Getting your car prepared

Cleaning, grooming and touching up.

Seller's checklist
This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive checklist, nor does it need to be strictly followed. We do however hope that it’s a useful guide that makes selling your car easier. The full seller's checklist is available for download, it includes points like:
  • Paperwork that needs to be completed.
  • Keeping the potential buyer’s interested.
  • How to get your car ready for viewings and test drives.
  • Preparing to negotiate.
  • When to hand over the keys.
Getting your car ready for sale
A well-presented car is the first step to getting the best price when selling your car. Take the time to give your car a thorough clean, inside and out.
  • Vacuum everywhere – use specialist upholstery products if there are any stains.
  • Clean all interior surfaces with wipes or a clean cloth and soapy water, including inside doors.
  • Clean the windows and windscreen.
  • Extract leaves from bonnet and boot crevices.
  • Wash the outside with a good soapy car product.
Top cleaning tips for preparing your car for sale
Buyers are more likely to buy a clean car than a dirty one. Take your time and get into making your car look perfect!
  • Clean the exterior of your car when it’s cool outside or out of the sun for fewer streaks.
  • Spray cleaning products onto your cloth or sponge, never directly onto the car’s surface.
  • Baby wipes are great for interior surfaces as they have a magical ability to get rid of stains on most upholstery (disclaimer: test first).
  • Use automobile specific cleaner available from most supermarkets – as regular soap detergent can be abrasive.
  • Use a tyre shine and tyre degreaser product that can make a big difference to a car’s presentation. You can pick this product up at some grocery stores or speciality auto shops.
  • You don’t have to buy fancy brushes and cloths – a dish sponge and clean rags work just as well.
Once your car is sparkling, it’s ready to have its photo taken.
Taking great photos of your car
Photographing the car for your listing is an important part of the sales process. These photographs will give buyers their first impression of the car.
Like anything you're selling, you need photos to show off your car in the best possible way. We’ve created a comprehensive photo guide to help you do this.
The best shots for showing off your car are:
  • From the front – stand out to one side so you get the front and the length of the car, to maximise how much of it you can fit in the photo.
  • From the back – again, stand out to one side and take a shot of the back and down the length of the car.
  • Side on – getting in all tyres and panelling.
  • Stand outside and photograph the interior through an open window/door.
  • Dashboard - show the odometer reading and any alert lights that may come on.
  • With the hood of the car open, showing off the engine.
  • Any service papers or licencing that you would like to include.
Other photo taking tips include:
  • Take photos in front of a plain background, e.g. a neutral wall – ideally, one that is lighter in colour than the car so it stands out.
  • The best time of day to take photos is a couple of moments before the sun is either rising or setting. This way the light isn’t too harsh against the car paint.
  • Hold your camera low to the ground, about the height of the bonnet.
  • Photograph any outstanding features close-up. Similarly, photograph any damaged areas you want to note in your listing.
  • All photos must be in .JPEG format and under 5MB in size.