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5 Great Reasons to Detail Your Car Before Selling

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When you’re getting ready to look for a new car, it’s important to figure out what to do with your current car.  While you may be done with a particle vehicle, it’s someone else’s dream car. A dealership knows this and will be looking for indicators your car will be a good fit for them to resell. A buy here pay here car lots will give you more for your car if it will be easy to sell. 

First impressions are important, and what better way to make a first impression than by getting your car detailed before you sell. Perhaps this sounds counterintuitive to spend money on a car you’re going to sell but here are 5 great reasons to detail your car before selling it. 

1. Detailing is Personal

Sure you’ve been to an automated car wash. Your car is strapped into an assembly line machine that has cleaned every other car before. But when you have your car professionally detailed one individual or a small team is singularly focused only on your car. No two detailing jobs are the same, as each car has specific needs to look as nice as possible.

While they spend time detailing your car, they will make sure each surface both inside and outside looks as good as possible, sometimes even making a car look brand new. Will the car be cleaned in the process? Absolutely, but a proper detailing will take the cleaning process to a whole new level, dazzling both yourself and the dealership you will bring your car for sale. 

2. Detailing is Protective

Water, salt, dirt, even bird droppings can be corrosive to a car’s paint job and compromised the car’s integrity. While a car is being detailed, not only will all these substances be removed but the detailer will add a protectant to the exterior and interior of the vehicle. Obviously the glass and paint will need different care, and a detailer will take the time to ensure your car is protected.

The wheels are one of the most important places the protectant can help. Over time, asbestos dust from the breaks can wear out the wheel, which could result in a projectile tire. But detailing will not only remove the dust but the added coating will make it harder for the dust or other substances to remain on your vehicle for long. 

While yes, the protective surface does make the car shiny, which is helpful for its resale value. Knowing your car will be protected from the elements before you sell can give you peace of mind that your freshly detailed car is going to look better longer and be a good investment for someone else. 

But it’s not simply the exterior that is protected. After a thorough cleaning of the leather or upholstery, it will be brushed or conditioned to look almost like new. The interior plastic components will be cleaned and dusted, floor mats scrubbed and the windows cleaned from the inside. If you have kids you know their fingerprints get everywhere!

It may sound silly but the interior of the car is often overlooked when being cleaned. But the interior being cleaned is so important when you’re selling your car so be sure to get your car detailed so nothing is forgotten. 

3. Detailing is Particular. 

During a detailing job, every crack and crevice will be inspected and cleaned and protected. The restorative nature of the detailing will make a car looking better than ever. It’s aptly named a “detail” because no detail is too small to be cleaned and you can be assured your car is looking it’s best. 

Do you have some bumps in your paint job? A good detailer can buff some of them out. (Larger scratches or dents may not be erased but can certainly look better.) By giving your car a little TLC you can be sure that your ordinary car will seem extraordinary, making it more likely to be appreciated when it’s for sale. 

Perhaps you have some corrosion on your car already? A detailer may be able to buff out some of the rust and extend the lifespan of your car by protecting it. This can be a more complicated option and isn’t included in most packages but is certainly a wonderful addition to a detailing. 

4. Detailing is Professional

While you may think you can save some money by detailing your car yourself, this is a situation where it is best to bring in a professional. Not only will a respected car detailer know how best to remove the build-up your car has but they will understand how to best protect the car in the future. 

The coatings used during detailing have a steep learning curve, either too much or too little can affect whether it works correctly. You don’t want to get halfway through the job and realize you don’t have the correct brush. Some vehicles have different needs than others, so bringing in a professional who has all the specific equipment and knowledge is absolutely worth it. 

While you may have several options for a car detailer in your area, pick someone with experience if possible. Spending time finding the right person to detail your car is smart car ownership. Be certain a detailer is prepared and licensed with knowledge of your specific vehicle. Or be sure to take your time if you’re attempting a DIY job. 

5. Detailing Helps the Price

A car that is looking good and smelling good is going to be a car people want. If you have a car a dealership wants, you are in a better place to negotiate for a better trade-in value. A good dealership is going to want cars that have been cared for and knowing a car has been detailed is an immediate indicator that a vehicle has been treated well. 

Obviously, you want to get the most money possible for your car, and sometimes you need to spend some money to make money, car detailing is one of those situations. A quality detailing job will improve the lifespan of your car makes it look desirable. 


A clean, freshly detailed car is going to make your car stand out in a crowd which will have the dealership eager to assist you in the sale of your car. These 5 tips are good reminders why detailing is important, not just for your current car but for the cars in your future as well. Regularly detailing your call is never a bad idea, but it’s never too late. 

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