Timing is everything when it comes to any important decisions we take, including selling our cars. It’s not uncommon for car owners to ask themselves “ When is the right time to sell my car?” There are many different ways to answer this question, but at the end of the day, the final decision will depend on numerous factors that may differ from one seller to another. To help you choose the best time to sell your car for maximum profit, we’ve assembled a brief guide that covers the basics, so let’s jump right in.
When It’s the Right Season
Although this decision can be highly subjective, in general, experts suggest that the best time to sell a used car is in the spring or summer. During this time, your chances of getting top dollar for your used car are usually at their highest because that’s when most buyers are in the marketplace.
On the other hand, you’re unlikely to find a good deal in the colder months of the year, especially around the winter holidays because most families are busy and almost everyone is on a tight budget during this time. Plus, that’s typically when most car dealerships offer competitive deals and discounts on new cars in an attempt to hit their sales goals before the end of the year, which makes it very difficult for you to sell your used car for a good price.
When You Need a New Car
Many factors can compel you to look for a different car. Whether your family grew and you need a bigger car, or if you’re in a financial pinch and need to downgrade to a more affordable model, switching to a vehicle that best fits your current lifestyle is a strong reason to sell your car.
If you’re lucky enough to anticipate a life event that will necessitate getting a different car long before it happens, then you can easily match your timing to when the market demand is at its highest. But, should a situation arise out of the blue that requires you to sell your car promptly, you’ll have to do thorough research to find a dealership or a buyer who will give you a good enough deal.
This may depend on where you live as well as the type of car you’re selling. If you’re in Houston, selling your vehicle shouldn’t be a problem, as there are many trusted dealerships in the area. Just make sure you check the price of your car online before you begin the transaction to ensure you get a fair appraisal.
Before You Hit Key Mileages
If your vehicle is approaching certain key mileages, it’s a good idea to sell it or trade it in well before you hit them. Generally speaking, most cars decrease substantially in value once they pass the 100,000-mile mark. But you can look at owners’ forums online to find out when cars similar to yours typically start to experience serious issues. If you’re nearing those milestones, then it might be a good idea to sell the car. It’s always better to sell a vehicle before you have to, so don’t wait until you start experiencing significant failures.
Before Your Warranty Expires
Your car’s value will drop at the end of your warranty coverage because car buyers nowadays are well-informed, and they know that they’ll have to pay for any repairs out of pocket. The lengths of basic and powertrain warranty coverage aren’t necessarily the same for some cars, and in that case, they will have multiple drops in value as each of these warranties expire.
If You No Longer Feel Safe
If you feel that your car is no longer safe for you or your family, then you shouldn’t think twice about upgrading to a different vehicle that you feel more comfortable with. This is particularly important if you own an older model. In recent years, advances in safety technology have made cars much sturdier.
Aside from basic features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control, many new cars come with advanced driver assistance and other innovations that can prevent or reduce the severity of collisions.
Pretty much every car owner becomes a used car seller at some point. As you can see, many factors go into determining the right time to sell. You’ll want to consider the market conditions, choose whether you want to sell to a private party or trade your old car in for a new one in a dealership, decide if you are going to do any repairs before selling and how much you’re willing to pay, and assess the condition of the car.
We know how hard it can be to sell a vehicle that’s been in your life for years, but you shouldn’t let your feelings cloud your judgment. Take your time and mull it over to make a sound financial decision.