get more for your car.

Let me give you a quick overview.

If you’re handy, you can do some of these yourself, otherwise, pay a contractor. It’s worth it.

How to Get More for Your Car – Trade-In or Private Sale
You should never present your trade-in looking like this

Gutter rash happens when we get too close to the curb and scrape the alloy wheels. First impressions count – repair them, don’t replace them.

Dents can be removed for about $30 per dent and I can provide the name of a terrific bloke I use.

Marks and Scratches – you can try polishing them out, but it’s best to use a professional

Bumper Bar Scratches. From a presentation perspective (and presentation is extremely important) they look terrible. A new bumper costs about $500 but it’s extremely cost effective to repair the bumper.


You’re trying to minimise what a buyer thinks they might have to spend on the car to repair it…because they usually think it will cost more than it actually does. Don’t let a potential buyer think they have to spend a large amount of money on the car. Do it yourself.

How to Get More for Your Car – Trade-In or Private Sale
It’s easier and cheaper to repair discoloured headlights than replace them

Discoloured Headlights can be found on cars over five years old. For about 15 years manufacturers have been using plastic which is lighter and adds marginally to fuel economy. When they become discoloured, though, it can be dangerous and you might get fined. They can be repaired for about $100.

The Bonnet picks up chips and scratches. No need to repair them. Instead, hide them with a bonnet protector – preferably a dark, tinted one.

Detailing – Your car’s condition is a huge factor. I’m amazed when people come in with food wrappers, nappies, and socks all over the floor and seats. Get it cleaned professionally – inside and out. Get more for your car.

Make sure The Service History is available. It can add hundreds of dollars to the sale and, in the case of some foreign brands, thousands. If the person doing your services hasn’t been filling in the book, go back and get them to do it. Get more for your car.

Get a Safety Certificate done. If you’re selling privately you must have one but, even with a Dealer, it’s worthwhile. It only costs about $80 but if you leave it on the front seat, buyers will KNOW they don’t have to spend large amounts on the car. A car dealers valuer always allows around $1,000 for problems they can’t see. Ease their mind…and save money.

Tyres are the major safety aspect of the car. If they are poor the dealer will allow for their replacement at $250 each. You can get unbranded new ones for $125 or second-hand tyres for about half that. Get more for your car


Torn Trim can be repaired by an upholsterer or trimmer and is well worth it. We want the car looking and feeling as good as possible.

The underlying message in all of this is: Don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars. For example, if you spend $1,000 (wisely) on a car worth $5,000 there is every chance you’ll increase the price to around $75000. It will also attract more potential buyers and you’ll get more for your car.

Obviously, there is an optimum spend and you don’t want to go crazy – it’s like over-capitalizing the renovations to your home.

For much older cars, you might not want to do all I’ve suggested. So prioritise, or give me a yell. If I can help in any way, or if you’d like the names of people who do the work I’ve suggested, feel free to contact me at:

Email: bo********@ca*********.au.

Mobile: 0418 748498

All the best and remember to drive carefully.


Bob Aldons - The Car Guy
Bob Aldons helps people to buy cars and finance, sort out problems and gives advice on anything to do with the motor industry

Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.

Find One

If you’re hunting around for a great price on your next new car, you should call the auto expert, Bob Aldons from Car Business. My company, a car Broker, Car Buyers Agent or Car Buyers Advocate based on the north side of Brisbane, will return your inquiry within 24 hours and make the process of buying a new car easy and stress-free. Are you tired of salesperson tricks? I protect you from the pressure exerted by car dealer’s salespeople. There isn’t any obligation – just a pretty significant saving.

You’re where? Seriously, my services are available for you in any Australian state and territory: from Darwin to Hobart, Cairns to Perth.  Car Broker Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin – I’m available when you need me to be.

Here’s an example

Matt wanted to purchase a Mazda 3 SP25 GT Manual Hatch. The retail value, drive away on that car is around $35,000. Car Business managed to purchase the same car for $28, 123.90 and with our fee Matt paid $25, 588, a saving of over $6000. And how do we know? Another customer, (looking for a new Holden HSV) just paid $35,000 for the same car – but he did it himself, without our assistance

If you’ve got a vehicle to trade, we have some clever ways to maximize the value – from used car dealers keen for your car to assist you to sell it privately. Finance and Insurance? We can handle that too, and we promise you will not be paying exorbitant dealer markups there either.

Trade In Value Example

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. Average dealer trade value – $16500. We achieved $22,000

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan 118TSI. Average dealer trade value – $14000. We achieved $16000

So, to get the best new car price, talk to others and then talk me. I’ve got the experience to handle the dealers and achieve the lowest new car prices. If you think you’re entitled to fleet pricing, I can often get better than that too. Whether you’re a small fleet or a large national fleet, Car Business will go to work and get that price down. Lower new car prices are my goal. So you’ll get the best prices from us rather than hoping you can help yourself.

If I can’t get you the best new car price, better than you can get yourself from a car dealer, we won’t charge you any fee. No Saving, No Fee. – that’s what you should expect from a car buying expert. 

Car Business WILL save you money on your next new car purchase – guaranteed

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