Selling a car can be challenging at the best of times. After all, you want a good price to invest in a new vehicle. Unfortunately, pet wear and tear can hurt your resale value.
This may seem somewhat unfair. Not all dogs smell bad or leave damage, so why should car buyers show an unfair bias toward pet owners?
Nevertheless, it’s worth taking a little extra time to mitigate some pet wear and tear that can damage your car’s resale value.
Remove dog hair
Hair is one of the most prevalent issues for dog owners trying to sell a car. Indeed, some shedding is expected in your vehicle when your dog comes along on road trips or errands.
However, buyers can be less understanding when confronted by a vehicle still littered with hair. It’s, therefore, vital to remove as much hair as possible.
Some areas of focus here include:
Getting dog hair out of your car’s carpet can be challenging, but there are tactics you can employ to make a solid impact.
Using a pet hair removal brush with rubber bristles is an excellent place to start. This can be easier if your dog has been limited to a single area of the car during all journeys. Spraying the carpet with diluted fabric softener can enable you to brush up soft hair more effectively.
Unless you keep your dog in a rear compartment during journeys, your seats will likely have some pet hair on the surface. Wherever possible, you should seek to limit this by placing blankets or seat covers over where your dog sits as part of your pet-proofing steps.
However, you may find a lint roller an effective tool, too. These are fitted with sticky tape that picks up hair as you roll it across the surface.
Dogs can have relatively robust claws, even if you clip them regularly. Unfortunately, this can be the source of damage to your vehicle. Something as simple as walking across leather or resting their paws against plastic fixtures can lead to scratches. It’s essential to deal with these to mitigate any drop in value this might cause to your selling prospects.
Some approaches include:
Small surface scratches
Even minor and superficial scratches can make a difference to buyers. Therefore, it’s essential to make the relatively small effort required to deal with these. For plastic interior panels, gently warm the surface with a heat gun before buffing the scratches with a grain pad. You may be able to tackle light exterior scratches on the paintwork with touch-up paint that matches your car’s color.
Unfortunately, sometimes your dog’s claws have caused deeper scratches that can’t just be smoothed out or touched up. You may be able to obtain replacement interior paneling from your vehicle’s manufacturer or an auto parts store. Though, exterior paintwork or seating damage may be best tackled by a professional repair or detailing service. Before proceeding with this, it’s essential to consider whether the costs exceed the difference in the car’s value.
Present vehicle to buyers
Presenting your car to potential buyers has become more accessible in the digital age. However, selling your vehicle on marketplaces like Craigslist can benefit from solid preparation. Gathering the essential paperwork and determining your car’s value should include ensuring your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned to remove any lingering hairs or odors. In addition, you’ll need to pay attention to how you present your car in your listings to address potential issues about your furry passengers.
Some approaches to consider include:
Honesty is vital in any car sales situation, especially if your vehicle has pet wear and tear damage. You must be open about how much your pet has been in your vehicle in your advertisements. Be clear if there’s any damage due to this — even if it’s just minor — and provide photographs. Your transparency here can work in your favor. Buyers may take this as a sign that they can trust the accuracy of your listing and contact you with confidence that there aren’t any hidden issues.
Highlight cleanliness and maintenance
At the same time as being transparent about your pet’s presence in the vehicle, be forthright in communicating your maintenance efforts. This may include information about how your pet has only been limited to the rear of the vehicle or has strictly sat upon blankets rather than the upholstery. During phone calls or visits, outline how regularly you clean the vehicle and what repairs you’ve made to keep the car in good condition. This can help dispel potential buyers’ concerns about the consequences of a pet being in the vehicle.
Final thoughts on pet wear and tear
To sell your vehicle at the best possible price and swiftly, it’s essential to mitigate the wear and tear that has resulted from your dog’s presence in the vehicle. This should include utilizing brushes and lint rollers to remove hair, alongside addressing interior and exterior scratches. From here, you should be transparent about your pet ownership in your vehicle listings and forthright about your efforts to keep the car in good condition.
In addition, if your vehicle has more significant pet wear and tear, perhaps consider targeting other pet owners in your sales strategy. They may be looking for used vehicles that aren’t going to be ruined by taking their pets on trips. You could focus your sales strategy on pet owner forums or social media groups.
Miles Oliver is a proud dog lover and an outdoor enthusiast. He often writes on his patio with a hot cup of tea and his 4-year-old border collie mix by his feet. When Miles is not working as an independent freelance writer, he is most likely mountain biking and roaming the great outdoors with his four-legged companion.