Preparing Your Vehicle For Private Sale


Making an effort to prepare your vehicle for sale can definitely both help its saleability as well as the price you receive.

Before you can legally advertise or sell a vehicle privately [private seller to a private buyer] you must obtain a "Safety Certificate" for the vehicle.

This Safety Certificate is a summary of roadworthiness of the vehicle and is obtained from a State Licensed Vehicle Inspector.  Most quality Mechanics Workshops are Licensed to issue Safety Certificates, and most carry a sign on their premises indicating this qualification.

Safety Certificates are valid for a period of two months or 2,000 kms only and must be renewed at full cost if the vehicle is not sold within this time.  If your vehicle has defects as detected by this inspection it must be re-inspected following rectification of the defects, prior to the issue of the certificate.  Fault rectification and re-inspection must occur within a specified time.  If this time interval is exceeded another full inspection must be carried out at full cost.

Costs for a Safety Certificate can vary but are usually around $50.00 for a vehicle in sound condition.  Rectification costs will vary depending on the work needed to comply.

Vehicles sold direct into a Dealer network do not require a Safety Certificate as they are covered by the legal obligations of the Dealer.

[Check out the “How we can help” section for more assistance and suggestions.]  

 The following are some pointers to attract a quick sale at the best possible price

You must ensure that you have a Safety Certificate and that your car is mechanically sound and has no major defects.  You must obtain a Safety Certificate before you can advertise your vehicle or even place a "For Sale" sign on or in the vehicle.  Significant fines can result from a breach.  [Trading-in your vehicle through Dan does not require you to obtain a Safety Certificate.]

If there is money owning on the vehicle then it is important that the finance company is notified and aware of the impending sale and their advice is both sought and followed. Seriously consider disclosing the fact to the potential buyer and recommending that they obtain a "REVS" Certificate for the vehicle prior to purchase.  [Queensland Transport Inquiries – 132 380].  This will immediately "clear the air" regarding the legal ownership of the vehicle and the monies owing and will greatly build confidence in your buyer. Monies owning will need to be fully paid out before the vehicle can be legally transferred to the new buyer.

Have any panel damage repaired.  Even minor damage such as stone chips, or scrapes in fenders or beaver panels can detract from the value of your vehicle.  Minor damage can be repaired at your own home using the services of a mobile "Touch-Up" re-paint provider.  As long as they are not severe, it may be better to leave small stone chips as it helps verify that the car has not recently had major panel work.

Suzuki Grand Vitara
Over the past few years I have been referring friends and clients to SunCoast Auto Brokers, and have always received great feedback.
This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use their services and I now know what all fuss was about. Why would I buy any other way!
Geoff Butler


Arrange a mechanical service. Service should include:

  • Engine oil and filter change.
  • Air cleaner element.
  • Radiator "Header Tank" coolant fluid (Caution – must be the same as the coolant already present.  If in doubt use demineralised water only).
  • Windscreen washer tank.
  • Clutch reservoir if manual transmission.
  • Brake reservoir
  • Auto-transmission fluid levels if relevant and accessible.  Transmission may even require a fluid and filter change.  (Note: Some newer grearboxes are sealed and do not require servicing for the life of the transmission).
  • Diff and manual gearbox oil levels.  These may even need to be drained and refilled.
  • Battery fluid check and top-up.
  • Check on all lights, including interior and traffic indicators.
  • All normal functions of vehicle such as horn, cruise control etc.,  hand brake adjustment.
  • Make sure you keep the record of work done and your receipts.
  • Ensure that all tyres are inflated to the correct pressure – including the spare in the boot!  If you are using nitrogen then only top up using nitrogen [defined by a red valve cap] and do not use the standard air at a Service Station.
  • Use an engine bay cleaner followed by a low-volume high-pressure water spray to thoroughly clean the engine compartment.
  • Make sure that you do not direct the water into electronic components or electric connections, fuse boxes, etc.
  • Run the engine immediately following the cleaning and preferably drive for at least 20 kms.
  • Don't forget to clean the engine bay surrounds, the firewall, and the under-surface of the bonnet.
  • If the under-surface of the vehicle is dirty or muddy beyond the "norm" then use the facilities of the nearest commercial car-wash to pressure-clean the underbody.

Mitsubishi Triton Ute and a Toyota Hilux SR5 4 x 4
SunCoast Auto Brokers Sandra & Dan Kelly have looked after Goldpower Diesel Services for the last six (6) years with new company vehicles.  Dan has always secured the best deal for us with his experience, up to date professional service and  communication.  In the past Dan has supplied us with Mitsubishi Triton Utes.
Sandra & Dan have just supplied Goldpower Diesel Services with two (2) brand new utilities. A Mitsubishi Triton Ute and a Toyota Hilux SR5 4 x 4 Ute which are both great vehicles.
Mick O’Donahue
Goldpower Diesel Services

  • If you have adhesive vinyl signage (or adhesive stickers) on your car carefully remove them so that the underlying paint is not scratched or damaged.  The use of hot air from a hairdryer is often beneficial.  Be careful using a thumbnail to lift the adhesive edge as even this can cause scratching.  Use a light cutting-back polish on the areas under the sticker as the paint may have experienced a slight colour change due to the chemical reaction with the adhesive.  There may even be a noticeable "bleaching" zone around the signage which will need to be gently and carefully cut back to blend with the remaining paintwork.
  • Thoroughly wash, dry, and polish the vehicle.  Include all door openings and door edges. Make sure that there is no "carry-over" polish dust on the outer glass surfaces of the windows and that they are clean and buffed.
  • If the windscreen wipers "smear" the screen or are badly deteriorated then insert replacement rubbers.  These can usually be purchased at any motor "supermarket" and are cheap to buy.  Don't be talked into buying replacement holders or arms.  They can cost the earth!
  • Take great care to thoroughly clean the wheels.  Make sure that all brake pad dust is removed – especially with alloy wheels.  Clean the tyres with a quality cleaner, then dry with a soft clean cloth.  Preferably do not use tyre "paint" as this can cheapen the vehicle's appearance.
  • Vacuum the interior, including under all seats and the surface of the upholstery.  Remove any litter, especially from the rear-base of seats, holding pockets, and cigarette trays.  Seats can also be cleaned using an upholstery cleaner appropriate to the materials present.
  • If you're a smoker pay particular attention to the ash trays and ensure that the vehicle is well ventilated and deodorised.  This is essential if you wish to sell the vehicle to a non-smoker!
  • Ensure that there are no damp spots in the interior.


Smart Car
I am very happy with the service and the car. I was impressed when I rang & spoke with Dan & Sandra, within one week I had my car.
Pamela Stevenson
Peregian Beach  




  • Clean all dash surfaces with a clean moist rag and wipe with a suitable "surface restorer" if needed.
  • Clean all interior glass surfaces including sun-roof if present.
  • Remove all non-standard items from the boot.  Ensure supplied tool kit, jack, and spare wheel are present.  Thoroughly clean the boot interior and ensure there is nothing to squeak or rattle.
  • If you have added "extras" to the vehicle it will help to provide a written list and evidence, particularly if these modifications or additions can not be easily seen or detected.
  • If you keep a record of services and repairs/replacements (even fuel usage) make sure these are available for viewing by a buyer.  With newer vehicles the owner's Manual and Service Logbook are essential.  Older vehicles will benefit from a written record of replacements or repairs, including dates carried out.
  • Special vehicles, particularly high-performance, may be provided with certification.  It is important to provide this for inspection by a potential buyer.  If your vehicle has a monetary value because of a specific "history" then evidence of this is essential.
  • Don't be "put off" by the apparent magnitude of the above.  Most of it is just plain common sense and you would do it automatically anyway.
  • But if you really want to sell your vehicle for top dollars it will pay to take the time – especially if the vehicle is going to a private buyer.

Click HERE to learn how we may be of help with selling your Vehicle.
Toyota Hi Ace
Once again Dan from SunCoast Auto Brokers delivered.  The perfect vehicle at a great price – exactly what my business needed.  Dan was very helpful & patient when dealing with me. Cheers Dan
Doc Fleming
Mountain Creek

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