How To Prepare Your Car for a Vehicle Evaluation

It’s common knowledge that selling your used car to a private party can provide you with more money than selling it to a dealer. In addition to the dealer’s overhead, another consideration when it comes to valuing a vehicle is the trade-in value.

Despite the lower price, people still tend to trade in their cars for cash. They don’t mind the hassle of waiting for a buyer, and they avoid the private advertising that can often accompany the process.

There are various steps that you can take when it comes to selling your used car. However, getting a car evaluation will allow you to get the most money for it. Below are some steps to take to improve your valuation report.

1. Clean the Exterior and Interior Thoroughly

The first impression that a potential buyer has of your vehicle is its outer appearance. Having a clean and shiny car makes a good first impression. However, if your car is dirty and has a poor interior, they might ask if the engine is in the same condition.


Be sure to first remove all trash and personal belongings from the vehicle. Next, vacuum the seats, carpets, and under the seats. If there are major stains, you may want to consider getting the carpets done professionally.

If the smell of your vehicle is still not desirable after vacuuming, open the windows and let the air flow in. After that, use a deodorizer. Lysol is a good choice, and many people already have it at home.


On the outside of your vehicle, you need to wash it. Don’t use a traditional soap as it can strip the protective layer of wax and the vehicle wrap. Instead, use a Meguiars Gold Class car wash. It can do a great job removing dirt and grime. You can use a natural sponge or a lambswool glove to dry the tires and wheels. Dry your car quickly after washing so that it doesn’t get left with water spots or streaks. To give your vehicle a shiny look, use auto wax after washing.

The best time to wash your car is before you take it to get a valuation report completed. This will have it looking its best before getting pictures taken of it for potential buyers.

2. Fluids and Lights

Make sure that your vehicle’s lights are working properly. Having them out could raise suspicion that the car is dirty and could cause you to get pulled over. Having them out could also be a safety issue for potential buyers.

Your vehicle’s fluids should be at acceptable levels. Doing this will allow you to avoid potential issues that could affect its value. Having these minor details fixed by a professional will allow you to avoid costly repairs and shows potential buyers that the car has been well cared for.

3. Gather All Keys and Documents

Before you start the car evaluation process, make sure that you have all the necessary documents to complete the task. Some of these documents will be used to confirm your identity, while others will help potential buyers see your car as more attractive. These will be necessary while getting the car evaluated.

Some documents you will need to bring are your vehicle title and the lender’s statement if you are financing. You’ll also need to bring all of your vehicle’s service records, which will include any repairs and oil changes that were performed. These documents will help potential buyers retain the value of your car.

You must also bring all of your vehicle’s remotes and keys. Having these items will allow potential buyers to inspect and value your car. In addition to these, make sure to bring an SD card for your navigation system.

4. Do Some Research Beforehand

The more you know about your vehicle before getting evaluated, the better you will be able to ensure you have it in good shape for the valuation. Start by noting the condition of your car. If there are scratches or marks on the exterior of your vehicle, they could be included in the evaluation. You can also remove these by using a combination of car wax and a small amount of water.

Make sure that the vehicle is in good condition. Having issues with its components could affect the value of your car. Be sure to give your tires a good check. Use a penny to verify the amount of tread left and determine if they need to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

It can take a lot of work to prepare a used car for sale, but it can pay off in the end. Doing so will allow you to walk away with a higher amount of money in your pocket.

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