I know there is a camp of you who don’t believe in washing your cars. And that’s fine! Cars live outside and you don’t really see a point in keeping them shiny and clean. It’s a wrong take, but I respect it all the same. But here today, I bring you a practical reason to wash your car. It has to do with money.
Recently, Larry Kosilla of AMMO NYC spent two days detailing and restoring a black 1984 Porsche 944 for a charity auction. The car had sat in a junkyard and, as the video’s caption explains, was eventually donated to Kars4Kids for a $500 tax voucher.
As you can imagine, it was disgusting when the team first brought it back to the garage. Inside, they found mouse shit, a disintegrated heat liner, a moldy interior and a nest of some kind, to name a few. The paint looked dull, everything in the interior needed to be taken out before they could clean it and the wheels were very nearly trash. These Kosilla eventually took to another shop to have them touched up.
The car still needed a lot of mechanical work after the detailing was complete, but the point is, someone bought it for $3,000. Three-thousand bucks! For a car that was pulled out of a junkyard for $500 bucks. By cleaning it, Kosilla managed to increase the price by sixfold.
Obviously, this is an extreme case. Spending two days, painstakingly and professionally detailing a junkyard car just to sell it for charity would deeply skew most people’s cost-benefit analyses.
But if you’re thinking about selling your car soon, do consider giving it at least a wash and a light detail. That will make it look nice in the pictures and to potential buyers that visit and they’ll feel better about it. When they feel better about it, they’re more likely to shell out a higher price for it. Profit!
Clarification Jan. 24, 10:53 a.m. EST: A Kars4Kids spokesperson reached out to clarify the tax voucher and how it works.
They wrote, “The donor can claim a deduction for either the fair market value of the vehicle, up to $500, or the final sale price. So the donor of this 1984 Porsche is now able to claim $3,000, thanks to Larry’s excellent pro bono detailing work.”