Selling you car yourself is the best way to get maximum value for your car. Selling a car is a complex process – You have to think both about getting the most for your car, as well as meeting all your legal obligations. Here’s everything you need to know about selling a car in New Zealand.

Getting Your Car Ready

First and foremost, you need to prepare your car for sale. Good preparation can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars to your car’s perceived and sale value.

Start by cleaning your car thoroughly. Clean out everything in the car, including all ash trays, the glove box and all the windows and the dashboard. Make sure to wash the windows from both inside and outside.

Then wash your car thoroughly on the outside. Don’t just get a machine wash. Either clean your car thoroughly yourself by hand, or pay someone else to do it. By the cleaning is done, the car should be sparkling clean.

Fix any small dings you can. Use paintless dent repair techniques and airbrush touch ups to make your car look like new. Talk to a mechanic about how much it’ll cost you. Usually you’ll be able to more than recoup your investment in your sale price.

Make sure to fill up your car’s tires again. The pressure should be at the ideal levels, so that when prospective buyers test drive the vehicle everything will feel right.

Get all your paperwork ready in one place. Have the proof of warranty, the owner’s manual, your vehicle registration and any other paperwork you need all in the glove box.

Think Like a Buyer

Once your car’s ready, look over the car like a buyer. If you were buying the car, what would your objections be? Would you buy the car?

Whenever possible, think like a buyer. Ask yourself what hitches you might run into in the sales process by putting yourself in the buyer’s mindset.

Options for Selling Your Car

There are a few ways you can approach selling a car.

First off, you can try using a classifieds website. Selling your car on classifieds allows you to get a lot of qualified buyers to your listing. It can take quite a bit of effort however to get someone to agree to buy your car.

Another option is to just drive your car to a used car dealership. The car buyer will look over your car and give you an offer for the car right there on the spot. This method is obviously much easier than doing all the work yourself. However, the price they’ll give you for your car is going to be much lower than you can get on the open market – As much as 40% less sometimes.

At the end of the day, you need to decide how much work you want to put into it and what that work’s worth to you.

Get a Warranty of Fitness

If you’re selling your car on your own, most buyers will want to have a Warranty of Fitness (WoF) before they take possession of your car.

The WoF should be no more than a month old when you sell your vehicle. You can get this from almost any car shop.

Get a Current Vehicle License

If your vehicle’s license has expired, make sure to get it renewed before you sell your car. Buyers are wary of cars without licenses.

Report to the NZ Transport Agency

Every car sale in New Zealand has to be reported to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) immediately. It has to be reported by both the buyer and the seller.

You can do it by mail, through the internet or in person. The whole process takes just a few minutes.

If you don’t report the sale to the NZTA right away, you could be fined as much as $1,000. You could also be fined for a number of other things, such as having an expired license, at the same time.

If you handle all the technicalities early on as well as prepare your car well, you’ll reduce much of the stress that comes from selling a car and maximize your sale price.