Are you getting ready to sell your car? Before you put the For Sale sign on the dash, you need to consider whether it is the right time. Certain factors, such as the time of year, market conditions, and the state of your vehicle, will determine if you should wait or make moves today.
In this article, we will help you navigate timing the sale of your vehicle to ensure you get the most amount of money possible. Everyone’s situation is different, so use this guide to develop the right game plan for you.
During the Spring and Summer
Choosing the right season to sell your car is crucial. Demand for vehicles typically goes down in the cold, dreary winter months. But when the weather starts heating up in the spring and summer, and when people receive their tax refunds, you will be able to price your car higher and increase your chances of making a sale. Some automobiles built for snow, like trucks and SUVs, may sell better in the winter. But, if you have a sedan or convertible and can afford to wait, the spring and summer are ideal.
Remember that dealerships often run discounts around Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July. Try to list your car before or after these promotions when demand is at its peak.
When Repair Costs are Too Much
Owning an automobile that is on its last leg gets expensive. It is likely time to say goodbye when it is constantly breaking down or needing repairs. Not only will a newer vehicle save you money, but it will also keep you safer.
Look at your finances from the last year and calculate how much you have spent on repairs. Suppose you have been paying more than what a monthly payment for a new one would cost; start making plans to sell. Even if you do not get much for the vehicle, you will save money in the long run.
While Mileage is Low
The lower the mileage, the more an auto is worth. In the used-car world, the sweet spot is between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Your vehicle may require a few tune-ups and repairs at this mileage, but it should still be in a desirable condition as long as it has been maintained.
Once your auto passes that 100,000-mileage milestone, buyers will be less interested. High-mileage vehicles are risky even though they may not have current issues. So, if you are getting nearly 100,000 miles, put it up for sale as soon as possible.
Input your vehicle’s information with Kelley Blue Book to understand its value.
Before Next Year’s Model is Released
When the latest vehicle model is released, the value of the older models goes down, down, and down. Why? Newer automobiles typically have better gas mileage and feature the most advanced technologies. So, each year that passes is another knock against your automobile, so you must plan accordingly.
Find out when the latest model of your vehicle will be released –many automakers used to release it in the fall, but it is common to see release dates between the middle and end of the year. Plan to sell your vehicle at least a few months before the new model comes out and its value drops.
During the Right Market Conditions
The used-auto market is always fluctuating. Browsing information in your area will help you determine the saturated market and current listing prices. With a low supply and high demand, you are in the perfect position to squeeze every bit of value from your auto. At the very least, being aware of trends in the market will help you decide on a competitive listing price.
The overall economy is another factor to consider. High-interest rates deter potential buyers, slashing demand and decreasing the value of used vehicles. Timing these rates is tricky, but it can be done. If you sell your car for a few thousand dollars, you will attract more cash buyers, making interest rates less important.
Check interest rates for your state with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Before Costly Repairs Are Needed
Sooner or later, your vehicle will need costly repairs. If it is beginning to show signs of an issue but is still properly functioning, think about selling. Of course, you always need to be upfront with buyers about the state of it. So, before service lights come on or engine belts become outdated, save yourself the trouble and sell.
But what if your auto already has issues? As a rule of thumb, investing in repairs and replacements is only worth it if you can recover the costs in th e sale. Replacing $500 parts does not make sense if only the vehicle’s value is increased by $200.
When Your Vehicle Becomes Unsafe
When your vehicle feels unsafe to drive, do not hesitate to let it go. Holding on to an old automobile that continuously breaks down on the highway, has major blind spots, or lacks safety features is not worth risking your life. In this case, selling it and upgrading to a newer, safer model would be wise.
Here are a few warning signs of an unsafe automobile:
- The smell of gas
- Smoke from exhaust
- Poor acceleration
- Braking issues
Sell Your Car Today
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