You’re selling your baby.

No, not that one!

The four-wheeled one you loved dearly but maybe didn’t pamper as much as you wish you had.

Now, you need to get your car in the best shape you can to sell it — and for the best price you can get.

It’s time for an automotive makeover montage.

  • First, treat your car to a spa day. Clean it thoroughly inside and out, washing and waxing the outside, emptying the trunk, vacuuming and wiping down interior surfaces and cleaning the windows. You don’t want to clean? Fine — pony up a couple hundred bucks for professional detailing.
  • Put your best foot forward. Replace burnt-out lights and fuses, top off fluids and fix any other minor issues that can be done on the cheap yourself.
  • Get a second opinion. Have your car inspected by your mechanic to avoid surprises closer to the sale.
  • Make a good impression. Get your vehicle’s history report from Carfax to present to buyers. If you have detailed maintenance records, present those too. Make a copy of your vehicle title, along with a lien release from your lender if you’re still paying it off. Also bring along any extra sets of keys or any other accessories that go with the car.
  • Know what your car is worth. Use Black Book’s appraisal tool — which you can find at — to get an accurate idea of the value of your car on a sale or trade-in based on national wholesale-auction data.

Now, get ready to say goodbye. Parting is such sweet sorrow, but with these tips and a nice sale price on your car, you may hate to see it go — but you’ll love to watch it leave.