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What’s in Your Garage Podcast Episode #11 Bob Aldons Speaks to Monte Huebsch About The Top 10 Tips For Selling Your Car

Monte: Hello! This morning I’m talking with Bob Aldons, the owner of Car Business, and we’re going to discuss the best ways to get the most value for your trade in on your used car. G’day Bob, How are you?
Bob Aldons: Good day Monte, mate I’m fantastic, getting close to Christmas so yes…Good time for a break and a great time to get your car ready for Summer.
Bob Aldons: Good day Monte, mate I’m fantastic, getting close to Christmas so yes…Good time for a break and a great time to get your car ready for Summer.
Monte: Bob we known each other for a while? And I bought a number of cars off of you. What I’m more interested in, I’ve always handed down my previous cars to my son, but for people that want to sell their car and realize the greatest value in that process, can you give us the best do’s and don’ts?
Bob Aldons: Sure mate. It never ceases to amaze me the condition that people present their vehicle in when I want to trade it or sell it privately and you know, there’s just 10 suggestions, tips, ideas that I’ve got that will help someone who’s looking to sell a car, maximize the value, and they’re not difficult things to do. A lot of home handy people could do it by themselves, the others you’re going to have to bring in a contractor to get the work done. But no matter what you spend, you will recover that by way of an increased trade value or an increased value when you’re selling it privately. So, you know, let me get into them, and there’s really obvious ones. And Monte, the first one is one of my favourites. And it’s those gutter rashes that people have on their alloy wheels where they pack too close to the gutter.
Monte:  I’m guilty of that
Bob Aldons: And I’m guilty too, you know, I’ve just got to a fairly new BMW M3 and the first day I had it, I parked too close to the gutter and $125 later I had it fixed.
Monte: Right?
Bob Aldons: It’s all about first impressions, Monte. You know, when a valuer of from a car dealership or a private buyer wanders around the vehicle if they see these gutter rashes, where someone’s driven into a curve, the first thing the, the professional value does is say how many wheels need to be repaid? And then I upped the ante. They can get them done for $120 – $125, but they’ll allow $200 a wheel to have those repairs done, and most people have at least the two curb-side wheels that have brushed up against the concrete gutters. So there’s a couple of hundred dollars or $250, that is well invested to have those repaired. Providing you don’t do it again before you go to sell your car.
Monte: OK?
Bob Aldons: And number 2, number 2 is, an interesting one. Marks, scratches and dents. Now when I have a car that I bought or traded, that’s got a car park dent in it. Um, I’ll ring my mate Trevor and Trevor will come out and for about $30 per dent, he’ll remove the dent, so you can’t see it anymore. And he is a magician. I’ve had some cars that I thought, no way, can Trevor do anything on this. And he uses the paintless dent removal technique and prods and squeezes and pries those dents out, so you can’t see them anymore. And again, he’s a magician. You’ve got to get an expert to do that. You can’t do that one yourself, but boy-o-boy does it make a difference to the appearance of the car?
Monte: OK? Got that one.
Bob Aldons: Number 3, bumper bar scratches, and you can pick those up in car parks, in your own garage and from a presentation point of view, they look terrible. Again, I will be bringing in a contractor a, I’ve got a guy called Tony Doyle from Superfinish. He’s a mobile repairer and he’ll come out to my store and he’ll repair and repaint front and rear bars if it needs it, about $200 per bar providing there’s not gouges that he has to fill. But again, that first impression walking around the vehicle, you know, think about it yourself Monte, you see a car with scratches and marks on bumper bars, the first thing you think of, I’m going to have to get those repaired. I don’t like the look of that and in your mind, you’ll think in the panel shop $500, thousand dollars when it can be done for half that price.
Monte: OK. I think we’re now up to about $400 or $500. I’m putting in my car.
Bob Aldons: And number 4 and you’ll see this on mainly older cars. Cars that are five years of age or older is discoloured headlights now for the last 15 years, manufacturers have been using plastic in headlights, not glass. Remember the seventies and older and we all had glass head lights, but in the last 15, maybe 20 years, manufacturers have gone to a polycarbonate lens for the headlight. Why? Cause it’s cheaper to manufacture, it’s light so it reduces the weight of the vehicle that improves fuel consumption or fuel economy a little bit. But those older cars, potentially the, the ones made in Korea where they didn’t use as good quality plastic as they do in Japan or Europe, the lenses get discoloured. So not only is that dangerous and positively, if you’re pulled up for vehicle inspection or the police see it, you can be fined for driving an unroadworthy vehicle, but you don’t have to replace those headlights. you can get them repaired for about $100 where again, a professional takes off the, the discoloured portion of the headlight and applies a clear coat to it so they look almost the same as they did when the car was first sold. Again, not a, not a huge expense, but again, that presentation and leading on from that in between the headlights, there’s the bonnet and normal driving day to day driving. We get chips and marks and bugs and so on. You can get the bugs off, but the chips have got to be handled and I don’t go and get them brush touched Monte, I’ve got a sneaky way to improve the look of that and that is to go to somewhere like Supercheap or autobarn or repco,  and buy a bonnet protector. Preferably a dark tinted one because the chips on the bonnet or right on the leading edge where it is almost 45 degrees to the road and that’s where we get our chips. Those people out in the country, they’ll get chips further up the bonnet, which will probably require repair, but for we people in the city, a dark tinted Bonner protector will hide all those little chips and scratches that are on the front of the Bonner.
Monte: OK, that makes sense.
Bob Aldons: It does. And, I suppose the big deal on preparing a car for sale is what condition the car’s in. Look. I’ve seen cars come in here with hamburger wrappers, lolly wrappers, nappies, dirty socks, and someone says, I’d like to trade that vehicle, and I look at them and I can’t help myself. I’m getting a bit old and grumpy, and I said, look, would you take the car away and get it cleaned and let me have another look at it, but the best way to do it is to go and get it professionally detailed. They’ll shampoo, the carpets and the seats, they’ll put some nice vinyl preparation or leather preparation over the seats. They’ll steam cleaned the engine area. They’ll clean your boots out and now make it look as best as it possibly can. And that investment’s, a couple of hundred dollars, about 250. If you go the whole hog a, if it’s a four wheel drive, probably a little bit more up to 300, but it just changes the complexion of the vehicle and look in one of my articles and my wife Susie, I’m sorry, but when our better halves get out of bed in the morning, the first thing they do is put on makeup and do their hair. That’s exactly the same as a car. You’ve got to make it look as good as it possibly can. Think about the celebrities, Kim Kardashian, won’t get  out of her room until she’s put her makeup on & done her hair. Well, we want to present our vehicle in the best possible manner. So you’ve got to do the interior and exterior cleaning, preferably a detail by a professional.
Monte: ok, my tally puts me at close to a thousand dollars here, Bob. And you’re only halfway done.
Bob Aldons: Well, I’m nearly done. I’ve only got a only got through a 7, 8, 9 and 10. So I’ve got 4 to go. But, every dollar that you spend on preparing your cars style, you’ll recoupe double when you go to sell it or when the value at the dealership puts a price on it. There’s a couple of really important ones coming up, but I’ll skip the glass. But you know, if you’ve got chips or cracks in your windscreen, you’ve got to have them repaid. One of the most important ones is to make sure that your service history is available to the potential buyer. If your log book hasn’t been filled in by the people who’ve been servicing it, go back to them, get them to put their stamp and the date that they did their work in the service manual that is hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of value. In fact, in some cars the more luxurious imported cars, it’s thousands of dollars. So it’s a really important thing for customers to think of when they are having their cars serviced, that they make sure that the dealer has done the stamp. The other thing that I’d really suggest is a strong one, is to get a safety certificate done. If you’re selling it privately, you must have one done, but even if you’re trading it with the dealership, it costs about eighty dollars to have a safety certificate completed plus any work that’s required, but if you leave the safety certificate on the front seat of your car when you present it for the valuer or to put a price on, he’ll know that his workshop doesn’t have to do it. In the mind of the value. He allows about a thousand dollars for mechanical work that he can see whether it’s a 2 year old car or a 7 year old car or a 10 year old car.
Bob Aldons: If you can prove to the dealership that you’ve had all the work done that’s required for them to be able to put it straight onto their used car yard. Again, that will save you a lot of money. Tyres, we all know the tyres are the major safety aspect in the car. If you’ve got unroadworthy or illegal wear on your tyres, the dealer will allow $250 for each corner. So that’s a thousand dollars. If you got to replace all four, whereas you can go and buy brand new non-branded tires about $100 – $125, or even less if you go for second-hand tires Monte and again, that’s just a great way to reduce the reconditioning costs in the dealer’s mind when you go to trade it. The last one that I’ve got is torn trim. That’s a bit more difficult. If you’ve got a cigarette burn in your seat, you can find an upholstery car trimmer and they’ll unstitch and nip up the bit of the trim that’s got that cigarette burn in, and make it go away. I do that as a, as a dealer. If you’ve got a tear you’ve then got to make a decision whether you get that repair done or whether you leave it alone. Me, I always get a torn trim repaired, cause I always want my cars to look as perfect as I possibly can without going crazy. So Monte, they’re the 10 tips, I’m really happy to for the customers to contact me and I can give them the names of contractors, giving them some advice. I’ll even look at their car and give them some tips on their particular car on how they can maximise the value. But if the valuer, uh, looks at a particular car and says, I’m going to spend about $2,000 on that car. I think it’s worth $10,000 or he looks at a car that’s got $2,000 to spend, he’s going to say five or $6,000 because not only the cost of repairs but the time that it’s going to take before it’s prepaid and back on the used car lot.
Monte: That makes sense. Is there, is there a threshold where the value of the car just doesn’t warrant that sort of work? I mean, if it’s a, if it’s a high, high kilometre car and it’s over a decade old and it’s maybe only worth three grand and you’ve talked about a thousand dollars-worth of stuff easily.
Bob Aldons: Sure. Look, if a car’s older than 10 years and it’s done more than say 200,000 kilometres, I’d probably still get it detailed, but I wouldn’t necessarily do the rest of it. These, these tips are really up to seven years of age, but that’s also the painting on what you’ve got. If someone’s got a V8 manual, Commodore or Falcon that’s appealing in the marketplace, I’d probably get all the work done because I know I’m going to get top dollar for my car, right? The older of the vehicle, the higher the kilometres. It’s debatable, and I suppose the way to think about this is that the dealership that I’m going to, is this a car that they are going to keep and resell on their lot? If it’s not, do the basics, do a washing, vacuum and cleaned the glass yourself make it as presentable as possible. Even get that safety certificate and throw it on the seat because at least they know that there’s not thousands of dollars worth of mechanical repairs to do.
Monte: Perfect Bob. Bob, if somebody does want to take you up on your offer for some of the services you’re offering, what’s the best way to find you or get a hold of you?
Bob Aldons: OK, well they can search the Car Business. I’m on the Internet carbusiness.com.au. They can email me at bob.aldons@carbusiness.com.au. They can find Car Business on Facebook or Twitter cause I’m on there or they can call me on 0418 748 498. Lots of ways to get in touch with The Car Guy, Monte.
Monte: That’s fantastic. Thanks, Bob and I got to look for in the future on another topic.
Bob Aldons: Sounds great! I’d love to do it.

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