Tips to Get Rid of Your Clunker

 As a result of the economic crisis and the unstable job market, many car dealerships are offering great deals, discounts, and special programs in order to move their inventory.  This doesn’t help you if you are trying to get rid of your old clunker by selling it yourself.  On the other hand, if you are contemplating buying a new car, lady luck is on your side this time and you can negotiate for the best deal. 

On June 25 of this year, President Obama signed a fleet modernization bill known as the Consumer Assistance Recycle and Save Act of 2009 (CARS), or better known as the Cash for Clunkers Program.  This government program will allow $3500-$4500 off the price of a fuel efficiency vehicle when you trade in your clunker. This allowance is in addition to any other programs that a dealership might entertain at the time.  So if you are buying, these are great times.  But what if you are not?  What if you need to sell your old clunker for cash?  How can you compete with that?

There are many buyers out there that are not ready to buy a new car but need a dependable, used vehicle.  You are marketing to this group of buyers.  This group wants to get the more bang for their hard earned money, so you have to make your vehicle appealing to them.  The following tips will help you prepare your clunker for this market.

  1. Assess the condition of your vehicle.
  2. Research its current value.  Use Blue Book or any other source, to come up with a private sale price or street price.
  1. Clean it up, inside and out.  Make it shine!  You can do it yourself and save money, or you can spend a couple hundred dollars on a basic detail service.
  2. Schedule an oil change, brake check-up, and tune up.  If you are mechanically inclined, you can perform it yourself by changing the oil, oil filter, spark plugs and wires, and rotor-cap.  Replace the brakes, if necessary.
  3. Rotate the tires or replace, if needed.
  4. Although you are spending some cash, this will make your vehicle more attractive to buyers and will show a degree of ownership pride on your part that buyers take into consideration.  In the end, you will sell for a better price.

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