5 tips to sell your used car at a better price
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Want to sell your car for more? Here are 5 key things car buyers look out for before offering you a higher bid for your car.

Category: Car Selling Advice


Some people say that second-hand cars have little value - but that's not true. There will always be demand for used cars (mostly when COE premiums shoot up). Yes, cars depreciate over time, but, you can still make the most of it and sell your car at a higher price.

There are many car selling options out there, but these tips hold steady across all methods:
  1. The popularity of your car's make and model
  2. Sellable car colours
  3. 'Safe' modifications
  4. Number of car accidents
  5. Did you buy from an Authorised Distributor or Parallel Importer?

1. The popularity of your car's make and model

Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen makes up the top three most popular cars with dealers
Toyota and Honda cars often ranked top on our used car popularity chart (number of cars sold in a year).

Generally, we see many used car dealers snapping up Japanese cars like Toyotas and Hondas because they're more affordable, easier to maintain and service. Furthermore, Japanese cars are popular among Singaporeans. Meaning, they are a lot easier to sell for a more significant profit margin. 

But, if you're selling your car by yourself, avoid making these mistakes when selling to a dealer or you might shortchange yourself.
 
 
2. Sellable car colours

Cars in Pearl White, Black, Grey or Silver are most sellable
Unless your car has an iconic colour, stick to the safe and sellable colours like Pearl White, Black or Grey/Silver. According to our Vehicle Inspection team from sgCarMart Quotz, these colours will improve your chances of getting higher offers. 

The used car market isn't as receptive to brighter colours. Don't be surprised if you receive a low offer for your used pink/green/yellow car. After all, it depends on whether the buyer can appreciate your aesthetic choices.

Want to sell your car quickly? Here's a guide to getting your car sold in 48 hours.
 
 
3. 'Safe' modifications

Dealers prefer cars in stock condition, as they tend to appeal to a wider audience as compared to personalised rides
Back in the 90s, performance modifications were all the rage, and your modifications could increase your car's resale value. However, stock cars are more sellable now.

Dealers are less interested in how much you've 'upgraded' your car, than how much value your car truly holds - they'd rather you uninstall the snazzy sound system and reinstall the stock one. 

For modifications, it's best if you stick to the in-house tuning for the various brands. These are the in-house tuning workshops that count when you're selling your car – they add real brand value and potential for higher offers.

Brand                    In-house Tuning
Mercedes-Benz AMG
Toyota TRD
BMW M
Volvo Polestar
Nissan NISMO
Audi Quattro/Audi Sport

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4. Number of car accidents

The resale value of your car can be severely affected if it has been involved in a serious accident
Please learn how to avoid getting into an accident and master these safety driving tips because an accident-free car holds more value for buyers (duh).

Accident-free cars reassure the buyer that there's been no damage to the major car components like the chassis and engine.

Minor scratches and bumps won't affect your resale value much, but it would be good to do some paint correction before listing your car for sale.
 
 
5. Did you buy from an Authorised Distributor or Parallel Importer?

Cars purchased from ADs are favoured by used car dealers because AD cars get brand-specific maintenance and can fetch a better price
While cars from Parallel Importers (PI) are attractive because they're more affordable (PIs obtain these cars from the vehicle production factory directly), cars from Authorised Distributors (AD) are better for resale because they've got specialised maintenance.

AD cars can receive repairs from both reputable AD and third-party workshops, but PI cars won't get the same priority from AD workshops and can only go to third-party workshops. Not all third-party workshops can fix major car problems, especially issues like major electronic faults and repairs requiring brand-specific parts.
 
 
Other considerations

Does your car fit the criteria we shared? If so, you have a highly sought-after car
Used car buyers will also factor in the vehicle interior, not just the exterior. Unusual wear and tear in the upholstery is a distinct indication of neglect and can significantly lower your car's value.

Last but not least, if your car's mileage is above the average of 13,000km to 16,000km per year, you might not attract many high bids. Cars with high mileage are prone to having problems and its off-putting to many.
 
 
Here are some related articles that might interest you

How to fetch a higher price for your used car when selling it to a dealer

How to get dealers to buy your car at a high price

Car Consignment - How it works and other options

Selling your car: Avoid these mistakes when selling to a dealer

Sellers of eight to 10-year old cars can get help from sgCarMart Quotz

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*This article was updated by Alexandra Cheung on 18/12/20

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