16 ways to increase your cars value

Adding value to your car or a car you intend to flip can be done simply by giving it a good clean. But there are lots of other things that can put more money in your pocket. From simple smart dent removals or adding a set of alloy wheels to complete restorations. But you also need to consider the costs and when not to do work to a car.

If you are looking to trade your car in it’s always best to present it in the best possible way so make sure you clean the car inside and out and have the service records ready to show. The same is true if you are a car flipper. First impression count for a lot in the used car market and a clean well presented car will do most of the selling for you.

 Take a look at some of the best options below:

1. Refurbishing alloy wheels and trims

Refurbishing alloy wheels or replacing old or broken wheel trims can improve a cars appearance massively. With the wheels being one of the first things anyone notices on a car it’s worth spending a few hundred pounds getting the alloy wheels repaired.

2. Car matts

Replacing a set of old car matts can make a big difference to how a car is perceived. Matts car simply be cleaned and refitted if they are in good condition. But should be replaced if they are heavily worn or have holes in them. Try to stick with good quality matts if possible and if they car manufacture branded items then even better. Don’t go with cheap rubber over-matts if you want to add value.

3. Machine polishing

Nothing can add value to a car like a machine polish or buff. I can work especially well on red or white cars. Faded or tired paint can often come up like new with just a few hours work. This can add thousands of pounds to a cars value. You can get a professional to do it or buy yourself a polisher and learn how to do it. You will find lots of information on how to polish a car online and we have written an article covering everything you need to know to get started here – How to machine polish a car.

4. Scratches and dents

Whilst its not always worth fixing major bodywork issues it’s often best repairing smaller scuffs and parking dents. Some scuffs can be polished out, but others may require a bodyshop. Bumper corners and wing mirrors can often be fixed by using a smart repair service. These mostly mobile services offer onsite spray painting and painless dent removal on small areas of cars. Again a small cash outlay can add thousands to a cars value.

5. Service history

I often buy cars with incomplete service history. But in some cases a few hours on the phone tracing the full history down can add huge value to a car. Service history is especially important on higher end cars and sports cars.

6. A professional valet

Whether you valet a car yourself or pay somebody to do it. A cars value and desirability can be vastly improved with a full pro valet. This is often the only thing you need to do to add value to a car.

7. Tyres

If a cars tyres are past their best then new or good used set of tyres can add value. This may also help with the sale as it’s one less negotiating point to worry about. You should never skimp on quality tyres on performance cars. The small saving will often put off potential buyer and cost you money in the long run.

8. Polishing or replacing headlights

Modern plastic headlights often go white and grazed overtime. These can either be polished pack up or replaced. Making a huge difference to the looks and value of a vehicle. You can learn how to improve tarnished headlights here – Expert car headlight restoration tips.

8. Reversing modifications

If a car has been tuned or modified, this usually reduces it’s value. Think inappropriately sized alloy wheels or spoilers. So by putting the car back to standard you can usually increase a cars value. Plus you can sell the aftermarket parts on to increase your profits.

9. Touch up the paint

Most older cars have some paint imperfections, either from stone chips or parking scratches. Spending little bit of money and a few minutes with a pot of touch up paint can take the eye off any small marks, and add really value.

10. Adding alloy wheels

If your car has steel wheels fitted, fitting a set of alloys from a higher spec model can add value. Genuine manufactures alloys can usually be found secondhand on sites like eBay. You can then sell the old set to recoup you outlay on the genuine set.

11. Windscreen chips and cracks

Getting the screen replaced if its cracked is normally cheaper than the amount somebody will want knocked off if you leave it damaged. Small chips can be filled and polished. It’s worth checking with your insurance provider if a screen is badly damaged as some will replace your screen for free.

12. Interior fixes and restorations

Seat bolsters and steering wheels can be easily upholstered, and worn gear gators can easy be replaces. Original cloth can be bought online and a good upholsterer will have the interior looking like new. Worn leather seats can also be re-died and cracks filled and sealed, cigarette burns can also be repaired in this way. It’s also worth replacing any missing items such as a switch or 12v plug covers.

13. Get the car serviced

A pre sale service can add value and its another point that can’t be used against you to bring the price down. It’s best to make sure everything is working as it’s should and make sure to have any advisories remedied before the sale.

15. Fixing a problem

Simply fixing general problems with the car can add value. Making sure all the mechanicals are doing what they should and replacing any worn parts will add value. Making sure any engine lights are off and that the air-conditioning is cold, can make car worth more.

16. Timing

Selling a convertible in the spring instead of the winter will add value. So can advertising a 4×4 when it’s snowing. Timing the sale of a car can have a huge effect on its value and the time it takes to sell.


Garages have been using the techniques above to make money since the car flipping business was invented. My experience has taught me that its often worth spending a little extra on a cars preparation, as you reap the benefits down the line. So don’t pinch the pennies when you are flipping a car or thinking of trading one in, prepare your car to a high standard and you will see the benefits.