How to get a better value out of your used car

How to get a better value out of your used car image

Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted July 13, 2010 16:10

Some handy tips on selling your used car

We usually read about buying a car, but what about selling your current car? Maybe because you'd like to buy a new one or you're just tired of getting its problems fixed. Soon, more questions will come out; where should you start? How much can you sell it for? Where do you sell it? How will you get a better value out of your car?

When should you sell your car?

As a car gets older and accumulates more mileage, some of the parts degrade due to wear and tear. If you maintain your car religiously, you might see it in good running condition even after several years of use. But it will definitely start falling apart (not literally), and require more repairs other than the usual maintenance jobs. This would be a good time to decide on selling your car, while it still has value. Consider also the mileage you have used it, a car with a higher mileage might be harder to sell.

How much is my car worth?

This is usually the first question that pops in your head after deciding to sell your car. Since we don't have car valuation guides like the Kelly Blue Book or NADA guides in the Philippines, you can check for prices from the classified ads section of your favorite newspaper, website, or car ad magazines. This will give you a base price on how much to value your car.

Note that the real value of your car may not be exactly the same as the ones in the guides you referred to. There are several factors that may affect it like mileage, age, mechanical condition, time of the year and the likes.

Where do you sell it?

You can either sell your car privately by posting it in community boards, free classified ads listings, or through word of mouth. Or you can also opt for a trade-in through the dealer for a new car, or offer it to a used car dealer. The latter is the simpler option, but it also garners you lesser value than compared to when you sell it privately.

Can I sell a car that has a loan on it?

If your car was purchased under a financing arrangement with the bank or financial institution, make sure to settle the remaining balance with them before you sell it. The bank holds the title to your car, therefore you can't legally sell it until the title is clear. Give your bank or financial institution a call for them to guide you on how to clear the title.

How to prepare your car?

Sometimes, to get a better value out of car, it only takes some elbow grease. Make sure you clean your car inside and out; this includes the interior, trunk, engine bay, and windows. Wash and wax your car or even apply a three-step detailing system if you have one in your garage. You can also invest a little bit and bring it to a professional detailer who can give your car a reasonably better value at a minimal cost.

Bring the car to a mechanic to have it thoroughly checked for minor and major problems and try to have them rectified before you sell your car... this is a guide on how to sell your car in a legal and honest way after all.

If you have a complete service record, make sure to show it, as it will show the buyer that you have taken good care of your car.

Are there any legal documents required?

You will need to have a deed of sale fully accomplished, signed and notarized to legally bind your transaction and free yourself from legal obligations after you sell the car. These are usually available at law offices near the Land Transportation Office (LTO) or those that offer Notary Public services. The buyer will usually be the one to execute the transfer of ownership with the LTO.

Keeping these in mind, you will definitely get a better value out of your clunker and sell it like a car. Good luck selling!