Is it better to fix a car before selling it?

Asked by: Donnie Bailey  |  Last update: July 25, 2022
Score: 4.4/5 (26 votes)

If your car is having engine issues of any kind, they're probably not worth fixing. If the engine is knocking, jerking, making strange sounds, or emitting strange fumes, it's best to just cut your losses. It's possible that these issues could lead to a blown engine, which would be far too costly to fix.

Does repairing a car increase its value?

Keep in mind that repairs don't provide an excellent return-on-investment, especially if your vehicle has been involved in a serious accident. For every $5,000 in repairs due to an accident, expect your vehicle value to be cut in half, by $2,500.

Is it worth fixing a car for more than it's worth?

Edmunds offers a simple rule to follow: “If the cost of repairs is greater than either the value of the vehicle or one year's worth of monthly payments, it's time for another vehicle.” Remember, though, that repairing an old car is almost always cheaper than buying a new one.

Is it better to fix a car or trade it in?

It is almost always less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one. Although something as severe as a blown motor or a failed transmission will run you between $3,000 and $7,000 to replace at a dealership, such repairs still don't cost as much as buying a new car.

What should I do to my car before selling it?

7 Things You Should Do Before You Sell Your Car
  1. 1) Study the Market.
  2. 2) Assemble Paperwork.
  3. 3) Inspect It.
  4. 4) Detail It.
  5. 5) Decide How to Sell.
  6. 6) Craft Your Ad.
  7. 7) Clear Out Your Personal Information.

Should I Fix My Car or Sell It?

23 related questions found

What's the fastest way to sell a car?

5 Best Ways to Sell a Car
  1. Word of mouth. This can be one of the best, easiest ways to sell a car or truck. ...
  2. Instant Cash Offer. Kelley Blue Book's Instant Cash Offer is a great, hassle-free way to sell a car or truck. ...
  3. Trade-in. ...
  4. Sell to CarMax or another Dealership. ...
  5. Sell privately.

How long should you keep a car before trading it in?

If the vehicle is new, you should ideally wait until at least year three of ownership to trade it in to a dealership, as this is when depreciation normally slows down. If it's used, it already went through the big drop in depreciation and you can usually trade it in after a year or so.

What should you not do when trading in a car?

Common mistake #1:
  1. Not having any idea of your car's trade-in value.
  2. Trying to make your car “showroom ready.”
  3. Overestimating your car's worth.
  4. Not mentioning your plans to trade-in up front.
  5. Not getting more than one offer for your trade-in.

Is it worth fixing scratches on car before selling?

In some cases, repairing the dent can actually increase the value of the car, helping you to get more money for it. The other advantage to repairing a dent prior to selling a car is that it can help you sell your car faster. Buyers may be leery about buying a car with a large dent in it.

Is it worth fixing scratches on car?

Ignoring minor damage or putting off the repair could potentially see minor damage turn into something more serious. The paint on your car keeps elements like rain, hail, and dirt from compromising the quality of the metal underneath. Scratches create weak points in your car's paintwork.

How do you know if your car is worth fixing?

Typically, when deciding whether a repair is worthwhile, you should consider the value of the car versus the cost of repairs. A handy rule of thumb is that if the cost of repairing a car costs 50 percent of its value or more, you should consider selling it.

What if damage is more than car is worth?

If the adjuster determines the cost to repair the damages to the car is more than it is worth to them—that is, repairs exceed the actual cash value, or ACV, of the car—then it is considered a total loss.

What to do with a car that is too expensive to fix?

You have several options to get rid of your vehicle, including:
  1. Sell it to the repair shop, as they can use it for parts.
  2. Sell the vehicle online.
  3. Get scrap money for it.
  4. Sell to an enthusiast who restores vehicles as a passion project or to a younger kid as a fixer-upper.

What increases car value?

Keeping up with regular maintenance, making repairs, upgrading the features, having the right documentation and getting your car appraised by a professional can all help raise the value of your vehicle when you sell it.

What's the best time to sell your car?

The best time to sell a car is usually when you can get the most money for it. In general, that means selling when the car has fewer miles on it and is only a few model-years old. If you have a car loan, you'll generally want to sell your car only if you can fully pay off the loan.

What are some options that generally add value to a car?

Options that generally bring a good rate of return on the used-car lot include leather upholstery, factory-installed moonroofs and certain premium wheels. If you install something as dramatic as 22-inch wheels, you've personalized the car -- generally speaking, personalization detracts from a car's resale value.

How much do scratches take off car value?

A good rule of thumb is if the dent is visible from about 10 feet away or if the paint has scratches, it can cause a 5%-10% depreciation of your car's value.

Do dents decrease car value?

An average accident can decrease a car's value instantly (and permanently) by 10 – 25% annually, whereas an accident that only creates light damage (such as light scratches or small dents that don't impact the paint) will only decrease its value by 5-15%.

What do they look for when trading in a car?

He will check the odometer's operation, engine idle, acceleration, brakes, alignment, and the overall handling of your car. Most test drives last 3 to 5 miles or at least one click of the odometer. Used car appraisers that are great at what they do, have a set route they take every vehicle through.

How many years should a new car last?

Consumer Reports ( says the average life expectancy of a new vehicle these days is around 8 years or 150,000 miles. Of course, some well-built vehicles can go 15 years and 300,000, if properly maintained.

Should I clean my car before I trade it in?

There is no doubt you should clean your car before selling it privately or trading it at a dealership. An old saying proclaims that a clean car rides better, but a vehicle's condition also helps it sell faster and at a higher price.

Should I buy a used car now or wait until 2022?

While soaring used car prices are bad for those who can't afford a new car, they may mean 2022 is a good time to buy a car for those with a vehicle to trade in. A high trade-in price means added capital that can help reduce the finance share of purchasing a new car.

How fast can a car sell?

Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles

The average used car takes 34.6 days to sell, while the top 20 fastest-selling vehicles average 24.7 days and sell 1.3 to 2.1 times faster than the average used vehicle.

How long does it take to sell a car?

It would be better to go into the effort assuming it's going to take at least 4-8 weeks or longer to sell your car. If it happens faster, then you'll be pleasantly surprised. Armed with realistic initial expectations, now you have to figure out if you have a car anyone will want to buy.

Can you negotiate with CarMax when selling a car?

CarMax advertises “no-haggle” pricing, and it does not offer price matching or negotiation on any car purchases, sales or trade-ins.