If you’ve ever been haggled down from the asking price on a car you were selling, you know what it’s like to feel like you didn’t originally ask for enough. You kind of feel cheated. Turns out there could be a really easy way to trick people into handing you more money than the car you’re selling may even be worth.
In the same way that you should want to look your best for a job interview, the simple and straightforward task of just detailing your car can help increase its value when it comes to selling it on to somebody else.
In the final video of Car Throttle’s myth testing series featuring an early-2000s Honda Accord named ‘Trevor’, they give the car an in-depth detailing before asking people how much they assume the car is worth based on just looking at it. Plus, there is a tank:
Some good car cleaning tips include waiting to rinse the car at the start if you’re using a foaming cleaner, using a hog brush for the badges, crevices and details (I’d look for one in an auto store to make sure you get a good one), clean from the top of the car down, and use the double-bucket system. To hear us talk about our very own car cleaning techniques, check out the latest Ask A Clean Person Podcast here.
Other good ideas for quickly helping the appearance, and ultimately the value of the car is to make sure you clean up the badges, chrome and any faded plastic pieces or lights.
After detailing ‘Trevor’, people assumed the car’s worth to be between £500 and £1,000, putting their estimates about £150 to £650 higher than the £350 the car was originally bought for used.
Take the time to really clean the next car you go to sell, even if it’s a total POS. It might make you a few extra hundred dollars. Or consider taking it out of town to be ran over by a tank while you gleefully ride along. That looked like it was worth a few hundred dollars.