If you have ever sold a used car then you know it’s a challenge to get it ready for sale.  As you probably know, there are lots of things that you can do to make a used car more valuable but some factors are beyond your control, like total mileage. The sales staff at Browning in Norco, a CA-based Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer say that to maximize the value of your used car, whether you trade it in or sell it yourself, you need to clean it up and fix things. Let’s take a look at some of those factors.


Unfortunately, this factor is a given. The most important thing that affects a price for a used car is its total mileage. It’s simply a fact: the less mileage a car has, the higher its resale value will be.  

Interior Condition

Although not quite as important as the exterior, the condition of a car’s interior is important.  The most important thing is that it must be nice and clean.  If the car was a smoker’s car, then you really need to clean it good because some people are very sensitive to smoke. 

External Condition

What the car generally looks like is quite important. If the exterior of the car appears to be dinged up, scratched, or has faded paint, it will not be worth as much as a nicer example. The more visually imperfect a car is, the lower its resale value will be. 

Mechanical Condition

Most car buyers are quite sensitive to the mechanical condition of a used car.  Even if it’s something simple, like a car needs a new battery, many buyers will “discount” your asking price right away.  The things buyers will usually look for are: the sound of the engine (and exhaust), whether there is any oil leaking underneath the car, and if all the accessories work (like AC).  Note: a nice thing to present to a buyer is a folder with all maintenance records if you have them.


No way around it: rust is an absolute killer in terms of resale value. People just don’t want to buy cars with rust on them.  It’s almost as if it’s a signal that there is little life left in the vehicle.  If you car has some minor rust spots that don’t require bodywork, it may be worth having them touched up by a professional.


Believe it or not, a yellow car isn’t going to be as popular as a white or silver car. It’s just a fact that some people are very sensitive to the color of their car. By the way, keep this in mind when buying a new car. If you want to resell it some day, you would be wise to stick to a more “neutral color” that will appeal to more people.


Some automotive brands maintain their value much better than others. Usually, cars that have excellent reliability history maintain their value better than others.  Just look at the prices that used Hondas and Toyotas garner, they are often twice the price of domestic car models. 

Image Source: carproof.com