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12 Apr 2017 | by Lisa Cockerill

How to Prepare your vehicle for sale




When approaching the start of the advertising part of selling your vehicle take a moment to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.


Things that are important to you when you are looking at buying a vehicle will most likely be similar to other buyers in the market.


First impressions count and the first encounter that your potential buyer is going to have with you and the vehicle is visual.


Present yourself to the buyer in a friendly, approachable manner. There is no need to become a used car sales person but certainly take a moment to make them feel welcome.


The next step in the process is the exterior of the vehicle. If you have the time to detail the vehicle yourself then take the time to clean all dirt and dust from the vehicle. This includes the hard to reach places. When detailing the vehicle, you may find that there are chips in the paint that you may not have been aware of. It does no harm to see if a small paint repair is worthwhile to entice the buyer to see the vehicle in a better light. 


If time is an issue, then having the vehicle professionally detailed can take the hassle out of it for you. Typically, they can range from a couple of hundred dollars depending on the type of vehicle and the services that you require.


Cleaning the inside of the vehicle is just as vital as the inside of the vehicle. Take care in vacuuming under the floor mats and don’t forget to empty and vacuum out the boot of the car.


Remove everything from the vehicle except for the owners manual, logbooks and any receipts that relate to the vehicle’s maintenance (tyres, battery replacement etc.) Coins in the ashtray or glove compartment can rattle and be a distraction to the potential buyer when test driving the vehicle.


Cleaning the windows inside and outside is essential in presenting the vehicle properly to secure a sale. Wiping down the dash including the nooks and crannies on the stereo makes all the difference. There are leather seat wipes that you can use (check all labels and instructions before use) otherwise a damp, clean cloth over the leather seats can freshen the vehicle’s appearance. 


Steering wheels, gear knobs and door handle are the most touched part of the vehicle and renown for having finger prints that can look untidy. Wiping them down with a cloth will leave a great impression to the potential buyer.


Using tyre shine shows the buyer that you are willing to go the extra mile. 



Service and Maintenance


When selling a vehicle that is registered in Queensland you will require a valid Safety Certificate to be able to advertise the vehicle for sale. A Queensland Transport and Main Roads Accredited Examiner at an Approved Inspection Station can complete the inspection. 


The inspection is to check that the vehicle meets the minimum safety standard by the Queensland Transport and Main Roads Code of Practice. 


Regular servicing and maintenance on your vehicle will increase your success rate of passing the first inspection. If there are repairs required, the Transport Department allows 14 days to have them completed. A second inspection will then take place to complete the Safety Certificate.


You cannot advertise your Queensland registered vehicle for sale without a valid Safety Certificate. Fines do apply. 


Selling your vehicle before having this inspection completed is risky. There may be items on the vehicle that make it un-roadworthy. If you have already agreed on a price with a buyer this will then be an expense that you will have to absorb.


Having your logbook and service records available to the potential buyer will put one of the worst fears to rest. They are concerned that they are buying problems rather than a vehicle that they can enjoy. By showing them the service regularity and any major/minor repairs that have been completed over the life of the vehicle shows that you have looked after the vehicle.


Most buyers will research the type of vehicle that they are looking at purchasing. It is expected that they have Googled what the common problems with the vehicle are on forums and asked other vehicle owners that have had the same make and model.


Showing the potential buyer that this problem has been fixed definitely puts you in the front of the competition. 


One of the most common service items that will be asked about is the timing belt replacement. Has it been done? If not, when is it due?


Another common item are the tyres. Are they low, mid-range or high quality tyre. When were they last changed?











Always be honest.



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