How to Create a Picture-Perfect Ad

PicturePerfectAd_XiXinXing-iStock-Thinkstock.jpg XiXinXing/iStock/Thinkstock

CARS.COM — Take photos that show shoppers why they should buy your car. Fill the entire frame of the picture without your car being cut off. Then follow these tips to select the right photos.

Related: Prepare to Sell

Highlight Special Features

Show buyers what you love about your car. Include special features that make your car stand out. If the stick shift is a key selling point in your sports car, show a picture of it.


Take pictures that prove to shoppers you aren’t hiding anything. Take the pictures in a well-lit location and show as much of the vehicle as possible. Shoot photos clear of other vehicles or objects in the background keeping the focus on the vehicle or use a simple, non-distracting background. If you’re pricing your car above market value, you’ll need to prove your car’s condition with photos. Similarly, don’t be afraid to show dings and dents — shoppers know that these are all parts of buying a used car.

Which Photos Should I Post?

The number of photos you can upload depends on the package you select. Avoid using stock photos when possible. The first photo of a vehicle should always be a Passenger’s Side Three Point angle (this makes the car’s “face” the ad). Do not reveal the age of the photo by its surroundings (i.e., snow surrounding a vehicle in the middle of summer). Most importantly, use all of the photo slots provided for you.

Buyers want as much detail about your car as possible. They also want to know why your car is different than the others listed on — show off that new stereo, show off your alloy wheels and show off that sunroof. Buyers also want to know what’s wrong with the vehicle. Don’t be afraid of posting pictures of scrapes and dings; this helps build your credibility and will prevent any surprises when the buyer comes to look at your car.

Recommended Photos


  • Left front (offset)
  • Front
  • Right front (offset)
  • Left rear (offset)
  • Rear
  • Right rear (offset)
  • Left side
  • Right side


  • Interior dash
  • Driver’s seat
  • Back seat


  • Engine
  • Tire
  • Trunk
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