The Pre-sale Detail - how to clean a car ready to sell
IN THIS FREE GUIDE:
- Learn how to prepare any vehicle for sale and make the best possible first impression on a buyer.
- Discover the best products to use and what areas to look out for to maximise your chance of selling.
- Master simple detailing processes that will not only retain the value of your vehicle but add value, too.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
- A good detail can make any vehicle appear to be 'well looked after' through the course of your ownership.
- Keeping an eye on just a few areas can create much more impact and leave nothing for the hagglers.
- Maximising value means more cash in your pocket, an easier sale and a happier buyer.
There's only one chance to make a first impression… and first impressions count for everything when it comes to selling your car!
Start with your engine bay
One thing that 90-percent of owners, and even dealers, never think of when selling their car is giving their engine bay anything more than a quick wipe over. The reality is though, even non-enthusiasts will almost always look under the bonnet, even if they have no idea what they're actually looking at. If it's dirty, it's a bargaining chip, it's as simple as that.
At the very least the condition of the bay can be seen a tale-tale sign on the condition of the rest of the mechanicals and, as a buyer, will raise questions on how well any vehicle has been maintained and serviced. But, the good news is that all modern engine bays are relatively straightforward to detail and dress, turning your dirty engine into a top selling point. This process can be carried out in a matter of minutes using Eradicate Engine Degreaser and Dressle All Purpose Dressing. Oh, and while you're under there, make sure you top up any fluids a that need it, too. Don't fall at the final hurdle.
First protect any exposed electrics or air filters, always avoid these with your pressure washer as you work. Give the whole bay a good rinse to remove any loose soiling. Many forget the underside of the bonnet here, so this is exactly where we always start.
Next apply a liberal helping of Eradicate, this powerful degreaser is completely safe on painted surfaces along with rubber, metal and plastics, so basically the whole bay and underside of the bonnet can be treated. With that in mind, always focus on the most contaminated areas, and reapply as much as you need as you go. Eradicate is designed to quickly break down and lift oil, grease and other tough contaminants, suspending them in the solution, and allowing them to be rinsed away safely.
Now the bay is clean, it's time to break out the Dressle! This water-based dressing will quickly transform the bay and can be applied to all areas while they're still wet. Liberally spray over the entire bay, close the bonnet and leave it alone. Once cured, Dressle will leave the perfect non greasy, dry-touch finish making it a great "spray and walk away' product, not to mention a nice surprise when your potential buyer lifts the bonnet.
Clean and Decon your wheels
And don't forget your tyres…
Give your car the safest and most thorough wash possible
Decontaminate like a pro
Enhance your paint
Cut out the swirls
Use protection for better looks
Of course, there are also other forms of wax-based protection aside from hard waxes. If time is a key concern, Radiance Carnauba Crème can be a great option here, while it may not be quite as durable (Radiance gives up to 3 months protection) this product has been developed to similar results to a hard wax, but in an "easy-on, easy-off' cream.
Glisten Spray Wax is another great option for adding almost effortless high-gloss finish and up to a month of protection. This advanced formula is a simple spray and wipe affair, ideal for treating hard-to-reach areas, and a little always goes a long way. Nothing is speedier, either.
Apply just the right finishing touches
A great little finisher that should never be underestimated is getting that exhaust tip gleaming with a little Mercury Metal Polish. Again, this polish uses light abrasives to clean away stubborn, ingrained oxidation, and to take away a little of the surface to reveal the fresh, clean metal underneath. Mercury is ideal for breathing new life into exhausts, brightwork, bare metal wheel lips and engine parts, and can be gently worked into surfaces using medium pressure and a microfibre cloth or Microfibre Applicator. Once you wipe away the residue, you'll immediately see the difference Mercury can make for a final finishing touch. We also have Mercury Xtreme for the extremely tough jobs which uses slightly coarser abrasives for added bite - think of this as a cutting compound, just for metal instead of paintwork.
One thing we're always asked is how to get the best finish on exterior and interior window rubbers… especially from those who may have gone a little wayward with their machine polisher! It's a good question because, as with any detail, it's the bad bits that really stick out!
Get your glass sparkling
Deep-clean and sanitise your interior
One last check before you sell
Need more inspiration? You can check out the full, in-depth video below...