When Is the Best Time to Sell My Car?
You love your car. You have had many fond memories with it, and it has served you well all these years. But unfortunately, like any other possession, time will come when your car outgrows its usefulness, and you will have to replace it and let somebody else enjoy its remaining years. Perhaps you’re asking yourself: has that time come? Should you be selling your car soon? Here are eight questions that you need to answer to find out if it letting go and moving on is indeed the right decision.
1. Has it reached 50,000 kilometers?
The number of kilometers you have on your odometer can signify that your car is soon to become a high maintenance risk, which can make it hard to sell. That said, cars today are built more solidly than ever, able to reach 100,000 and beyond with nary a problem. By selling your car while it has plenty of service years left, your chances of selling your car quickly at the price you want will be greater. Ideally, you should sell or trade in your vehicle when the odometer hits 50,000 for the optimum price.
2. Has it reached its warranty?
A brand new car generally comes with a warranty period of 3 years or 100,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. Some car manufacturers, like Kia and Hyundai, provide a maximum 5 years warranty for their vehicles. Why is this important? If your car is reaches or exceeds its warranty period, your manufacturer will no longer be obliged to fix your car, even if the damage came with the vehicle. A vehicle past its warranty will greatly decrease its value, so if staying in warranty is important to you, consider replacing your vehicle.
3. Are you still paying for the car?
Did you finance the purchase of your car? If so, how much money do you still owe? If you’ve reached that stage where you only have a year or a few months to go, it can be a good time to sell the car. You can use the payment you receive to pay off the car’s outstanding balance, as well as a down payment on the new car you want to buy.
4. Are you spending more on gas?
It’s inevitable that a car’s fuel efficiency and performance will decrease with the passing of time. You need to evaluate whether or not you are paying more for gas today than two or three years ago when you first had your car. While it’s easy to blame constantly rising gas pirces for the extra amount you’ve been paying all this time, your car may actually be ‘adding insult to the injury,’ so to speak. Try to compute how much fuel you are consuming today with yesterday’s gas prices. If the difference is significant, then you should seriously consider selling your car.
It’s worth noting that fuel efficiency technology is improving every year, and as technology progresses, more and more fuel efficient cars are being introduced onto the market. If your car’s fuel economy is worse than the current car models in its category, then that’s another good sign that it’s time to replace your car.
5. Are your repair bills mounting?
As cars get older, mechanical problems will begin to develop. They can be few and far between at the beginning, until eventually they’ve become too frequent for you to be able to keep up. Even if the problems are minor, continuous repair bills can add up and impact your budget dramatically. You need to monitor your monthly car repair bills, especially if you still have outstanding payments on your car.
Very often, drivers realize too late that the seemingly minor repairs that pile up are practically costing them a fortune. If this sounds familiar to you, then you should consider letting your vehicle go and replacing it with something newer and more reliable. You may be spending more money upfront, but in the long run, you’ll only be saving money.
6. Does it have a high trade-in value?
You can verify your vehicle’s trade-in value in many ways, but the most accurate would be to have it appraised by a car professional. If this proves too much for your budget, you can try visiting several trade-in dealerships and ask what price they’re willing to give you for the vehicle if you opt to trade it in. A high trade-in value tells you that it’s a good time to replace your vehicle.
7. Is it a good time of year to sell your car?
Whenever a car manufacturer announces that a new model will be released, car dealerships will actively and aggressively want to clear their lots of old models so they can make room for the new models set to arrive. This means that dealerships will be offering great discounts and promos for their unsold models, which can spell significant savings for you. If you’re planning to trade in your car, you will be in a better position to negotiate a better deal for your old vehicle.
8. Does your car manufacturer plan to keep producing your vehicle model?
Keep up-to-date on the latest automotive news, especially on how your particular car model line is doing. If the manufacturer is considering to pull out your car model in the local market, chances are there will be fewer spare parts available. Unless they are going to introduce a new car model under the same platform, otherwise, it could mean more expensive repair costs for you down the road. If the car model is at the end of its cycle, better sell your car soon as its value will drop significantly, and you may have to end up selling it for a lot lower than your target price. Keep these questions in mind when you’re thinking of the best time to sell your car. The trick is to know when the time is right. If you sell too early, you’ll likely fall victim to depreciation. On the other hand, if you sell too late, then reliability and performance could take a dive, which could impact your asking price for the vehicle. Indeed, the best time to sell your vehicle is when you can get more by selling it rather than keeping it.