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Secrets to reselling your vehicle

Published:Sunday | April 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Paul Harper, owner of TDC Auto Sales located on Old Hope Road. - Photos by Larenzo Dacres

Laranzo Dacres, Gleaner Writer

Even if it's your first time, reselling a vehicle is not rocket science. Nevertheless, there are some very important tips you should keep in mind that can help you sell that vehicle quickly and at a price that will have you smiling all the way to the bank!

Before putting it up for sale, it's good to know the highs and lows of your vehicle and more important, whether it has a high resale value.

According to a number of certified used-car dealers in the Corporate Area, the two brands of vehicles that have been spending the least time on lots are Toyota and Honda.

"Toyota is number one when it comes on to cars with the highest resale value and Honda is second in the running," said Kern Francis, director of GK Motors, located at 131 Hagley Park Road.

"Toyotas are very strong and reliable motorcars. They have the highest resale value for older cars because there is a higher market demand for them."

Francis noted also that the wide availability of parts as well as the proven durability of Toyotas further contributes to the high demand of this make.

Jason Gouldbourne, a soldier by profession who makes a hobby out of buying, refurbishing and selling vehicles, agrees with Francis on the high resale value of Toyota and Honda vehicles.

"Even a year after you have bought any of these vehicles, you can sell them back for close to what you paid. You can attract the same price or a bit more, depending on the additions you have made, as long as it's in good running condition. People trust Honda and Toyota," Gouldbourne said.


Another important factor that a potential seller should note is that the mileage of the vehicle normally matches the condition of the vehicle (mainly the interior); therefore, the price should reflect the same. This is one factor that the seller must look at when coming up with a price.

"You can't have a car that has gone 200,000KM and you are trying to sell it as a car that has gone 50,000KM. Mileage and the condition of the car must reflect what you are asking for it. The best possible condition you can have the car in, the more power you have in holding up your asking price," Francis disclosed.

He was keen to note that though the asking price must reflect the mileage and condition of the vehicle, the market plays a major role in determining prices.

"The condition of the market determines the price of the car. If the demand is high, you can sell it at even more than what it is valued. If the demand is low you have to sell it for less than it values to get the car moved because if you don't, you would probably have the car on your hands too long," Francis said.

Paul Harper, owner of TDC Auto Sales located at 43 Old Hope Road, concurs with Francis' observation of the market and demand of automobiles.

"Toyota Corollas, older ones like 91-92, don't value more than a $120-$150,000 because they don't have that much value. But, you can sell it for up to $300,000. People are willing to pay for it because the market drives that price. So you can get it at a higher value," Harper said.

"Generally, anything in the price range of $250,000 - $600,000 will sell in a jiffy, especially if it's a Honda or a Toyota!"

The interior

Most inexperienced sellers might not be aware that the interior of a car plays a major role in the sale of that vehicle. Therefore, the complete detailing of the interior is key, as you want your car looking as good as possible.

"A good interior normally helps, because once a customer comes to buy, the interior of that car will sell that car! The customer will make a decision based on how the car looks on the inside basically because remember, the outside doesn't say much, as a little water can wash off the outside and it will look okay," Francis said.

"So that's a key factor that sellers can pay attention to, to make sure that whoever looks at the car takes a great interest in it."

It is also important to have your mechanic look at your vehicle to make sure that everything is okay before you put it up for sale, so if there are any problems they can be able to deal with them prior to advertising the vehicle. This helps a great deal, as, if the customer sees the car and it is in need of some components, this mere fact will have strengthened their bargaining power.

So, it is wise to get the car serviced, and fix all the problems before you put it up for sale. This will make the difference at the end of the day.

Things that can be done to the vehicle to increase the possibility of it's being sold are:

  • giving it a professional paint job;
  • popping all dents;
  • making sure the air conditioner is working;
  • ensuring tyres are in good condition (no threading visible);
  • making sure that there are no scratches on the body;
  • ensuring that pedals and steering wheels do not appear too worn.

Times are hard so buyers will be harder to please, but follow these tips and you will be making a sale in no time.