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How to Add Resale Value to Your Toyota Highlander

by Clay Smith 01 Sep 2019
How to Add Resale Value to Your Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlanders seem to always be in demand and for good reason. They are rugged enough for the off-road and elegant enough for the paved road. They are fun, fuel-efficient, and spacious. But maybe you are at a point in your life where you need/want to part ways with your Highlander. If so, then this article will help you get the most resale value for your Toyota Highlander.

Increasing your Highlander’s Resale Value

There are some basic things you can do before you sell your Highlander that will increase its resale value. For instance, keep the mileage down. If you are planning to sell within a few months or a year, try to drive it sparingly, especially if your car is close to hitting a milestone. A car with 97,000 miles sounds a lot better than a car with 100,000 miles. Those three thousand miles can add up to a lot of money.

Take care of all scheduled maintenance to avoid unattractive noises and operation defects. You can find the factory suggested maintenance scheduling in the owner’s manual.

The cosmetics of a car have a direct impact on asking price, so be sure to invest in the way your car looks. If you can, park your car in a garage or covered parking spot. The sun and the elements can wreak havoc on your paint job. Oxidation can peel the paint away and rust the body. Here are a few more simple ways to keep your Highlander looking good:

  • Make simple cosmetic repairs like replacing broken taillights and cleaning the housing of your headlights. Bright and shiny headlights instantly make a car look newer.
  • Keep the dog out. We all love our dogs, but in the months leading up to a car sale, be sure to limit the rides you take with yours. Animal odors are difficult to get rid of and pet stains can knock off hundreds off your asking price.
  • Detailing and waxing your car can go a long way in helping your vehicle look newer than it is. You can do parts of it yourself too. Washing and waxing your vehicle is relatively easy. So is taking the mats out and going over them with a vacuum.
  • Drive carefully, and avoid collisions. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but you can take precaution by doing small things like not parking near a bunch of loose shopping carts at the grocery store.

Pro Tips for Adding Resale Value

There are also some proactive things that you can do that can add resale value to your Highlander that most owner’s don’t know about. For instance, keeping record of all repairs, maintenance, and upgrades you have had done on your Highlander can add value to it. We recommend keeping a folder of all invoices, factory notices, warranty papers and receipts for all auto-related purchases you have made. Keeping the owner’s manual to give to a new owner is also a plus that could bump up the price.

A lot of people ignore the letters they get from the Toyota manufacturers but doing so can cost you a lot when it comes time to sell your Highlander. Make sure you look through these letters and handle any open recall notices they have sent you. Even if they seem insignificant, getting these problems taken care of is pivotal if you want to get a reasonable price for your vehicle. Besides, they are free. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to show to potential buyers that your Highlander has been well taken care of.

Why not turn a couple-hundred-dollar investment into a couple-thousand-dollar payoff? That’s what installing a remote engine starter will do for your old Highlander. The average price to install a remote start into a Highlander is between 250 and 400 dollars. They are a luxurious touch to any car that adds convenience and a modern feature to older vehicles. You can typically sell a vehicle that has a remote start for at least $1,000 more than one without a remote start.

remote start for highlander

Things to do Before Selling your Highlander

The first thing you are going to want to do before putting your car up for sale is to gather all pertinent paperwork. This includes the title, registration, and any lien release documentation. The DMV can print any of this out for you if you lost them. Repair shops can sometimes re-print invoices for work they have done on your car for a minimal fee as well.

Here’s a little tip that will help you set a bottom-line price for sale negotiations; go to a local dealership or two and ask to speak with their used car manager. Tell them you are looking to sell your Highlander and ask them to evaluate it. You can use the figure they give you as a bottom asking price when selling your vehicle.

Look up your Highlander year and specific model on Kelly Blue Book as well. This will give you a realistic idea of what they are going for right now.

If you can afford it, take your Highlander to a professional car detailer. Getting a car detailed inside and out before a sale will immediately add validity to whatever price you are asking for it.

Making cheap repairs is a good idea too. Things like replacing missing trim pieces, stereo buttons, worn-out shifters, old headrests, and other minuscule cosmetic maintenance is a smart investment. The general rule of thumb is to keep these minor repair costs under $20.

Finally, consider timing - when you sell your Highlander matters. Highlanders typically sell for more in the winter when 4WD is a concern on buyers’ minds. Trucks and SUV’s usually go for cheaper in the summer when convertibles and compacts are more what people are in the market for.

Last-Minute Tips

You generally want to make your Highlander look as presentable and modern as possible. For this, we again emphasize investing in a remote start. It is a very cheap way to add thousands of dollars of worth to your vehicle and can entice a buyer with its decadence into paying your asking price.

Be sure you do things like top off your fluids, fill any underinflated tired, shine your wheels, and treat your leather upholstery. A savvy buyer will be on the lookout for all of these things and use them against you if they are not in order.

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