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Top 5 tips under $75 to sell your car fast

| Photo: J.Pritchard
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Justin Pritchard
Selling a used car? Consider these five affordable tips to make a fast sale

It’s finally time to sell that trusty ride of yours! Soon, you’ll get rid of an old friend, have extra cash in your pocket, and be in the market for something newer and better. What’s not to like?

Of course, a speedy sale is always a bonus, leaving you with more free time and less stress, and putting you one step closer to parking that new ride in your driveway. 

If you’re about to put your car up for sale, be sure to consider these top 5 tips to prep it for a quick sale. Each one is quick, easy, effective, and cheap.

1. Lose the smell
There’s a good chance that your ride stinks, and you don’t even know it. Nobody likes a smelly car, and with a few simple steps you can treat prospective buyers to a fresh and clean smell, which makes a far better first impression than the odour of old fries, dog slobber, and that 3-month-old chicken nugget your toddler stuffed into the back seat. 

First, bring out the vacuum cleaner and get into everything. Cost? Zero. Time? Five minutes. Then, wipe your interior down with a solution made from five drops of liquid dish-soap in a pail of hot water. Cost? Pennies. Time? Under five minutes. This magical cleaning solution melts through almost anything and can be used on your dash, windows, scuff plates or anything else.

And here’s the big one: the odour bomb. Go to your favourite auto parts retailer, like Canadian Tire, and look for Emzone Odor Stop. It comes in an easy-to-find green aerosol can. You release the fumes inside on a timed “fuse.” Press the button and leave the canister in your car for a few minutes with the air conditioner running, and watch (from outside) as the odour-eating vapour floods every nook and cranny in the cabin and gets pulled into the air vents, cleaning those as well. The result? In a few minutes, your vehicle smells like vanilla soft-serve, not forgotten food or footwear. Do a victory stretch — your ride will be sold before you know it.

2. A quick tune-up
Is your car running perfectly? If not, a quick visit to your local mechanic can set you up. An oil change, tune-up, dealing with any check-engine lights, and replacing burned-out bulbs can help your ride make an even better first impression. Furthermore, advertising that your vehicle has recently been serviced by a mechanic lets shoppers know that they’ll have one less thing to worry about.

3. Detailing
Look through your yellow pages for a local detail shop. For under $60, most of these will give your car a thorough interior and exterior cleaning job, lickety-split, to get it looking its best. Add a little tire shine, some spray detailer, and an air freshener for maximum effect. Though a full detail and paint protection package can run hundreds of dollars, a simple and effective wash, clean, and vacuum is typically available on the cheap.

4. Prepare your documents
You’ve likely got a pile of receipts, work orders, a bill of sale, and other documents that pertain to years of owning, servicing, and maintaining your ride. In most cases, these papers are stuffed messily into the glovebox, which means you’re missing an opportunity to show off what a great owner you’ve been. 

Collect all of your documents and sort them by date. Then, get a 3-ring binder and some clear plastic holders (about $5) and arrange them neatly inside. Show this binder to potential shoppers, communicating that you’re on the ball and that you take your vehicle and its needs seriously. Have you fed your car premium fuel and treated it to full synthetic oil changes for better performance and protection? Here’s a great way to prove it with some receipts.

5. Vehicle history report
Vehicle history reports come in various forms, but they can be an effective way to help speed up the selling process. Recent research suggests that private buyers aren’t necessarily afraid of buying a car that’s been in an accident (two out of three shoppers say they’re comfortable buying a vehicle with an accident history), though a lack of transparency is a common pain point for buyers. 

“Sellers that provide a CARPROOF report with the vehicle they are listing showcase their transparency, thereby removing guesswork and doubt from the process,” says CARPROOF President Mark Rousseau.  “This helps convince the prospective customer that the vehicle is what they say it is, because they’ve provided third-party validation of its condition and history. CARPROOF reports are available at and they start at $36.45 ― a small price to pay to sell your car faster and for the right price.”

So, whether your ride has been in an accident or not, shoppers want to know its history for maximum peace of mind — and a CARPROOF is a great way to show it to them.






Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert