How to Make a Used Car Look Brand New

by Contributor

If you're trying to sell your used car, you'll want to make it look as nice as possible to get the best value from it. There are several things you can do yourself, or hire someone to do to make a used car look as good and run like a brand new car.

Clean the inside of your car. One of the easiest ways to make your car look brand new is to detail the interior of your car. A professional will clean, dust, wash and polish your car's interior and give it a spotless finish or you can opt to do this yourself to save some money. Don't forget the cup holders, dashboard, console and vent openings.

Get rid of any stains you find and fix any rips in the upholstery. Be sure to clean up underneath all the seats where trash and dirt can accumulate. Vaccum everywhere and use an odor eliminator that will get rid of any spells inside the vehicle.

Fix any exterior body damage to your car, which may even include a new paint job. If you've had a fender bender or backed into something, your car may have scratches or loose bumpers. Take your car to an auto body specialist to have any cosmetic damage fixed before trying to sell it.

Repair any chips in your car's windows or mirrors. If there are other minor repairs needed to your car's bumpers, doors or body from being hit, such as small dings or scratches, use touch-up car paint to cover them instead of having an auto body shop do this to save some money.

Wash and wax your car's exterior. The first thing to catch the eye of a potential car buyer is the car's exterior. Wash your car, dry it thoroughly and wax it to give it a nice shine. If it gets dusty, rinse it with a water hose and dry it at least 30 minutes before a potential buyer is going to look at the car.

Consider buying a set of new tires. If the tires still have good tread, then use tire shine on the sidewalls, so they'll appear new and clean the wheels thoroughly. Buy new lug nuts, if any are missing or damaged.

Replace other small cosmetic pieces like missing trim, buy a new set of windshield wipers, replace any burned out lights or anything else you see that'll make the car look as new as possible. If you find any lens covers cracked, replace these and clean those still intact, so they shine. Clean or replace the gas cap, if damaged.

Make sure the car is mechanically sound. If possible, do any maintenance or repairs you can yourself to save money, but take it to an auto mechanic if you prefer a more thorough inspection. Lubricate all the door latches and hood and truck releases, so they don't squeak.


  • check To make the motor appear newer, clean it thoroughly. Get rid of any oil, tape up loose wires, replace the air filter (if equipped) and clean the battery cables. Replace the battery, if its more than four years old and change the oil and other fluids, if necessary.
  • check Don't forget the trunk and glove compartment. Clean out any extra junk, get rid of any stains you can and be sure there's a good spare tire and jack in the truck and all pertinent car manuals and records in the glove compartment.

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