Before you sell it
Recondition “hazy” headlights. An inexpensive conditioning kit from a local auto parts store will improve visibility and enhance a car’s appearance. (Learn more about restoring headlight lenses.)
Go for a “showroom” look. Remove exterior stickers and decals, and clean out interior storage, such as the glove compartment.
Get rid of stains and odors. Have your car detailed by a professional.
Find the right market. A private-party sale will usually be more lucrative than selling to a dealer. In general, vehicles in better condition have a greater likelihood of a private-party sale, whereas vehicles in worse shape may be more appropriate as a trade-in or dealer sale.
Know when to sell. Timing is important. The COVID-19 pandemic may impact these trends, but vehicle sales typically peak in March and April. Selling in September or October could be more difficult due to the typical glut of used-car inventory from rental car companies disposing of older vehicles.
How AAA can help: When you go the DIY route for last-minute fixes, save 10% on parts and accessories at NAPA Auto Parts stores.