10 Ways to Make More Money Selling Used Cars – autoevolution for Mobile #cheapest #rental #cars


#selling cars
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10 Ways to Make More Money Selling Used Cars

By Mihnea Radu | 2013-04-21 16:55 GMT

Everybody dreams of that lottery win that brings you millions and ends all your problems in one clean financial strike. But of course, most people are smart enough to know there s no such thing as a free lunch.

Supplementing your income is possible, but it will take some time and effort. Still, why not do something that you actually like and doesn t require you to drop your day job.

If you know everything there is about Ford Mustangs, MG Midgets or BMW M3, why not trade used cars on the weekends to supplement your income and rekindle your passion. Obviously, all business involves rick, so if you re not willing to lose your money, then you re better off leaving it in the bank. But we think these tips will help you maximize your profits.

1. Buy Low Sell High

It might sound like we re stating, but if you want to maximize your profits, you ve got to buy a car as cheaply as possible and sell it for the highest amount of money. To do this, emotions need to be taken out of the equation; you can t simply buy a car that you like in the hopes of finding the right person to pass it on to.

Just like the stock market, the used car market has a bit of an ebb and flow to it. Usually, both used and new cars are tricky to shift in the January to March period, which means it might be a good time to pick up a bargain.

Cars are connected to everything else that is bought using large amounts of money, so if a housing or banking crisis is on the way, expect people s desire to buy automobiles to suddenly drop. When the 2008 financial crisis became widespread in the media, people advertised their motors for as little as half of what they were worth just to ensure they wouldn t be swamped by their bank loans. They say hindsight is 20/20, but we think you ll agree that was a bad idea.

The days of dodgy car dealers and quick talking scammers are mostly behind us. Going online could yield much better finds than sifting through the weekly magazines in the hopes of finding. Of course, you still need to visit the car you want to buy and check if the description was accurate, but online auctions provide huge benefits.

For starters, since more cars are advertised online than anywhere else, the market is fairer and less prone to wild fluctuations. Some online auctions provide statistics about the average prices some cars sold for during a year, which can prove very helpful.

In addition, because there s such an abundance of cars on eBay you re pretty much guaranteed to find a bargain nobody else sees once in a while.

3. Trust Your Instinct

The blinking of an eye and the fidgeting of fingers has nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of an automobile, but you should always trust your instincts. If something doesn t feel right about the way a seller is acting, just walk away.

If you ve missed out on a good deal, you can always call him again, but if you re right you could save yourself a lot of headaches.

4. Check Twice, Buy Once

The most desirable cars on the planet deserve their status because they are fast and fun. That s why most have probably been street-raced and could have sustained major damage. A few dings here and there are a good indication of a honest car, but always take your car to a mechanic you know and have it checked out for rust and structural problems.

Buy with your head. Always inspect every fault and consider how much it would cost to put right. If it s more than what you re going to make in the end, walk away.

5. Stay Away from Complexity

The difference between a $500,000 and a $1 million home is in the fit and finish. It s basically the same story with classic cars, which is why you should stay away from the more complex cars out there.

A faulty window powered sunroof switch could give your buyer just the leverage he needs to pinch your pennies away. Cars like the old BMW 8 Series might seem like V12 performance bargains of the century, but they re really not. One faulty engine management computer could cost you more than the car itself and turn it into a total write-off. Which brings us to our next point

6. Life in Classic Is Fantastic

New cars tend to lose at least 40% of their value within the first three years. That means that if you buy a used VW Golf, it could lose 10% of its value by the time you sell it.

Classic cars are a different story. They ve already done most of their depreciating already. Some have said that buying these retro automobiles is a better investment than gold. That can only be true if you know what you re doing.

We think the key is to look for the modern classics right before they get their status. The best way to do this is to check out major tuning shows. If for instance the old VW Scirocco make a huge showing at the Worthersee GTI Meet, you know what to look for.

Probably the biggest way to make a profit in the used car business is to take out the spanners and fix things yourself. Specializing in VW Beetle service and maintenance for example could make the difference between doubling your investment and going broke.

This comes with the added benefit that if the job is done right, you might get a profitable call from your client a few years to service that Beetle once more.

8. Multiply and Think Bigger

Say you re a self-employed car mechanic. You make money by the hour fixing people s cars. If you hire somebody, that basically means you ve doubled the amount of profitable hours your have. Most of the time, this means you re going to make more money. It s the same selling cars.

If you ve learned everything there is about say the VW Golf V from a previous successful sale, than you need to capitalize and increase your success by doing that once again.

You did a lot of work on your first car, learning how to take the trim off to change a light bulb or how to change out a radio CD player for a navigation system. So the next time, you re going to spend far less time because you know what you re doing.

9. Failure Is an Option

Business is business, so failure is going to inevitably happen. Don t let yourself be bummed out by that one time you bought a lemon and find the best way to quickly change your luck.

Nobody likes to fail. To a person who want to be a little bit more successful in life, failure is gut-wrenching.

But as long as you keep your business small and do buy used Ferrari and Lamborghinis, you re going to be OK. In the worst-case scenario, you ve taken two steps back and need to rethink your strategy.

10. Talk to People, Advertise

Owners clubs know pretty much everything there is, from where to find the cheapest spares to what model years to avoid and which to seek out. They know what it takes to refurbish spokes on the E-Type Jaguar and how to fit a non-original Ford Mustang bumper.

They re also the best people to talk to when you want to sell a car. Advertising is just as important as buying and fixing. Inside information about specialist auction sites for classic cars can prove to be a life saver. Whichever website you chose, always go for the best quality photos to attract the most buyers.

We hope this article inspired you to go out there, combine your work and your hobby and supplement your income.


Top 10 Ways to Advertise on a Budget #affordable #advertising, #cheap #ways #to #advertise #your #small #business, #free #advertising, #advertising #tips #for #smbs, #how #to #advertise #your #business, #


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10 Inexpensive Ways to Advertise Your Small Business

Banner ads and print ads can be expensive. And they are not necessarily the best way to advertise your small or mid-size business. So to find how to get the greatest return on your advertising investment, Small Business Computing surveyed small business owners. Here’s what they had to say.

10 Inexpensive Ways to Advertise Your Small Business

Banner ads and print ads can be expensive. And they are not necessarily the best way to advertise your small or mid-size business. So to find how to get the greatest return on your advertising investment, Small Business Computing surveyed small business owners. Here’s what they had to say.

Invest in Google AdWords

Google AdWords and PPC [pay-per-click] can give you crazy amounts of traffic if you are tight with your campaign and run niche ad groups,” explained Andrew Riker an SEO specialist at WordStream. “Focused, long-tail keywords that are specific to your industry will cause the highest possible click-through rate and in-turn conversions.”

Riker adds that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a lot of traffic. “A small daily budget—$10-$20/day—can provide you with a large amount of traffic and in turn qualified leads, as long as the ad is relevant,” he said. If you’re new to AdWords or just want to keep up with the latest tips and info, be sure to check out Inside Adwords . Google’s official resource blog on all things AdWords.

Try Facebook Ads

“We tried print ads and banner ads, but for our money Facebook Ads provide us with the most focused consumers,” explained Chris Knollmeyer, Web manager for Carolina Rustica. “Being able to target specific demographics lets us pinpoint people we have not reached yet and provides us with a platform to reach out to them. This kind of targeting allows us to minimize extemporaneous clicks from consumers [who are] just browsing or searching for information and gets us the most for our money.”

“Facebook ads have definitely been the most successful overall,” concurred Megan LaBant Abrahamsen, the owner of Blue Star Bazaar. “I can set a small budget (less than $10 per day) and target specific customers – [by] age, gender, education and interests similar to my product categories.”

Even if people don’t immediately make a purchase because of the Facebook ad, many of them wind up “liking” her business, she said, which lets Blue Star Bazaar create a database of potential customers.

Get your Facebook Ads tips direct from the source: Facebook for Business .

Look into StumbleUpon Ads

“One of the best ways to advertise and get traffic to your website is by using StumbleUpon Ads ,” noted Chris Wise, the online marketing director at CustomerRave. “They cost as little as $0.05 a click, so for $5 you can get 100 unique visitors to your site. While the bounce rate is more often than not higher when using these ads, it’s a great way to advertise contests, giveaways and big promotions,” he said.

And if the content you are promoting proves to be popular and receives a lot of “likes,” you will start receiving free traffic from Stumbles, which can go on for months, even after you have stopped advertising.

Get Published Online

Another great way to advertise your business is to “submit articles on topics your customers may be interested in to reputable websites, such as Ezinearticles.com . Articlesbase.com . or TheFreeLibrary.com ,” said Matthew Kostanecki, a marketing specialist at Archon Systems.

“In exchange for the content, they allow you to include a couple of back links to your website. Not only does this provide you with potential traffic and leads to your business, it also helps establish you as an expert in your related field,” said Kostanecki. Can’t come up with a subject to write about? He suggests asking your customers about their biggest pains and problems.

Donate Products or Volunteer Services to a Worthy Cause

“I got the equivalent of $1,000 in advertising by building the website for the Rhode Island Rally for Recovery ,” explained Benjamin John Coleman, founder of The Origami Bonsai Company. And his investment of time really paid off—resulting in $5,000 in new business. That’s because when other vendors who participated in the Rally saw what a great job his company did building and maintaining the Rally website, they hired Coleman to help them with their websites.

Cultivate Bloggers

Find influential bloggers in your industry and ask them to review your product or service,” suggested Daniel Weaver, the president and owner of Daniel’sPromise. “Many will be happy to do so if you give them free product for them to use.”

That’s what Juppy, the maker of the Juppy Baby Walker, did. “When we started out, our company we didn’t have a lot of cash on hand to spend on advertising,” explained Mayra Sotelo, the COO for Juppy. “So we decided to seek out mom bloggers who would review The Juppy Baby Walker. This worked out great for us… because there is no better [endorsement of] our baby walker that fits in a purse than by a real mom who loves our product.”

And if you can’t find a blogger who will review and write about your product for free, there are also bloggers “who will write about your site/product/company in exchange for a fee,” noted Mike Scanlin, CEO of Born To Sell. And even with a fee, that kind of endorsement is typically more effective and less expensive than a banner ad.

Claim Local Listings on Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local

“You’d be amazed at how many small businesses forget to sign up for services like Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local even though it’s free!” explained Mandy Boyle, the SEO manager for Solid Cactus. “Claim your local listing, fill out the information and take advantage of people searching for businesses in your area,” she advised.

Use Community Sites and Local Directories

Leavy uses a site called Quentin’s Friends . an invitation-only network where members can post recommendations and offers for their products and services for a very small fee. “The service is location-specific, so my ad is going out to thousands of people who are specifically in my geographic area, New York,” she said. And Leavy’s return on investment has been an impressive 6,500 percent.

Link Up with LinkedIn Ads

If you own a B2B company, a good way to reach your target audience is through LinkedIn Ads . “We are a small business and our target market is small business users,” explained Damian Raffele, vice president, marketing, AnyMeeting.

LinkedIn Ads has worked well for the company, because it allows them to target a specific audience by geography, demographics, job title or LinkedIn Group. “Being able to target users who belong to specific LinkedIn Groups…allows us to design ad copy that is tailored for them, which has resulted in great conversion rates, providing us with a great ROI on our marketing spend.”

Distribute Flyers

“If you have a small business that focuses on a particular area, flyers are a great way to advertise,” said Nathan Letourneau, co-founder of CampusBooks4Less. And they needn’t be expensive. Chances are you have someone in your company, or a friend or family member, who can help you design the flyer inexpensively (or for free) – and you can print the flyer in house or find an inexpensive printer.

As for distribution, “hire some high school or college students and have them put the flyers on parked cars, attach them to house entry doors and distribute them inside area businesses (to employees and on any bulletin boards, if allowed) and apartment complexes,” he advised. “We saw huge increases in traffic after having students distribute flyers on parked cars in our target areas.”

While not every method will work for every business, each advertising strategy is inexpensive enough that you should be able try a few to find out what works for you. Also, many of the sites mentioned, such as Google AdWords and Facebook, periodically offer advertising credits or discounts, which small business owners should use to their advantage.


Five ways to increase a car’s trade-in value #car #warehouse


#trade in value for cars
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Five ways to increase a car’s trade-in value

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According to Edmunds .com, a new car depreciates in value up to 9 percent in the first minute it’s driven off a dealer’s lot. After five years, your car holds only 40 percent of its true market value — and that’s without all the other considerations that can reduce its trade-in value. Some things to consider doing when you’re ready to get rid of your car:

1. Make repairs: From major engine problems to minor maintenance issues or cosmetic, paint or upholstery defects, a vehicle in solid running order is one of the most fundamental value boosters.

Nationwide Insurance suggests talking to your mechanic to see if repair costs will outweigh trade-in value. No need to fully restore your car, but a vehicle in like-new condition makes a good lasting impression.

2. Clean it: Appearances count, and if the first thing a buyer or dealer sees is a filthy car, he won’t even bother looking under the hood to see what’s inside. A few hundred dollars for a quality carwash could increase the value of your car by thousands.

3. Prepare your records: Websites such as Carfax.com will have your vehicle’s history on file. Take the next step by saving copies of your maintenance and repair receipts. Document everything from oil changes to servicing.

4. Get an appraisal: Kelley Blue Book or NADA guides can only estimate what your car is worth. Contact a professional appraiser for a full inspection and true valuation of your vehicle. In tandem with repairs, this will give you more bargaining power when going to trade in your car.

5. Don’t settle: If you’ve learned to not take the first offer that comes along from a dealer when shopping for a new car, don’t settle for the first figure given to you on a trade-in. One of the best ways to increase the trade-in value of your vehicle is to shop your car around to several places and people for the best offer you can get.


The Best Ways to Transport a Car #book #value #of #a #car


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The Best Ways to Transport a Car

Cars driving onto a ferry. (Photo: cars entering nauvo – korppoo ferry boat image by monamakela.com from Fotolia.com )

Related Articles

Typically, when you think about moving a car from one place to the next, you simply get in and drive it. But if you need to transport your car a long distance, or even overseas, you will probably want to consider other options. The choices for car transportation run the gamut from professional auto transportation services to hiring a local college student as a driver. Your choice will probably depend as much on your budget as on your preference for how it gets there.

Open-Air Truck

The most popular way to transport a car cross-country is using a consumer-oriented car shipper. Most commercial car shippers put cars on an open-air trailer similar to the ones used for new cars. MoveCars.com, an online directory of auto transporters, offers more than 50 listings to request bids from brokers and auto shippers in the U.S. and Canada. Most shippers will give a time delivery window that ranges from seven to 21 days.

When you talk to the shippers, make sure to ask them detailed questions about how your car will be transported. Most shippers will move cars between certain city hubs, unloading and loading the vehicles onto other trucks in order to make the routes more efficient. The cost can also vary if you want door-to-door transport over terminal-to-terminal.

Enclosed Truck

If you are concerned about the effect of weather on your vehicle, you might want to consider using an enclosed truck. Although the cost is typically about 60 percent higher, it might be worth it if you re transporting in the middle of winter or it is a new high-end vehicle. An enclosed truck will also give you a bit more peace of mind regarding unintended damage to your vehicle. You should make sure that there is adequate insurance provided by the shipper in any case.

Professional Driver Service

Non-Professional Driver


Holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off #electric #cars


#car hire usa
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Holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off

1. Buy the basic package only

The secret to saving money on car hire is to buy the basic package only. Car hire firms make all their profits by selling you the add-ons, which are usually absurdly expensive. In particular, ignore pressure to buy their collision damage waiver (CDW) or super CDW insurance, which will cover the excess , usually 500- 1,000, not covered by the basic insurance. Instead, arrange your own cover independently – see step three.

Use online agents such as holidayautos.co.uk, argushire.com, auto-europe.co.uk to check hire prices first, but also look on the sites of the major players, such as Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Sixt. They often have special offers making them just as cheap as the brokers, and booking direct has its benefits if there are problems later.

Keep to on-airport operators – not only are they more convenient, but cheap off-airport deals can be a false economy when the car turns out to be a dud. Hire deals organised by airlines such as Ryanair’s link with Hertz are rarely better value than using a broker or going to the hire firm direct.

2. Bring your own satnav and child car seats

We tested the cost of hiring a satnav for a week in Italy with Hertz and were asked for €97 ( 78.50) for one week. In Spain, Europcar wanted 77.

This is a waste of money. You can buy a new satnav that covers both the UK and Europe for around 50- 60.

Child seats are more tricky. Hertz wanted 78.50 while Europcar asked for 74, and 60 for a booster seat. But if you are flying with a charter airline such as Monarch, it is free to take a child seat with you. Booster seats cost as little as 8 to buy in the UK, indicating just how overpriced the car hire deals are.

If you are flying on a low-cost airline such as Ryanair, check the additional baggage cost when booking. Ryanair charges 10 each way for a child car seat, so even with this extra cost it can still make sense to bring it along.

3. Save 100 by buying excess insurance

When you rent a car, the price generally includes insurance cover for a major crash, write-off, etc, but leaves you with the bill for the first 500 to 1,000. If there are any small scratches or scrapes, adding up to, say, 500 worth of damage, it means you have to pay it in full. So the car hire firms try to persuade you into buying super CDW insurance to cover this first 500- 1,000. But they charge as much as 150 for a week, compared to the 33 cost of buying it independently.

Insurance4carhire.com is an independent insurance company that will sell you an annual excess policy for Europe for 49, or 4.75 per day for shorter rentals.

Unlike the car hire firm’s own policies, its policies cover damage to windows, tyres, undercarriage and the roof, and the rest of the car up to 2,000 per single claim. If you damage the car, you pay the car hire firm the agreed excess and then reclaim.

Readers who have claimed say customer service and claims handling is quick and excellent.

icarhireinsurance.com is another firm in this area. Its annual European policy is 40 a year, but is not quite as comprehensive.

4. Ignore the sales patter at the collection desk

This is where you need to be strong. Don’t be persuaded to buy insurance you have already paid for (above). When you fill out the rental agreement, the local agent will try to sell you their super CDW that reduces the excess to zero. They will tell you that your insurance isn’t valid (it is) and they will try to sell you windscreen wheel, tyre, and undercarriage insurance (if you bought from the likes of Insurance4carhire, you will also have this).

Assuming you have a policy, don’t fall for it. We get lots of complaints about this, and the car hire firm is under no obligation to refund you because you bought two policies – nor is the agent you hired the car from. If you paid twice, it’s your mistake.

When you refuse the extra cover, the rental firm will pre-authorise a sum to cover the excess on your credit card – typically 600 or so in the local currency. This is normal and allows the firm to charge your card the excess if you do have a crash. They will also charge you for the fuel if appropriate.

You will need enough available credit on your card to handle both.

5. Check the fuel policy, the mileage and other extras

Before you hand over your credit card details, look up the company’s fuel policy. If you are driving a long way, does your rental limit the mileage in any way? If you are under 25, is there a surcharge?

A growing number of firms (for Spanish rentals in particular) now insist on a full-to-empty fuel policy on rentals of more than three or four days. You pay for a full tank of fuel and then bring it back empty, which is fine in theory, but if you aren’t using the car much you’ll end up paying for three-quarters of a tank of fuel you didn’t use.

Renters on the small Spanish islands report it being impossible to use a full tank of fuel. Even the big firms now adopt this policy. The only way round it in Spain for those on a week’s holiday is to go for a series of short rentals. Elsewhere, such as Italy, it is less prevalent, but starting to appear.

6. Note all damage, and video or photograph the car

This is the key moment. Before you leave, go round the car and look for any damage and mark even minor scratches on the rental agreement. Don’t leave anything off. Same for the interior. Check the spare wheel is there, inflated and undamaged. Check the car is full of fuel if it supposed to be, and record the mileage, if it’s restricted.

Once you have marked all the damage on the sheet, get someone at the rental desk to sign it – even if it is a long walk or drive back to the desk. If you don’t there is nothing to stop the firm arguing that you caused the damage at the end the rental.

Once signed for, there can be no dispute. Take a video or digital pictures of the car (especially any pre-existing damage) as extra proof.

7. Photo the car on return and keep the paperwork

Assuming you have done no damage, and have filled it up (if required), park it up and then take digital photos of each panel of the car, the wheels, the mileometer, and other shots.

Hand the keys back to the person at the desk. If late at night post them through the letter box. Be wary if approached by someone in the car park claiming to work for the car firm. One reader faced a lengthy battle after his car was stolen in this way.

Lastly, keep hold of the paperwork. Don’t throw it away, thinking the rental is over – it’s not.

8. Keep an eye on your credit card statement

Check your credit card statement a few days later to make sure promised fuel payments and excess charges are returned and keep an eye out in later statements that no extra payments have mysteriously materialised.

9. Fight any additional charges

If you have wisely bought excess protection, simply claim from the firm in question. If the claim is spurious, pass this on to them and let them sort it out. If you bought the car hire firm’s policy (why?) and the claimed damage is not covered – it rarely is – then it is time to go into battle.

Send a copy of the photos you took, and talk to the company. Some, particularly those in Spain, will ignore you. Take it up with the agent you made the booking through. They may help. If the hire firm has a UK presence, contact the offices here.

Ask for evidence of repairs that were supposedly carried out.

If you don’t get anywhere and know you are innocent, raise the dispute with your credit card provider. The card firm may again try to ignore it, but they are in the UK, and will be easier to tackle. It will then be up to the car hire firm to prove its claim is valid.

10. So which car hire company do you go with?

Shop around, of course, but one firm that we get relatively few complaints about is Holiday Autos. It has the advantage of offering a one-stop shop in that you can buy its basic rental – it also offers Insurance4carhire’s excess insurance in the same booking – albeit branded as its own total damage excess waiver.

Just remember you’ve already paid and don’t pay again at the rental desk. The downside to using Holiday Autos is that to ring it you must pay 10p a minute. It charges to add an additional driver – €23 for a week’s rental in Spain – compared to Europcar’s 60. Holiday Autos’ baby seat charges aren’t excessive either. It is part of lastminute.com, so you have a big parent company to complain to if things go wrong.


Holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off #rc #car


#car hire usa
#

Holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off

1. Buy the basic package only

The secret to saving money on car hire is to buy the basic package only. Car hire firms make all their profits by selling you the add-ons, which are usually absurdly expensive. In particular, ignore pressure to buy their collision damage waiver (CDW) or super CDW insurance, which will cover the excess , usually 500- 1,000, not covered by the basic insurance. Instead, arrange your own cover independently – see step three.

Use online agents such as holidayautos.co.uk, argushire.com, auto-europe.co.uk to check hire prices first, but also look on the sites of the major players, such as Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Sixt. They often have special offers making them just as cheap as the brokers, and booking direct has its benefits if there are problems later.

Keep to on-airport operators – not only are they more convenient, but cheap off-airport deals can be a false economy when the car turns out to be a dud. Hire deals organised by airlines such as Ryanair’s link with Hertz are rarely better value than using a broker or going to the hire firm direct.

2. Bring your own satnav and child car seats

We tested the cost of hiring a satnav for a week in Italy with Hertz and were asked for €97 ( 78.50) for one week. In Spain, Europcar wanted 77.

This is a waste of money. You can buy a new satnav that covers both the UK and Europe for around 50- 60.

Child seats are more tricky. Hertz wanted 78.50 while Europcar asked for 74, and 60 for a booster seat. But if you are flying with a charter airline such as Monarch, it is free to take a child seat with you. Booster seats cost as little as 8 to buy in the UK, indicating just how overpriced the car hire deals are.

If you are flying on a low-cost airline such as Ryanair, check the additional baggage cost when booking. Ryanair charges 10 each way for a child car seat, so even with this extra cost it can still make sense to bring it along.

3. Save 100 by buying excess insurance

When you rent a car, the price generally includes insurance cover for a major crash, write-off, etc, but leaves you with the bill for the first 500 to 1,000. If there are any small scratches or scrapes, adding up to, say, 500 worth of damage, it means you have to pay it in full. So the car hire firms try to persuade you into buying super CDW insurance to cover this first 500- 1,000. But they charge as much as 150 for a week, compared to the 33 cost of buying it independently.

Insurance4carhire.com is an independent insurance company that will sell you an annual excess policy for Europe for 49, or 4.75 per day for shorter rentals.

Unlike the car hire firm’s own policies, its policies cover damage to windows, tyres, undercarriage and the roof, and the rest of the car up to 2,000 per single claim. If you damage the car, you pay the car hire firm the agreed excess and then reclaim.

Readers who have claimed say customer service and claims handling is quick and excellent.

icarhireinsurance.com is another firm in this area. Its annual European policy is 40 a year, but is not quite as comprehensive.

4. Ignore the sales patter at the collection desk

This is where you need to be strong. Don’t be persuaded to buy insurance you have already paid for (above). When you fill out the rental agreement, the local agent will try to sell you their super CDW that reduces the excess to zero. They will tell you that your insurance isn’t valid (it is) and they will try to sell you windscreen wheel, tyre, and undercarriage insurance (if you bought from the likes of Insurance4carhire, you will also have this).

Assuming you have a policy, don’t fall for it. We get lots of complaints about this, and the car hire firm is under no obligation to refund you because you bought two policies – nor is the agent you hired the car from. If you paid twice, it’s your mistake.

When you refuse the extra cover, the rental firm will pre-authorise a sum to cover the excess on your credit card – typically 600 or so in the local currency. This is normal and allows the firm to charge your card the excess if you do have a crash. They will also charge you for the fuel if appropriate.

You will need enough available credit on your card to handle both.

5. Check the fuel policy, the mileage and other extras

Before you hand over your credit card details, look up the company’s fuel policy. If you are driving a long way, does your rental limit the mileage in any way? If you are under 25, is there a surcharge?

A growing number of firms (for Spanish rentals in particular) now insist on a full-to-empty fuel policy on rentals of more than three or four days. You pay for a full tank of fuel and then bring it back empty, which is fine in theory, but if you aren’t using the car much you’ll end up paying for three-quarters of a tank of fuel you didn’t use.

Renters on the small Spanish islands report it being impossible to use a full tank of fuel. Even the big firms now adopt this policy. The only way round it in Spain for those on a week’s holiday is to go for a series of short rentals. Elsewhere, such as Italy, it is less prevalent, but starting to appear.

6. Note all damage, and video or photograph the car

This is the key moment. Before you leave, go round the car and look for any damage and mark even minor scratches on the rental agreement. Don’t leave anything off. Same for the interior. Check the spare wheel is there, inflated and undamaged. Check the car is full of fuel if it supposed to be, and record the mileage, if it’s restricted.

Once you have marked all the damage on the sheet, get someone at the rental desk to sign it – even if it is a long walk or drive back to the desk. If you don’t there is nothing to stop the firm arguing that you caused the damage at the end the rental.

Once signed for, there can be no dispute. Take a video or digital pictures of the car (especially any pre-existing damage) as extra proof.

7. Photo the car on return and keep the paperwork

Assuming you have done no damage, and have filled it up (if required), park it up and then take digital photos of each panel of the car, the wheels, the mileometer, and other shots.

Hand the keys back to the person at the desk. If late at night post them through the letter box. Be wary if approached by someone in the car park claiming to work for the car firm. One reader faced a lengthy battle after his car was stolen in this way.

Lastly, keep hold of the paperwork. Don’t throw it away, thinking the rental is over – it’s not.

8. Keep an eye on your credit card statement

Check your credit card statement a few days later to make sure promised fuel payments and excess charges are returned and keep an eye out in later statements that no extra payments have mysteriously materialised.

9. Fight any additional charges

If you have wisely bought excess protection, simply claim from the firm in question. If the claim is spurious, pass this on to them and let them sort it out. If you bought the car hire firm’s policy (why?) and the claimed damage is not covered – it rarely is – then it is time to go into battle.

Send a copy of the photos you took, and talk to the company. Some, particularly those in Spain, will ignore you. Take it up with the agent you made the booking through. They may help. If the hire firm has a UK presence, contact the offices here.

Ask for evidence of repairs that were supposedly carried out.

If you don’t get anywhere and know you are innocent, raise the dispute with your credit card provider. The card firm may again try to ignore it, but they are in the UK, and will be easier to tackle. It will then be up to the car hire firm to prove its claim is valid.

10. So which car hire company do you go with?

Shop around, of course, but one firm that we get relatively few complaints about is Holiday Autos. It has the advantage of offering a one-stop shop in that you can buy its basic rental – it also offers Insurance4carhire’s excess insurance in the same booking – albeit branded as its own total damage excess waiver.

Just remember you’ve already paid and don’t pay again at the rental desk. The downside to using Holiday Autos is that to ring it you must pay 10p a minute. It charges to add an additional driver – €23 for a week’s rental in Spain – compared to Europcar’s 60. Holiday Autos’ baby seat charges aren’t excessive either. It is part of lastminute.com, so you have a big parent company to complain to if things go wrong.


Top 10 Ways To Get Top Dollar For Your Car #car #computer


#trade in car value
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Top 10 Ways To Get Top Dollar For Your Car

Although many assets appreciate in value as they age, a car is not one of them. Edmunds estimates that new cars lose as much as 20% of their value as soon as they are driven off the lot. But you can improve your car’s resale value and hold on to it longer by keeping it in good condition and allocating expenditures wisely. Read on for 10 ways to keep your car in peak condition – and preserve more of its value for when you want to sell it.

Spend Wisely on Extras

Some people are drawn to expensive stereo equipment or navigation, while others prefer safety equipment or a sporty but expensive spoiler. However, adding expensive equipment to a car does not necessarily increase its value.

Many vehicle owners think they will be able to recoup the cost of after-market products they have installed at resale time, only to be disappointed when a prospective buyer isn’t willing to pay for the after-market accessories, so be wary of installing products you like, but that others may not.

Consider practical products, such as iPod connectors. Similarly, a bed liner for a truck may be worthwhile because it helps protect the bed against dings and scratches, which can help preserve the car’s value.

Do Regular Maintenance and Check-Ups

Every vehicle manufacturer recommends regular maintenance ; the schedule depends on driving conditions and other factors. Manufacturers used to suggest changing your oil every 3,000 miles, but now some of them have increased their recommended intervals to 5,000 or even 10,000 miles, depending on driving patterns and conditions. Some car manufacturers recommend better-grade oils, such as 5W-20 instead of the usual 5W-30. Use the oil suggested by the manufacturers – don’t skimp on this one. If you do, your warranty may be voided because you did not follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for a new car. Regular, on-time maintenance will help keep your vehicle in good health and your money in your pocket over the long run.

Tire pressure is another important maintenance item. If neglected, low tire pressure can affect tire performance and safety. According to fueleconomy.gov, properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by about 3%. Keep tires properly inflated according to manufacturer recommendations. Don’t always go with 32/32 front and back; every vehicle is different, so check your manufacturer’s manuals.

Other regular servicing recommendations by vehicle manufacturers, such as changing air filters around every 15,000-20,000 miles and changing various other recommended fluids at set intervals (20,000, 40,000, 60,000, etc.) also affect the performance – and lifespan – of the car. Sometimes dealers offer special pricing on these services.

Always Keep Records

Document all repairs and maintenance with receipts, and save them in a special folder. When you go to sell your car, these can be used to show the prospective buyer that you have maintained your vehicle.

Check Your VIN Report

A vehicle identification number (VIN) report is like a car’s credit report. It is the first document a prospective buyer often pulls, before even looking at the car. The report usually discloses the full history of a vehicle from the day it lands on a dealer’s dock up to current ownership and includes changes of ownership, accidents, servicing, etc. Many dealers update this report automatically when they service a vehicle. That’s one reason to use the dealership for servicing, even though it might cost more compared to the local repair shop.

By checking the report every so often, you will know whether it shows all the activities or if any incorrect information has been added. If you see anything suspicious, instruct the insurance company that reported the incorrect information to the VIN-report preparer to correct the error.

Keep Mileage Under Control

An important determinant of a vehicle’s value is the amount of mileage it has for its age; insurance companies also take mileage into account when setting premiums. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, annual mileage of roughly 13,500 a year is considered average. If you drive more than that it will detract from your car’s value; if you drive less than the average, your car is likely to depreciate at a slower rate.

Looks Matter

Whether human or machine, first impressions are lasting. An ugly, ill-kept car does not reflect well on its owner, and experts believe that just by cleaning your car, you can add hundreds of dollars to its value when you sell. That doesn’t mean you have to use cleaning brushes every week and spend hours scrubbing and waxing. Just clean it periodically.

If you don’t have the time to clean your car, use a car wash. For more extensive adjustments to your car’s appearance. you can detail it yourself or take it to a detail shop. Use a coat of wax to protect your vehicle’s paint surface from nature’s elements.

Keep It Clean

Even if you wash and detail your car frequently, it won’t matter much if you treat it like a cafeteria or designated smoking area. Avoid eating and drinking inside your car, even on long road trips. Don’t smoke and don’t allow anyone else to smoke in your car. Spills, cigarette smoke and stains can ruin the inside appearance and smell of your car and lower its resale value.

Protect Its Appearance

Even the color of a vehicle can impact its resale value, so it is essential to keep your vehicle parked in a shaded place and to store it properly. If you live in an extremely cold or warm environment and you have the option to store your car inside, you should do so. Excessive sun can fade the outer surfaces of your car, including paint, trim and moldings. Additionally, extremely cold temperatures and environmental conditions can wreak havoc on your car’s internal engine components. By storing your car inside in a climate-controlled environment, you can help avoid costly and unnecessary repairs in the future.

Also try to avoid conditions that can damage the exterior finish of your car. Paint chips, gouges or fading can all decrease a car’s value. If your vehicle’s paint is less than ideal, consider having it painted prior to resale time and be sure to have a reputable paint expert or body shop perform the work. A nice-looking exterior finish can increase a car’s curb appeal and ultimately its value.

Although dents, scratches and other kinds of damage are sometimes unavoidable, it is important to remember that visible imperfections will impact resale value. Dent repair, a “light touch” procedure, can get rid of dents without sandblasting and expensive painting.

Other problems many vehicle owners face are rusting and unsightly stone chips. Repairing those chips with an inexpensive touch-up stick can dramatically improve your car’s appearance.

Fix Small Problems Promptly

Many drivers tend to neglect small problems as long as the car still runs. Unfortunately, these are often warning signs of a more serious problem. Taking care of problems in a timely manner, whether mechanical or cosmetic, can often save money and help you avoid frustration. If you live in a cold climate with harsh winters, be sure to wash your vehicle often to remove salt deposits that can eventually lead to rust. Whenever possible, have your car undercoated to avoid salt deposits from building up on the frame and the underside of the quarter panels and fenders.

Treat Your Car With Respect

Prevent excessive wear and tear by avoiding extreme start-and-stop driving, over-towing (or towing more weight than is recommended in your owner’s manual), excessive speeding or driving your vehicle in areas with poor road conditions.

Accidents, no matter how slight, can negatively impact a vehicle’s value and jeopardize personal safety. No matter how short the trip, avoid excessive speeds and erratic or irresponsible driving and always pay attention to the roadway and weather conditions.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want your current car to last longer or you’re looking to get the most value at resale, make sure you get the most bang for your buck by staying on top of maintenance and cosmetic issues. By following these simple steps, you can increase your car’s value and get the most money when it comes time to sell.


6 ways to boost your car s trade-in value – CBS News #trade #in #car #value


#car trade in value
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6 ways to boost your car’s trade-in value

You’re finally in tip-top financial shape to purchase a new car, but there’s one problem: How will you get your existing set of wheels off your hands?

You don’t have the time to deal with the hassle of a private sale, and you have no desire to auction it off.

You decide a dealer trade is the best way to earn cash for your vehicle with no strings attached. Afraid of getting lowballed by the car salesman? Don’t fret. Conducting research on the trade-in process and your car’s value will equip you with the tools needed to demand top dollar for your ride.

Let’s start with this video we did last year called “How to Sell Your Car for More Money.”

How trade-in values are determined

According to CarsDirect. five factors determine the trade-in value:

  • Year. Newer models get the most attention from used-car shoppers. “When a dealership anticipates a quick sale, they are more willing to pay a higher price for it,” CD says.
  • Make and model. If the model holds value or is in high demand, the resale amount will be decent.
  • Condition. Both the exterior and interior appearance are a component of the vehicle’s appraised value.
  • Mileage. The higher the mileage, the lower the trade-in value. “Even if the vehicle’s condition is impeccable, an odometer reflecting high mileage may make a consumer less willing to purchase a car at a price acceptable to the dealership,” CD says.
  • Desirability. If your car is popular among consumers, you’re in luck.

So, make note of the mileage and condition of your car. Then, visit a site such as Kelley Blue Book to get an idea of what the trade-in value will be. Note: These sites often offer several different prices, including the trade-in value and one for private sales, so make sure you’re checking the right one.

Other sites that provide trade-in values include Edmunds. NADA Guides. CarsDirect and Black Book. Check several of them.

Edmunds says the trade-in value will be less than that for a private sale, which requires more effort on the owner’s part.

Keep in mind that values can also be different based on where you live and what’s popular in your area. So be sure to look at what similar vehicles are selling for in your community or state. Check newspaper ads and other local sources.

So now you’re prepared to negotiate a decent price. Is the offer you’re getting from the dealership fair? Scott Painter, CEO of California-based automotive search company Zag, told Bankrate :

For a resale, the average dealer is looking to make between 2 and 4 percent on a transaction. So take whatever your car’s value is and add in whatever cost it would take to refurbish the vehicle. Then, add in 2 to 4 percent, and as long as the trade-in price you’re given is in that window, it’s probably a fair deal.

Now let’s look at some ways to improve your trade-in’s value.

1. Bring the maintenance up to speed

I’m not suggesting you spend a load of cash and give the car a complete makeover. But the better the condition, the more money you’ll make. AutoTrader notes :

When it comes to making repairs to your used car, you need to determine whether or not the repairs will actually increase the value of the vehicle at resale time. Most importantly, you need to determine if you’ll be able to increase the selling price of the car enough to recoup the cost of those repairs.

2. Don’t forget about the body work

Too many dents, dings and scratches can be hard on the eye. So, suck it up and fork over the cash to have them repaired.

Said Dan Ingle of Kelley Blue Book. “Dent removal experts can be very affordable — often charging only $100 to remove several dings. You will be saving the buyer the headache of taking it to the body shop.”

“For a major dent where a panel needs to be repaired, it makes even better financial sense to fix it,” Ingle advises.

3. Provide service documentation

This information should be present on the Carfax report, if one is acquired, but don’t take any chances. “Any and all fluid changes, tire rotations, paint or body repairs, engine repairs and service and any other related maintenance documentation is important to have because it demonstrates to a dealer the care the vehicle has received during the time you owned it,” says AutoTrader .

If you didn’t keep the receipts, ask the shop you used for the documents.

4. Detail your ride

Some consumers are more interested in a visually appealing vehicle than they are with what’s under the hood. Sheronde Glover, founder and CEO of Car-Buy-Her, told Bankrate:

“Make sure your car is clean. A good detailing job might cost about $50, but it could increase your car’s value by several hundred dollars.”

Want to do it yourself? Check out AutoTrader’s comprehensive auto-detailing checklist here.

5. Negotiate the selling price separately

Don’t mention your trade-in until you’ve negotiated the purchase price of your new vehicle. Otherwise, the salesman will talk about them as a package and make the deal you’re getting a source of confusion. NewCars.com advises. “If the dealer asks if you plan on trading in your car, do not say yes or no, just say ‘Possibly, but let’s just talk about the new car price first.'”

Not satisfied with the final offer for your trade-in? Shop around at a few more dealerships, and you may be able to get more than you were initially quoted because the demand varies by location. If a vehicle identical to yours has been sitting on the lot for a month, don’t expect to get top dollar for your trade-in, Bankrate says.

What tricks have you used to boost your car’s trade-in value?

2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off #car #trailers


#car hire usa
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Holiday car hire: 10 ways to avoid being ripped off

1. Buy the basic package only

The secret to saving money on car hire is to buy the basic package only. Car hire firms make all their profits by selling you the add-ons, which are usually absurdly expensive. In particular, ignore pressure to buy their collision damage waiver (CDW) or super CDW insurance, which will cover the excess , usually 500- 1,000, not covered by the basic insurance. Instead, arrange your own cover independently – see step three.

Use online agents such as holidayautos.co.uk, argushire.com, auto-europe.co.uk to check hire prices first, but also look on the sites of the major players, such as Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar and Sixt. They often have special offers making them just as cheap as the brokers, and booking direct has its benefits if there are problems later.

Keep to on-airport operators – not only are they more convenient, but cheap off-airport deals can be a false economy when the car turns out to be a dud. Hire deals organised by airlines such as Ryanair’s link with Hertz are rarely better value than using a broker or going to the hire firm direct.

2. Bring your own satnav and child car seats

We tested the cost of hiring a satnav for a week in Italy with Hertz and were asked for €97 ( 78.50) for one week. In Spain, Europcar wanted 77.

This is a waste of money. You can buy a new satnav that covers both the UK and Europe for around 50- 60.

Child seats are more tricky. Hertz wanted 78.50 while Europcar asked for 74, and 60 for a booster seat. But if you are flying with a charter airline such as Monarch, it is free to take a child seat with you. Booster seats cost as little as 8 to buy in the UK, indicating just how overpriced the car hire deals are.

If you are flying on a low-cost airline such as Ryanair, check the additional baggage cost when booking. Ryanair charges 10 each way for a child car seat, so even with this extra cost it can still make sense to bring it along.

3. Save 100 by buying excess insurance

When you rent a car, the price generally includes insurance cover for a major crash, write-off, etc, but leaves you with the bill for the first 500 to 1,000. If there are any small scratches or scrapes, adding up to, say, 500 worth of damage, it means you have to pay it in full. So the car hire firms try to persuade you into buying super CDW insurance to cover this first 500- 1,000. But they charge as much as 150 for a week, compared to the 33 cost of buying it independently.

Insurance4carhire.com is an independent insurance company that will sell you an annual excess policy for Europe for 49, or 4.75 per day for shorter rentals.

Unlike the car hire firm’s own policies, its policies cover damage to windows, tyres, undercarriage and the roof, and the rest of the car up to 2,000 per single claim. If you damage the car, you pay the car hire firm the agreed excess and then reclaim.

Readers who have claimed say customer service and claims handling is quick and excellent.

icarhireinsurance.com is another firm in this area. Its annual European policy is 40 a year, but is not quite as comprehensive.

4. Ignore the sales patter at the collection desk

This is where you need to be strong. Don’t be persuaded to buy insurance you have already paid for (above). When you fill out the rental agreement, the local agent will try to sell you their super CDW that reduces the excess to zero. They will tell you that your insurance isn’t valid (it is) and they will try to sell you windscreen wheel, tyre, and undercarriage insurance (if you bought from the likes of Insurance4carhire, you will also have this).

Assuming you have a policy, don’t fall for it. We get lots of complaints about this, and the car hire firm is under no obligation to refund you because you bought two policies – nor is the agent you hired the car from. If you paid twice, it’s your mistake.

When you refuse the extra cover, the rental firm will pre-authorise a sum to cover the excess on your credit card – typically 600 or so in the local currency. This is normal and allows the firm to charge your card the excess if you do have a crash. They will also charge you for the fuel if appropriate.

You will need enough available credit on your card to handle both.

5. Check the fuel policy, the mileage and other extras

Before you hand over your credit card details, look up the company’s fuel policy. If you are driving a long way, does your rental limit the mileage in any way? If you are under 25, is there a surcharge?

A growing number of firms (for Spanish rentals in particular) now insist on a full-to-empty fuel policy on rentals of more than three or four days. You pay for a full tank of fuel and then bring it back empty, which is fine in theory, but if you aren’t using the car much you’ll end up paying for three-quarters of a tank of fuel you didn’t use.

Renters on the small Spanish islands report it being impossible to use a full tank of fuel. Even the big firms now adopt this policy. The only way round it in Spain for those on a week’s holiday is to go for a series of short rentals. Elsewhere, such as Italy, it is less prevalent, but starting to appear.

6. Note all damage, and video or photograph the car

This is the key moment. Before you leave, go round the car and look for any damage and mark even minor scratches on the rental agreement. Don’t leave anything off. Same for the interior. Check the spare wheel is there, inflated and undamaged. Check the car is full of fuel if it supposed to be, and record the mileage, if it’s restricted.

Once you have marked all the damage on the sheet, get someone at the rental desk to sign it – even if it is a long walk or drive back to the desk. If you don’t there is nothing to stop the firm arguing that you caused the damage at the end the rental.

Once signed for, there can be no dispute. Take a video or digital pictures of the car (especially any pre-existing damage) as extra proof.

7. Photo the car on return and keep the paperwork

Assuming you have done no damage, and have filled it up (if required), park it up and then take digital photos of each panel of the car, the wheels, the mileometer, and other shots.

Hand the keys back to the person at the desk. If late at night post them through the letter box. Be wary if approached by someone in the car park claiming to work for the car firm. One reader faced a lengthy battle after his car was stolen in this way.

Lastly, keep hold of the paperwork. Don’t throw it away, thinking the rental is over – it’s not.

8. Keep an eye on your credit card statement

Check your credit card statement a few days later to make sure promised fuel payments and excess charges are returned and keep an eye out in later statements that no extra payments have mysteriously materialised.

9. Fight any additional charges

If you have wisely bought excess protection, simply claim from the firm in question. If the claim is spurious, pass this on to them and let them sort it out. If you bought the car hire firm’s policy (why?) and the claimed damage is not covered – it rarely is – then it is time to go into battle.

Send a copy of the photos you took, and talk to the company. Some, particularly those in Spain, will ignore you. Take it up with the agent you made the booking through. They may help. If the hire firm has a UK presence, contact the offices here.

Ask for evidence of repairs that were supposedly carried out.

If you don’t get anywhere and know you are innocent, raise the dispute with your credit card provider. The card firm may again try to ignore it, but they are in the UK, and will be easier to tackle. It will then be up to the car hire firm to prove its claim is valid.

10. So which car hire company do you go with?

Shop around, of course, but one firm that we get relatively few complaints about is Holiday Autos. It has the advantage of offering a one-stop shop in that you can buy its basic rental – it also offers Insurance4carhire’s excess insurance in the same booking – albeit branded as its own total damage excess waiver.

Just remember you’ve already paid and don’t pay again at the rental desk. The downside to using Holiday Autos is that to ring it you must pay 10p a minute. It charges to add an additional driver – €23 for a week’s rental in Spain – compared to Europcar’s 60. Holiday Autos’ baby seat charges aren’t excessive either. It is part of lastminute.com, so you have a big parent company to complain to if things go wrong.


Six ways to increase your car s resale value #car #trailer


#trade in value for car
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Increase your car’s resale value

By Aaron Gold. Cars Expert

Aaron Gold, About.com s Cars Expert, has been an automotive journalist for a decade and a half and has been writing for About.com since 2004. He contributes to several automotive publications and is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury.

If you only plan to keep your car a few years, it s in your best interest to keep its resale value as high as possible — after all, that s more money to put down on your next new car. These six tips will put your car well ahead of the pack and help to maximize its resale value.

1. Buy a car that will hold its value. Resale value is based on many factors, including desirability and reliability. Some makes, such as Toyota. Honda. Mercedes and Lexus. always hold their value well, but South Korean brands like Hyunda i and Kia have seen their resale values climbing steadily in recent years.

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Use a good used car pricing site, such as Kelley Blue Book or NADA. to research the resale history of models in which you are interested.

2. Choose your options carefull y. Some options, such as air conditioning or a sunroof, will improve your car s resale value; consider buying them even if they aren t on your personal must-have list. Remember that cars with a manual transmission often have lower resale values than those with automatics.

3. Follow the maintenance schedule and keep all receipts. You ll find the maintenance schedule in the back of the owner s manual.

Keep receipts for all maintenance and repair work. no matter how minor. A stack of receipts underscores the fact that your car has been well taken care of. Savvy used car buyers will be willing to pay extra for a car with a fully documented service history.

4. Don t crash. Any history of collision damage can ding your car s resale value, and a trained used car appraiser can spot body work from a mile away. If your car is in a collision, use an experienced repair shop with a good reputation and insist on using factory (also known as OEM, for Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts.

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Save all receipts and be up front and honest about any collision repair work when it comes time to sell or trade. Being evasive about collision repair may lead the buyer to believe that the damage was more extensive than you are letting on.

5. Resist the urge to customize. Spending money on your car can actually decrease its value. If you do have your car customized, stick to non-intrusive upgrades such as new wheels and tires that won t require extensive re-wiring or cutting up the dashboard. Save the old parts so you have the option of returning your car to its original condition before selling.

6. Keep it clean. The better your car appears to be kept up, the more it will be worth, and most people associate cleanliness with care. Washing and waxing your car on a regular basis will protect the paint and prevent oxidation and peeling — plus it s a much easier way to keep it looking good than paying for an expensive detail job when the time comes to sell.