9 Tips on Taking Pictures of Your Car Before Putting It Up For Sale

Pictures Make A Difference

Sure it’s easy to snap pictures on your cell phone and call it good, but if you put in a bit more effort and make sure that your pictures are quality, your sales ad will grab the attention of the person reading it and give them a better impression of both; the car and the owner, so here are some tips on snapping some quality pictures of your car before posting it up for sale.

Tips on Taking Pictures of Your Car Before Selling it

Now, before we take any pictures, you will want to make sure that the subject (your car) looks good. In order to pretty up your car, you should take a look at these 11 tips on cleaning up your car before a sale. After you’ve cleaned up your car, we can move on to taking pictures of it for your sales ad.

Not sure how to make quality pictures? That’s okay! You don’t need to be a photographer for Car and Driver ™ to take good pictures. In the past few years, not only have cell phone cameras gotten better, but the prices of entry-level DSLR Cameras have fallen substantially and chances are that you might actually own a decent camera already, if not, then consider investing in a DSLR.

Tips on Taking Better Pictures of Your Car

Here are a few tips on how to take better pictures of the car you’re trying to sell:

  • Make sure that the vehicle is well-lit when you’re taking the picture to ensure that the photo is crisp.
    • Daylight photos are the best, aim for Noon (when the sun is highest and providing the most light) to take your pictures.
    • Don’t use Flash when taking your photo; your license plate and reflectors will throw off the lighting balance in the picture. If you’re taking the picture in the day time, you shouldn’t need flash anyways.
    • After you’ve taken your pictures, view them on a larger screen (like a laptop or computer monitor) to see how the pictures look.
  • Shoot different angles since some cars look better at certain angles; find the right angle for your car.
    • Take pictures from each side of the car as well as 45 degree angle shots of the exterior of the car.
    • Pick the best pictures for your ad. If you can’t decide on which ones look best then ask a friend to pick them out for you.
  • Start your engine and take a picture of the Speedometer and Tachometer (preferably with the back-lighting turned on) to show that none of your maintenance lights are on. If your Check Engine light is on, you can check what the issue is (and clear the light) with an OBD2 Scanner which can be purchased at this link. There are also other things that an OBD2 Scanner can be used for.
  • Don’t forget to take a picture of the engine bay. It’s the “heart of the beast” and people want to be sure that everything is there.
  • Be sure to Take a picture of your tires to show how much life they have left in them. 
  • Take a picture of the odometer to show the mileage that the vehicle [currently] has.
  • Snap a picture of your Center Console to show its’ condition. Be sure to get a picture of the stereo and show the transmission shifter type (i.e. manual / automatic).
  • Stains happen, so snap pictures of your seats to show people that your interior is clean and well-cared for. If your seats do have stains, then you can use this Stain Remover to clean up your seats before taking pictures of them.
  • and the one that everyone forgets about; take a picture of your spare tire and vehicle jack to show that all the parts are there. Too many people don’t check those things until they end up needing them – at which point it’s too late to do anything about it.

Hopefully these 9 tips help you capture better picture so of your car. If you have further questions or suggestions, be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

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