Picture perfect: Selling your car

Posted on: 02 March 2010 by Mark O'haire

Top tips for vehicle sellers on taking photos like a professional.

Whether it’s a car, motorcycle, van or camper van, sellers need to make sure they are making the most of their assets, when they advertise their vehicle.

Taking great photos for an ad is more than a simple matter of point and click, so here are some top tips to sellers on how to take good pictures and make sure their vehicle is looking its best in the advert.

“When it comes to selling any used vehicle, first impressions really do count, so it’s worth spending a bit of time preparing it for sale,” says Debra Healy at Exchange and Mart.

“Research shows that sellers are more likely to get a higher price for a vehicle that has been properly cleaned and polished inside and out. Putting in a little bit of time and elbow grease can really pay off when buyers are beating a path to your door.”

Sellers can usually upload up to eight pictures of their vehicle. Make good use of this to highlight your vehicle’s best features, thereby encouraging potential buyers to make the effort of coming to see the vehicle for themselves. The first picture sellers upload will be the default image for the results page, so make sure it is the best one. But before getting the camera out, sellers should make sure they give the whole vehicle a good clean and tidy.

If selling a car or van of any kind, get rid of any clutter inside and buy an air freshener. For any vehicle, make sure the outside is washed and polished and then repair any stone chips using a paint touch up stick. Replace dented or damaged wheel trims and fix minor faults such as missing badges. Don’t forget to check the oil levels and tyre pressures.

“Once you’ve done the spit and polish, make sure you put some extra effort into the photographs. Good quality photos could make the difference between potential buyers getting in touch or moving on to the next ad. Follow our top tips on getting the best out of your photo session with your vehicle to ensure it sells itself,” says Debra.

Three steps to professional looking photos of your vehicle

  1. Keep the background clean and simple. A busy background will draw attention away from any vehicle. Instead choose a stone wall, some foliage or a scenic landscape.
  2. Work the angles. Get down on your knees to get the best angle. The camera should be level with the front wheel or bonnet of the vehicle for that professional look. Extreme or aggressive angles work well for sports cars and motorcycles.
  3. Variety is key. Take a three quarter view from the front and back. In the case of cars, vans and camper vans don’t forget pictures of the interior and if you’ve got boot space in a car, show it off. Remember a buyer will want to see the back, side, front and inside of your vehicle, so get it all in.

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