when to sell your car

Have you been wondering when to sell your car?

The truth is, there is a right time to get out of your vehicle, whether you are looking at your circumstances or the season.

We evaluate the top reasons to sell your car and give you a few tips to make it easier.

1. Vehicle No Longer Meets Needs

Whether you are moving, growing your family, or watching kids go off to college, you will hit milestones in life that tell you when to sell your car.

Sure, that four-wheel-drive truck worked well when you lived in the mountains, but will it be best in Florida? Or, maybe you love that two-passenger convertible, but with a baby on the way, it’s no longer practical.

Maybe you are looking to help the environment with an affordable green car, or you need to save money with the cheapest new car models. These are the times you have to say goodbye to your current vehicle and move on.

2. The Car is in Good Condition

If you want to make a quick sale, you need a vehicle that’s still in good condition. If you want to know when to sell your car, the top pointer is to do it before the car starts breaking down.

When the vehicle requires cosmetic or mechanical repairs, you must drop the price to account for this, meaning there will be less money in your pocket. According to CarsDirect, there are three major mileage milestones to consider when selling.

  • 30,000-40,000 miles: Most car warranties begin expiring around this time, and significant repairs start to show up.
  • 60,000-70,000 miles: By five years old, most cars hit a major depreciation.
  • 100,000 miles: Many new cars can go beyond this mark, but they aren’t worth much in the resale market.

3. Vehicle Costs More to Keep Running Than the Value

when to sell your car

Sure, you want to sell the car while it’s worth money, but that doesn’t mean you should hold onto a money pit. If you receive an estimate to repair a $3,000 vehicle that is going to cost $4,000, it’s time to move on.

Use tools such as Edmunds.com to determine what the car is worth. Then, ask your mechanic what the repairs are going to cost and factor in additional service that will be needed soon. If the repairs are going to cost more than the vehicle is worth, it’s time to move on.

4. Sell It When It Causes Too Much Stress

Aside from the financial cost to keep the vehicle running, it can also take a toll on your emotional state. Do you hold your breath every time you try to start your car? If you are always worried about what’s happening next, it’s time to sell.

Sure, you need to get from Point A to Point B, but you don’t need to create an ulcer in the process.

5. Vehicle Becomes Unsafe

Maybe the car isn’t unreliable in the mechanical sense, but it seems like it’s falling apart. It could be that the structure is rusting out or parts are simply starting to disintegrate. If you are worried about driving your best friend in your vehicle, it’s time to move on.

Always put safety first. Of course, you probably won’t get much for this type of car. You might even need to sell it to the junkyard, but it’s better than feeling unsafe every time you go on the road.

When to Sell Your Car – During the Right Season

when to sell your car - summer

Whatever the reason for selling your car, there’s an appropriate season to do it. If you are able to plan ahead, follow these principles.

Sell in the spring or summer, when demand is the highest. These are the two seasons you will get more for the vehicle. During the winter, the holidays create a financial strain on most families, leaving little left to buy a car. Plus, you will directly compete with car dealerships that are offering Black Friday sales and incentives.

If you are hoping to trade it in at the dealership, you also won’t get a lot at the end of the year. This is when the dealer is overrun with inventory, and they are actively trying to unload vehicles.

To gauge car sales in your area, take a look at similar models that are for sale. If you are trying to sell a Chevy Tahoe but notice the used car market is saturated with similar models right now, you might want to hold off. The fewer that are available, the better your chances are of getting more money.

When do you typically sell your car? Have you found there’s a better time than another? We would love to hear about it. Leave a comment and share this article with your tribe by clicking your favorite social media platform to the right on desktop, or down below on mobile. Thanks for reading!

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