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Smart Ways to Prep Your Vehicle for Sale

Hand washing a car

Ask any retail dealer or potential buyer and most will agree that the smart way to get the most money for your car, motorcycle, or RV is to prepare it for sale with professional reconditioning. In addition to selling your vehicle for you, most retail Consignment Pros offer services to elevate its value to the retail level and get it sold faster.

Here are a few things to consider doing or having done prior to offering your vehicle for sale:


This involves a thorough cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing of the carpets, interior, exterior, wheels and tires, and engine compartment. Having your vehicle professionally cleaned is the best investment you can make to prepare it for sale. It builds confidence for potential buyers that you have properly cared for it inside and out. According to many industry experts, preparing your ride for sale with a full professional detailing can return up to 5 times the investment when it sells.

Multi-Point Inspection

Most Consignment Pros will provide a written inspection of your vehicle and its major mechanical and electronic components. This helps get your vehicle sold quicker and for more money as buyers tend to avoid uncertainty and surprises.


These items are relatively inexpensive and will generally return more money to you in the final sale price while helping to sell your vehicle faster. If they are not completed, these types of repairs tend to be distractions and deductions from the price during the sale process. Here are a few examples of value-added repairs prior to selling your vehicle:

  • windshield repair
  • leather and upholstry repair
  • paintless dent repair
  • paint touchup


It is very important to review the Consignment Pros inspection report and consider completing necessary maintenance items. Some are safety-related and may be required before your vehicle can be sold and others should be considered to enhance potential buyers' confidence in the overall condition and soundness of your vehicle. It also arms the Consignment Pro with more positives about your vehicle in advertisements and during test drive conversations. Most buyer's know they will have to do future maintenance but few will pay retail price for your vehicle if they have to immediately spend more money on these items:

  • tires
  • brakes
  • oil changes
  • belts
  • battery life
  • wiper blades
  • engine and cabin air filters
  • tune-up
  • plugs and wires
  • leaks

Special advertisting and listings

Your Consignment Pro is a market expert and knows the best sites and places to advertise your specific vehicle. In addition to listing your vehicle on the most popular sites, he/she may also develop a special strategy with you to maximize your vehicle's exposure to its target audience.

  • specialty vehicles
  • classics, exotics, rare
  • targeted mailings
  • network of previous buyers

How to Use Retail My Ride

Use Retail My Ride to find a Consignment Pro (dealership) near you specializing in selling your type of vehicle, then contact the Consignment Pro to discuss their specific program details and requirements.  You can search by Zip code, City, County, State, and filter your search by vehicle type, including Autos (late-model), Classics, Exotics, Antiques, Vintage, Custom, RVs, Motorcycles, Wheelchair accessible, Commerical, or Trailers.

You can also request a free no-obligation consignment valuation quote for your vehicle before contacting the dealer.

Get a Free Quote:

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Retail My Ride is the best source for finding independently owned dealerships nearby that will sell your car, sell your RV, or sell your motorcycle for you on consignment. Hand them your keys, then sit back, relax and collect more money when it sells. It's that simple!

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