How to Take the Best Photos of Your Car

Listings with more than five photos and including a photo of the center console sell more quickly than those with less than 5 photos. Follow our tips to make your 5 photos top notch.

Selling your car can seem like a daunting task, but here at Instamotor we want to make it as easy as possible. In a previous post we’ve shared what you’ll need to do to sell your car quickly and now we’ll dive into some tips on taking great photos. With Instamotor you can create a free listing, but make sure it’s one that’s effective.

Listings with more than five photos and including a photo of the center console sell more quickly than those with less than 5 photos. Those five plus photos can be the determining factor between someone contacting you to test-drive and hopefully purchase your vehicle.

Let’s do a deep dive into how to make those five pictures top notch.

Car Wash & Detailing

Before you take any photos, you’ll want to start with a clean canvas. Start by giving your vehicle a car wash and clean out the interior and trunk. You can also follow our tips for some DIY detailing - it will require a little more effort but your car would be so shiny and like-new afterwards you might not even want to say goodbye to it anymore.


Lighting has always been important for photography and I think everyone has searched for that perfect lighting for their selfie by now. For cars it’s just as important. Time your photos for the best light and avoid glare and shadows. It’s best to take your photos early in the morning or during the golden hours in the evening. Both after sunrise or before sunset, the daylight is redder and softer, which will enhance the colors in the photos, reduces the darker shadows and chances of your images being over exposed.


Find a good background for your photos. While the emphasis is on your vehicle, the background will be present. Try to avoid any background that is distracting and be sure to keep your vehicle as the main focus. You may even need to move the car as you take different angles. So find somewhere with sufficient open space instead of just taking the photos inside your garage.


Your iPhone or any modern smartphone can take great photos and is convenient. As always, using a digital camera will yield better photos, but isn’t necessary. Also, having them on your phone makes it easier to upload to your listing or send to potential buyers through text and email. There are also tons of handy apps for photo editing if you want to touch up anything.


Keeping in mind that five or more photos is the sweet spot, make sure they are photos that tell a story. While the outside shots are great, people spend the most time behind the driver’s seat and might be buying the car for the back seats (if they have kids) or trunk space (transport). Highlight all the unique features of your vehicle. Do the backseats fold down to allow for more trunk space? Make sure you capture that angle.


Make sure you tell the whole story and be up-front by using your photos. Used car buyers want to know everything they can about a car and there’s no point in making anything a surprise once they see it. The photos show a potential buyer the condition of your vehicle. Capture all the blemishes and be truthful, did a valet scratch up the front side of your car? Take a photo. Did you accidentally spill something on your tan cloth interior that won’t come out? Upload a photo. Better to be honest in the beginning instead of making excuses later.

Use the Instamotor App to create a listing in under three minutes, just make sure you get your car washed first!

Buying Tips

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When is the Best Time to Sell Your Used Car?
What is a 0% Car Loan?
2017 Car Shopping Trend Report: How Prepared Are Consumers?
What are Dealer Fees & Which Ones are Negotiable?


What is a 0% Car Loan?
What a Fed Rate Increase Means for Your Auto Loan
How to Refinance Your Car Loan
How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy a Used Car?
3 Main Factors in Getting a Car Loan

The Instamotor Team

Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.