These are the most important points you will need to find out. If you think of any others write them down at this stage. Now fill in the blanks.
If you don’t know whether your car has a certain feature - you may find your owner’s manual will assist you here.
You can also telephone the car dealer who sells your type of car and ask him – they are often very helpful – just don’t sell him your car!
Now lets go on to the next step.
Step 2 - The condition of the car:
You are going to need to have some idea of the condition of the car as far as all cars go and as far as cars of your type and year model go.
It is important that you do this – once again it will help you later.
Inspect and rate (see my rating system below)
Paint Glass Tyres Engine Bay Upholstery Trim The Luggage Compartment Body Check the water in the radiator – is it clean or is it oily - it should be clean. Inspect the engine bay – is it clean, look for cracked hoses. Check under the engine for oil leaks. Check the lights, indicators Check the onboard instrumentation – speedometer etc Check the interior lights Check the radio, CD and air conditioning if installed Check any other special features your car has Check for missing knobs, buttons – these are easily replaced.
A workable rating system for estimating condition
New As New -- only slight imperfections Consistent with age Bad or non-operational
Anything in the top 3 you are on positive ground. The fourth one you will need to consider giving it some attention. If it’s a cheap fix then it is probably worthwhile getting it done. But as I will cover later, if it is expensive you may not recoup the cost of the fix in your sale price.
Make a note of anything that falls into the unexpectedly bad / non-operational category.
Take it for a test drive with the radio off
Listen for any unusual sounds – because this is what the buyer will hear when he drives your car. Do the brakes work well or are they spongy. Does the car pull to one side? Note down anything obvious.
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