The Ultimate Guide to Vehicle Cleaning Before You Sell It

Optimize the value of your e-car. Read our guide for cleaning tips. Make it attractive to potential buyers.


Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as they are improving in technology and performance, and we are looking for more sustainable transportation options. With this growing demand for EVs comes a growing market for used EV sales, as some scarcity can be found among car brands. If you decided to surf the wave and sell your EV, it's important to properly prepare it well in order to get the best price and find a buyer quickly.

Indeed, our own experience and researches show that the physical condition of the vehicle is key. A clean and well-maintained EV is definitely more likely to sell for a higher price and attract potential buyers.In this article, we'll go through a comprehensive guide of vehicle cleaning before you sell your EV. We'll cover cleaning the exterior, interior, and charging system of your EV, as well as some tips for getting your EV ready for sale!

Exterior Cleaning

The exterior appearance is just as important as the performance and functionality of the vehicle itself. A clean and well-maintained exterior can significantly increase the value of your EV and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Body and Paint

  • Start by washing and waxing the exterior of your EV. It is crucial for keeping a nice paint job and removing any dirt or grime. Not only does this make your EV look great, but it also helps to protect the paint from potential fading or chipping.
  • Use Car-specialized cleaning products, such as those that remove brake dust and road grime. They can be a game changer when it comes to keeping your EV looking as good as new. Look for products specifically designed for the materials you’re focusing and test them before to be sure that you're using the right ones for your car.
  • Dents and scratches can be unsightly and can also lower the value of your EV. If you have any of them, make sure to have them fixed before you sell your vehicle.

Tires and Wheels

  • Even if this is not the first thing that we spot, keeping your EV's tires and wheels in good condition is important for both safety and appearance. Also, every buyer will have a look at these. Look up the tread depth of the tires and check if they're properly inflated to ensure that your car handles well on the road.
  • Regular tire rotation and balancing can help to prolong the life of your tires and improve your EV's performance. Check your owner's manual for specific recommendations on how often to rotate and balance your tires. It is usually recommended to do it every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers, so if you think it’s the moment, bring it to your local mechanic for a quick adjustment.
  • Cleaning your wheels and removing any brake dust or grime is essential for keeping them looking like new. Use a specialized wheel cleaner and a microfiber cloth to gently scrub away any dirt and grime.

Windows and Mirrors

  • Cleaning your EV's windows and mirrors is important for both safety and appearance. Make sure that your windows and mirrors are clean and free of any smudges — if there is something that affects the vision, you might have to consider replacing it before selling.
  • For surface dirt or deterioration, specialized cleaners and microfiber towels can be used to clean it the right way. Be sure to use a cleaner that's specifically designed for windows and mirrors so you don't damage the glass.
  • Any stickers or decals that you have on your EV should be removed before you sell it. They most usually don’t appeal to the next buyer, so it’s always safe to remove them carefully.
close up of cleaning a blue car with a big yellow sponge

Interior Cleaning

When it comes to selling your electric vehicle (EV), the interior is just as important as the exterior. A clean, well-maintained interior can make all the difference in the selling price and in how quickly the vehicle is sold. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping the interior of your EV looking and smelling its best.

Fabrics: Seats and Upholstery, Carpets, Floor Mats and Trunk

  • Regular vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in these. Be sure to vacuum the crevices and seams as well.
  • Spot cleaning: If there are any stains on there, be careful of the material you need to clean and use a cleaner specifically designed for removing them. Be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it won't cause any damage.
  • Odor removal: If there are any particular smells in the vehicle, use an odor eliminator to remove them — even if it is a good smell to you; a new owner might not like it.

Dashboard and Console

  • Use a specialized cleaner: Use a cleaner specifically designed for dashboards and consoles  to clean and protect the surfaces.
  • Use a microfiber towel: Use a microfiber towel to wipe down any shiny surfaces to avoid any scratches, especially on the glassy/varnished parts.
  • Remove stickers or decals: again, if there are any stickers or decals on the dashboard or console, it is better to remove them before selling the vehicle.
pink elephant car wash front of store

Charging System Cleaning & Maintenance

Finally, maintaining the charging system of your electric vehicle (EV) is crucial for both functionality and safety. Not only is it important for ensuring that your EV has a reliable and efficient charging process, but it also helps to prevent any potential hazards or damage to the charging system.

Here is how you can clean and maintain the charging system of your EV:

  • Cleaning of the charging port: Dust and debris can accumulate in the charging port, making it difficult for the charging cable to properly connect. Make sure to regularly clean the charging port with a soft cloth or a small brush.
  • Check for any damage or wear: The charging port and cable are subject to wear and tear over time. Check for any signs of damage or wear, such as frayed or damaged cables, or a loose connection in the charging port. If you notice any issues, it's best to replace the cable or have the charging port repaired by a professional.
  • Use the right type of charger: Not all chargers are compatible with all types of EVs. Make sure to use a charger that is compatible with your specific make and model of EV or it might affect your battery life and can be potentially dangerous.

It's also important to ensure that the charging system is in proper working condition before selling your EV. A malfunctioning charging system can be a major turn-off for potential buyers and can significantly decrease the value of the vehicle. Before putting your EV up for sale, have it inspected by a professional to ensure that the charging system is in good working order.


In conclusion, properly preparing your EV for sale is crucial in order to fetch the highest price in the used market. By taking the necessary steps to clean and maintain your vehicle, you can ensure that it is in its best condition for potential buyers.

Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when prepping your EV for sale:

  • Clean the exterior of your EV thoroughly, paying special attention to the wheels and tires.
  • Detail the interior, including vacuuming, shampooing the carpets and seats, and cleaning the dashboard and windows.
  • Address any mechanical issues or repairs that need to be made before putting your EV on the market.
  • Have all necessary documentation, such as service records and registration papers, readily available for potential buyers to review.

By following these guidelines and making sure your EV is in tip-top shape, you can increase your chances of selling it quickly and at a higher price. And if you're looking for a hassle-free and efficient way to sell your EV, consider using a platform like Cardino, which offers a quick, all-digital valuation and access to a wide European network of dealers to ensure you get the best resale value. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

cardino logo
Sign up to our Newsletter and stay informed about the EV world!
Thank you, you've signed up successfully!
Oops! Please enter a valid email address and confirm the privacy policy.

Do you have a question? We're amped to help!

Give us a call or send a message via contact form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Get quick answers

View FAQ

Send a message

Contact form