Most drivers who privately sell their cars think that they can ask what the Kelley Blue Book values their vehicle. However, a car’s resale value is rarely as high as you think.

Below are five items to review to maximize your asking price. You can add value without much effort.


Missing Maintenance Records

Some people prefer to handle their vehicle repairs by themselves, but that only makes it more difficult to prove it’s in good condition. Attempting to sell a car without a complete or updated maintenance record is going to scare off most buyers.

Even if you change oil, add it to a logbook. Otherwise, there’s no way for buyers to know it’s cared for properly.

dirty car affects car's resale value

Dirty Appearance

They say that looks aren’t everything, but when it comes to car sales, you would be surprised how much it matters. A vehicle that remains scuffed, scratched, and dirty inside and out won’t fetch near what it could after a detailing job. One look can really depreciate the car’s value.

Even a quick rinse and vacuum at home can allow you to charge higher pricing. Don’t let a few weeks of neglect ruin your sale.


High Mileage

Once a car hits 100,000 miles on the odometer, it starts requiring more maintenance performed frequently. Even if it’s getting sold for an affordable price, buyers know that their repair costs are about to go through the roof.

Even the best-maintained vehicles can’t ask for premium price tags when they’re far over the hill. If you have an old, well-used car, know that it isn’t going to return what amount you expect.


Outrageous Body Paint

Six years ago, you were so excited about your favorite superhero movie coming out that you painted your vehicle a bright, cartoonish purple color. However, when you’re trying to sell it, it’s likely not going to work.

Neutral colors, like what you see at a car lot, are what continue to sell the most. If you have a custom paint job done, you may want niche buyers.


After Market Add-Ons

We can all but guarantee that a buyer is not going to care about the spoiler you added to your Prius. When buyers see unnecessary aftermarket added parts, sellers likely cause them to drive their purchase price lower.

People want to know that their purchased vehicles come standard. Unless you’re selling racing cars, you might hurt your own sale.