'Roll up, roll up. Buy your old banger here. Endless disappointment and extortionate repair bills. This appalling car is guaranteed to reduce you to a gibbering wreck.' Please avoid writing similar adverts when selling your car. My razor sharp instincts suggest it won't sell. However, following some simple steps should maximise your sale price.

Let's start with the basics. Vehicles have four values. There are main dealer and independent forecourt prices, and private sale and trade-in values. Motorists generally achieve the best returns selling privately. Private sellers should start by establishing the vehicle's value. Consult price guides and check what similar models sell for. Remember that pricing too high dissuades buyers, and too low makes vehicles appear dodgy.

The next stage is to prepare for viewings. Buyers are put off by fluffy dice and novelty items, so depersonalise it. Even your singing dashboard figure must go. Next, thoroughly clean the vehicle and repair minor damage. Scuffed leather, missing trim, and chipped windscreens raise doubt in a buyer's mind. The extent of repairs should depend on vehicle class, age, and value.

During viewings be friendly and honest. Be willing to negotiate and draw attention to any extras such as floor mats. Remember to have the documentation ready and give viewers space to think. The key is to establish trust and tick the buyer's boxes. Do the research, prepare properly, and buyers should knock down your door.