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Fix dings and scratches before selling my car?

edited May 2011 in General Discussion
My 5-yr-old car is very good condition except for some dings and scratches on the surface. (Parking lot scars - why can't other people control their car doors?)

Should I go to the expense of fixing these before selling my car?

A note:
I don't know if I should sell private-party or not -- I leave the US in 3 months, so if I were scammed or the purchase were later contested in any manner, I would not be in the country to resolve the issue. If the time crunch dictates that I sell to Carmax or the like, I'm afraid that I would lose money on the repairs...

Help? Thanks!


  • You probably would, even if you sold it private party. It can cost $500 to repair a single door ding, depending on what the body shop has to do to it.
  • My understanding is that it usually doesn't pay to fix things like this, especially if you're trading it in or selling it to a dealer. If you did decide to fix anything, I'd only go with whatever a paintless dent repair place can do easily.
  • I would just have the car cleaned inside and out. As for selling it, get prices from Carmax, etc, compare them to what you might get private party.
  • Even with little dings and marks, a good wash and wax will make it look a lot better.

    IMO, it's better not to try and hide too much from a buyer. Let them see that it's not perfect. It IS 5 years's not like you're advertising it as new and perfect...right?
  • If you are selling it as a private party: wash it. Clay bar it. Wax it. If it has small door dings, find a paint-less dent repair shop. Don't spend more than $100. Find a detail shop if you don't want to DIY. Other than that, sell it as is.
  • edited May 2011
    Not sure what the body looks like. Sometimes it can pay off to fix dents on a premium vehicle. You don't mention if this is Hyundai or a high end car.

    On selling the vehicle do the transaction at the bank of your buyer. That way you can verify funds, have a witness if they are willing to provide and do it in a safe manner. Make sure to sell it as-is. DO NOT ACCEPT A PERSONAL CHECK.
  • And I wouldn't even accept a cashier's check, except at the bank it's drawn on. Scammers are unbelievably good these days.
  • The only time I would repair them is on a high end car. If this is a regular consumer car then not worth it, you won't recoup 50% of the money you put in.
  • One big problem is that you likely need the car until you leave. If so, you will be limited to selling to used car dealers, like CarMax. A private buyer wil want the car immediately and will probably not be willing to take the risk of you driving for a few months after they agree to buy the car. On the plus side, we had a van that CarMax offered us a great price on; we took it. If it is low mileage, nearly new, and in great shape, get quotes from new car dealers. If it's a Toyota, a Toyota dealer will offer abetter price for it than if you try to sell a Ford to a Toyota dealer.
  • People expect used cars to be imperfect. I would have it detailed if you can't do it yourself. A really clean car is a must.
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