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By: Graham Baylis
When the time comes to sell or replace your car, it is obvious that you want to get the best price possible for it, but how do you go about this? The first thing to do is have a ball park figure of what your car is worth. You can do this very easily by looking at one of the online car valuation sites which are free of charge to use and this will give you a base to go from. When you fill in the boxes and choose the options, be honest, there is no point in being economical with the truth as you are only fooling yourself at this point.

The one thing you must do is to make sure your used car is spotlessly clean both inside and out. This is something that many people neglect and to their cost. Don't forget that your old car is someone else's new car and that is how they will look at it, they do not want to be reminded that it has been somebody else's.

You can either do the cleaning yourself or you can have it professionally valeted and although this will cost a certain amount of money, it could well be money wisely invested and might not cost as much as you might think. Whether you choose to do the cleaning yourself or have it done professionally the first thing you need to do, is to clear out all personal belongings and any rubbish that may be lying around. If you are doing the cleaning yourself, the next job is to clean any dust from surfaces before vacuuming.

Remove any mats from the floor and vacuum all carpeted areas including the boot and the parcel shelf. If the seats are cloth, vacuum them too, making sure that you push the nozzle down into the back of the seats where the seat and the back come together. There can often be a lot of dirt and detritus in this area which is often neglected. Move the seats so that you can access all areas of the floor. Don't forget to vacuum the mats before you put them back into the car. Polish the dashboard area and clean around the handbrake and gearstick.

Do the insides of the doors too and make sure you clean the pockets in the door too. Use a proprietary window cleaner for the insides of the windows and polish to a shine. Make sure there are no streaks or smears. Once the inside of the car is spick and span, you can then concentrate on the outside. A power washer is an excellent tool and can be used to clean not only the paintwork but also the wheels and wheel arches. It is a good idea to use a proprietary car wash fluid which will not only clean all the dirt and grease off the paintwork, but also protect the paint. Dry the car off and polish the bodywork so that the car looks shiny and new.

You should have kept all the legal documentation safely so that it can be passed on when the car is sold. This should include the vehicle registration certificate, valid MOT certificate and any service records and receipts for work done on the vehicle.


Most of us have traded up in the motor car world at one time or another, wanting that car with a bit more power, more space, or perhaps just because we want a change. Graham Baylis has changed his car quite a few times in the past and provides some up to date advice on getting the best price for his car, courtesy of
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