If the thought of selling your car privately brings you out in a cold sweat, then follow these five easy steps to selling.

Be Prepared

If you’re selling your car through a listing or online auction the first step is to get your car in tip top selling condition. Considering that the interior of a car is often dirtier than a house, you’ll need to give the car a thorough internal valet. Start by giving the dashboard and steering wheel a good dust, then wash clean with mild soapy water and a soft cloth. Use a toothbrush or small soft brush to get into nooks and crannies such as air vents. If very dirty, then use a vinyl cleaner.

Hoover the seats, and use upholstery cleaner to clean them up. If you have leather ones, then they should be washed with saddle soap. You should also feed and moisturise the leather with a good quality leather polish. Remove the mats, shake out, and hoover the floors thoroughly before replacing the mats. Add an air freshener.

Tax and MOT

Cars are far more attractive with full tax and MOT, so if the MOT is due within the next few months, book it in for a new one.

Wash the Exterior

Always use two buckets; one containing soapy water and one containing fresh water for rinsing between soaping to avoid grit damaging the paintwork. When you begin washing your car, it’s best to start at the top and work down. Begin washing by rinsing the roof of your car with water and then dip a sponge or a lamb’s-wool mitt  in car wash soap and water and wash the roof. Go row by row across the roof then rinse again. Rinse the rest of the car down to the wheel arches, then wash and rinse again.

Use a new sponge to clean wheels and tyres, because they may be coated with sand, brake dust, and other grit or dirt. You may need to use specialist wheel cleaner.  For fresh looking tyres, they can be touched up with a paint on tyre blackening paint-on product.

Finish the Exterior

A shiny car is a good looking car, so once washed, buff it dry with a soft cloth and don’t let it air dry. Touch up any chips in the paintwork with primer,colour-matched paint and lacquer, and remove scratches with a scratch remover. For shine you should wax or polish the car or use a good specialist ceramic coating company  for a showroom finish. This will also add a further selling point, as the finish will protect paintwork from pollutants and weathering for up to five years.

Advertise your Car

You should now be ready to receive buyers. Assess how much it is worth by thoroughly researching the make, year model and condition of other cars, then list your car with as many details as you can. Start by advertising at a price slightly higher than what you want, to allow buyers to haggle.

Harry Price is a freelance writer from a small fishin gvillage on the south coast.  He loves nothing more than walking wife his wife and 3 dogs along the many coastal walks in the area.