Keep It, or Sell It?
There is a lot to consider.
If You Are Selling – This is how you sell high.
Detailing and paint companies like Island Detail & Color do a large volume of their business with car dealerships. We do complete detailing, bumper painting, scratch removal, paint protection, and all manner of pre-purchase beautification of vehicles before they are officially sold. You may wonder why a dealership would go to such expense when they are trying to turn cars over quickly to make a profit.
Well, there is one secret that car dealerships know and it is as true to private sales of used cars as it is to dealers. The secret is: customers are looking for a reason to NOT buy your car. This is a subtle distinction that makes all the difference. If they searched for the vehicle they want to buy, found your ad, came to see you for a test drive, they already want to buy it. It is exactly what they are looking for. When they do an inspection and test drive they are only looking for a reason NOT to buy it. Is it scratched, dented, rusty, or gouged? Is it dirty, smelly, stained, ripped or torn? If any of those questions answer yes, they will move on to the next seller. If the answer is no to everything, there is not a reason in the world they wouldn’t buy from you.
So if you are going to sell, it is imperative that you repair all cosmetic damage on the exterior of your vehicle, and do a thorough clean of the interior of the vehicle for the test drive. Do you have a scraped bumper? Gouged rims? Paint chips on your doors? These are all easily and inexpensively repaired at our shop, and the increase in resale value greatly out weights the initial cost of the repair.
If You Are Keeping – It is time for a refresh.
This is where it gets personal. Since you are considering selling but feel like you need to wait for finances or the perfect replacement to come along, you should determine what the biggest issues are with your current vehicle and see what you can do to remedy them and give you and your vehicle a bit of a second honeymoon.
A client of ours recently did this. He is ready for a new car, but is going to save for a few more years before making a big step up in make and model. To hold him over, he chose from our menu of paint services to get his vehicle back to factory quality to help him feel better about holding off on new wheels for another year. We painted his faded exterior parts, re-finished his rims, and painted his heavily chipped hood. Now he is back on the road and feeling very good about waiting for his next purchase (not to mention the increase in resale value that will come from all of the paint work).
Going to Buy Something Used? – You should talk to our friends at Parkside Motors.
Buying used is great and it gives you tons of options and gives you a chance to get a great deal. The only concern is getting a lemon and ending up with massive repair bills. When you buy a new home your purchase is conditional on the home inspection; For vehicles you should do exactly the same thing. Any time you are buying used, even off a lot, be sure to get a pre-purchase inspection from an non-biased third party. Our friends at Parkside Motors give some great insight into why you should do this:
There are a few very good reasons to get a Pre-Purchase Inspection. The obvious one is that you don’t want to find yourself buried under a pile of repair bills immediately after the large financial expense of purchasing a new vehicle. How does this happen? Well, even though the mechanic at the used car lot is probably very thorough in their assessment, and the salesman and staff are well trained and friendly, their goals are not always aligned. There is no way to guarantee that what is disclosed during your test drive is as complete as it could be, and if you do not have access to the technician that worked on the vehicle that is a sure sign that you should seek out an inspection from a non biased third party.
We are able to look into their vehicle’s maintenance history to see if it has had regular tune-ups and oil changes that follow the manufacturers suggested intervals to help determine if it has been well maintained. Irregular past maintenance is a very good indicator for premature wear.
Once we write-up our opinion on the necessary immediate repairs, we provide you with a document outlining everything we found. You are welcome to take that back to the car dealer and go over it with them. Sometimes when there is a large immediate repair that goes beyond a regular tune-up (alternator, timing belt, etc) you can often negotiate a lower price to accommodate the expense of the repairs.
Learn more about their pre-purchase inspections here, and heed their advice. Either you find out that the car is a great purchase option, or they give you some information that gives you leverage in your price negotiation. We consider that a win-win.