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Should You Fix Your Car Before Selling It? Pros & Cons

Should You Fix Your Car Before Selling It? Pros & Cons

Trying to sell a broken or damaged car? Your first impulse is probably to try fixing your car before selling it but is that always the right call? In this article we’re going to go over the pros and cons you should consider before fixing a damaged car that you’re trying to sell.


Pros Of Fixing

Probably the most obvious pro of fixing up a car that you want to sell is that it makes selling part much easier. As a general rule, buyers are much more interested in a shiny working car than in a rusty broken one, and as such you’ll have a much more steady flow of interested buyers after you fix up the car:


That increase in interest also comes with a nice little increase in value for you as well, as you can comfortably charge more for a fixed car and expect to get it, since there’s more competition for who gets to buy the car.


Cons of Fixing

The biggest con of fixing up the car you want to sell is that it costs money to fix cars. It may seem obvious but in fact this con can be so major that it can invalidate the idea of fixing entirely. 


Essentially before you fix up the car you need to figure out how much it’s going to cost, and if in the end it costs more than the value of the car itself once you’ve fixed it, then there’s absolutely no reason to fix your car before selling it since you’d actually be losing money on the sale.


Fixing a car can also be time consuming, especially if you’re trying to do it yourself, and if you're trying to shift a car quickly you may end up not saving much time at all if repairs drag on.


Other Factors To Consider

Something else which may influence your decision is how you plan to sell the car. For example it could be that fixing the car is financially viable (meaning you’d actually make a profit by doing it) but only if you sell the car privately. If you were planning to trade in then it may make less sense to fix your car before selling it. Besides, most dealerships would actually rather make those repairs themselves from their own personal people, so they may be disincentivized from a trade-in if you’ve repaired the car yourself ahead of time. 


It’s also important to gauge how serious the damage is. If it’s purely cosmetic then it could be a cheap fix for a good return, but if it;s something more serious like engine problems then it could be a costly investment that doesn’t pay off. 


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