What to do to get rid of car?
July 7, 2005 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Ready to get rid of my car. I want it to look good so as to maximize value. Do I need a detailer, or just an autobody shop?

I'm selling-or-trading-in my car for a new one. All over the side of my car are little paint marks where people have mashed their cars doors into my parked car. Considering typical price and workmanship, is this something that an auto detailer could handle, or should I have the body shop take care of it.

I'm in the Northern Virginia (Arlington/Alexandria) area, if anyone wants to recommend shops to stay away from/gravitate to. But it's the advice on which shop does which work I want to arm myself with before I start the process of finding one.
posted by clearlynuts to Shopping (5 answers total)
I don't think a detailer would be able to repair lots and lots of nicks from car doors. Some might but a body shop would have access to and probably stocks standard car colors.

I'd go with the body shop.
posted by fenriq at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2005

That said, a detailer would be able to look at your car and figure out whether or not he could buff the marks out, or if they're actual paint damage. I don't think anyone here will be able to tell you for sure without looking at the damage.

Then again, a body shop would employ a detailer but not vice versa.
posted by mendel at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2005

Best answer: I had some minor body damage and asked Carmax if it was worth spending a bunch of cash to improve it and try and recoup that money in the sale, or sell it as is. They did an on the spot appraisal that took 35 minutes and gave me a ripping price, so I just sold it to them - it doesn't have to be a trade-in: they'll buy your car anyway.
posted by forallmankind at 12:15 PM on July 7, 2005

My vote on the detailer.

Note that according to what I've read and personally experienced, the US used auto market right now is really depressed, so don't spend too much time or money trying to get value that won't be realized out of it.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:19 PM on July 7, 2005

What Riki said. Odds are you're not going to improve the resale value even as much as you'll put into jazzing it up. Give it a good wash & use a cleaner before you wax it and leave it at that.
posted by phearlez at 3:12 PM on July 7, 2005

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