6 Tips for Preparing a Used Car for Sale
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6 Tips for Preparing a Used Car for Sale

By Tarek Salam, Auto Glass Pro

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Selling used cars is a serious business. It demands a high level of responsibility and professionalism as well. 

As reported by the Ibisworld website, the worth of the used car dealers’ market in the U.S. is $88 billion. 

If you’re one of these dealers or you’re preparing to become one, you should make a checklist for your future product. 

For starters, the following six tips will help you put prepare used cars for sale. 

1. Check the Glass Areas

Most people keep driving their cars without repairing smaller issues until they decide to sell them. This especially refers to minor cracks on glass areas and scratches on the body shell. 


So, for starters, inspect the windshield, as well as all the windows and other glass areas on your car. There might be some damage on the windshield that is hard to notice. 

Examine all the glass items in broad daylight and use a battery lamp if necessary. 

Make sure to have the windshield repaired in case you notice any cracks before you put the car for sale. It won’t be a large investment and it will improve the overall condition of the vehicle.

2. Polish Up the Exterior 

Parking scratches and small dents are common for most cars that you see on parking lots. 


Such damages don’t affect the functionality of a car. Yet, they’re a real nuisance when you need to sell that car. 

Again, check all the doors and the entire body shell to see if there are any such problems. Clearly visible scratches need to be repainted before selling a car. Potential buyers will most probably give up on a car with major scratches or try to significantly reduce the price. Make sure to have these issues handled by the original owner if possible. 

Also, properly wash the car before letting potential buyers inspect it.

3. Spruce Up the Interior

Old mats, dirty seats and dusty dashboards are powerful repellants for car buyers. 

Therefore, replace the old mats with ones appropriate for the current season (rubber mats for rain and snow, small carpets for summer).


Moreover, have the seats deep cleaned prior to posting the car ad. Our two cents: don’t save on this part of cleaning because it will add to the appearance of the entire car. 

Finally, polish the dashboard and all other plastic parts. The car needs to shine when the first potential buyers come to see it.

All the accessories required for these tweaks are widely available, and most likely at wholesale prices for businesses such as car dealerships. Alternatively, see if you can cut a deal with a local car cleaning business, to have all the cars in your lot done by them – it could end up saving you time and money.


4. Resolve the Dashboard Notifications

Low oil level, blown light bulbs and engine errors are only some common dashboard notifications. 

All dashboard notifications need to be resolved before you place your car for sale. Also, check all the lights and car indicators. On some older cars, you won’t get a notification when a light stops working. It’s hard to notice that a reversing light has stopped working, as well. Ask specifically for a complete light checkup when your mechanic examines all these parts. 

5. Replace All Liquids and Filters

The brake oil, the engine oil, the windshield cleaning liquid and the coolant all need to be checked and replaced before you put the car on sale.


When you pour in the new windshield liquid, check the wiper rubbers as well. If they’re old, they might squeak or they won’t wipe the windshield properly. 

Also, check the air-conditioner. If it doesn’t work properly, changing a filter might be enough. If it still doesn’t cool the cabin adequately, the compressor might need to be replaced, as well. 

6. Prepare the Maintenance Records

Used cars that come with some sort of maintenance records will sell faster. 

If a car hasn’t been maintained by a licensed car mechanic, try to find out which mechanic repaired it, and if possible ask for a list of repairs and replacements. Honest and sincere car dealers will have recurring buyers and they will be referred to by their satisfied customers. 


Therefore, don’t mislead your future buyers, but try to be as straightforward as it gets about the condition of every car you sell. 

Every second-hand car requires special care and attention before it’s sold. The tips shared in this article will help new or less experienced car dealers to deal with potential shortcomings and properly prepare their used cars for sale. 

Tarek Salam is a Canadian auto glass repair technician with over a decade of experience repairing automotive glass for all makes and models of vehicles in Canada.

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