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7 Tips for selling your used car

Ready to sell your used car? A little knowledge can save you a lot of heartache (and money). Get top dollar and protect yourself from scams with these effective tips.

Couple in a car handing over keys


Fix scratches and scuffs

First appearances matter. Help prospective buyers fall in love with your car by fixing up any minor scratches and scuffs that detract from the overall appearance. With 3M’s new car care kits, you can save hundreds of dollars (and increase the perceived value of your vehicle) by making the repairs yourself. Here are some of our favorites:

  • 3M Scratch Removal Kit contains packets of rubbing compound and scratch remover, an abrasive square, a foam pad and a little elbow grease — everything you need to remove light scratches.
  • 3M Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit lets you repair leather and vinyl tears, burns, and cuts.
  • 3M Wheel Restoration System includes everything you need to get rid of scuffs and scratches from your uncoated, polished aluminum wheels and restore their original luster.

Make it shine

Of course you’re going to toss the fast food wrappers and wipe out those sticky cup holders, but if you really want to sell your used car right away, you’re going to have to go a little further. Make your car sparkle inside and out by getting it detailed by a pro – or skip the expense and go the DIY route.

  • 3M Auto Essentials come in a kit that includes four spray-on products (all-purpose, leather and vinyl restore, wax, and tire cleaner) — everything you need to get it ready to sell.
  • Bondo Restore Black is an easy way to restore the shiny black color to tires, trim, bumpers and bed liners. Just apply with a sponge.

Have your vehicle inspected

Be prepared to address any questions about the reliability of your vehicle by taking the car in to a repair shop before listing it on sale. While you’re at it, AAA recommends requesting a detailed report that can be shared with prospective buyers.


Price it right

You probably have an idea of what you’d like to get for your car, but the only way to know you’re pricing it right is to do the research. Look online for comparable vehicles and use online resources like the appraisal tool.


Spread the word

Take advantage of social media by using Facebook and Twitter to let friends and family know you’re selling your vehicle. Expand your reach by listing your car on Craigslist, eBay Autos, and Not sure what to include in the ad or post? Check out these tips from Hooniverse.


Use caution when showing the vehicle

Be safe and meet potential buyers at a public location instead of your home. If you choose to show your car at home, make sure you have someone else with you. It never hurts to do an online search of the person interested in your vehicle before scheduling a showing. You might be surprised at how much information you can learn from a simple Google search. If you’re not comfortable with what you see or your search comes up blank, you may want to wait.


Complete the transaction

Congratulations – you’ve found a buyer. Now what? AAA recommends writing up a bill of sale for both you and the buyer to sign and have it notarized. Notaries can be found at a bank or any AAA office. Just make sure you collect your certified check, cash or money order before signing over the vehicle. Avoid being scammed by completing the sale at a bank so you can verify payment.

Quick tip:

Be prepared! Keep a folder with the vehicle’s repair and maintenance records as well as a vehicle history report from CARFAX.

Car buying tips:

How to get the most out of a test drive
10 Things to consider when buying a new car
Best cars for eco-friendly gals

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