When is the Best Time to Sell a Car: Season, Car Age, Mileage and More

We all know that the minute you drive off with your brand new car from the lot, its value drops like a rock. The first year is the most devastating as the value of a car drops by about 20%.

The second and third years are more lenient, but depreciation takes a sharp hit in the fourth year given that by then, most vehicles are no longer covered by their factory warranty. What does all this mean? Is there a best time to sell a car?

Factors That Impact the Value of a Car

Surprisingly, there is the best time to sell a car. Selling your car at the right time could mean getting the most out of it and negating some of the losses you have incurred over the years. So let’s look at the factors that impact the depreciation of your car to determine the best time to sell it.

The Best Mileage to Sell a Car

The most significant depreciation factor of a car is the mileage. You see, a new car warranty expires anywhere between 20,000 and 100,000 miles. By this time, you’ll find that most vehicles require some major repairs or services that go well beyond the regular oil change.

In general, once cars go beyond 30,000 miles, they require new tires, new brakes, and several other parts that may have worn out. By this time, your car is anywhere over three years old. if you realize your car is needing more repairs than the regular maintenance, it may be the best time to sell.

The Best Time to Sell a Car

The months between March and August are the best time of the year to sell a car due to the fact that the weather is always nice and most people consider traveling during those months.

If possible, avoid selling your car at the end of the year because, during that time, car dealerships are usually flooded with trade-ins. You may find yourself trying to sell your car in a saturated market, which essentially means you get less than your car is worth. However, the type of car you have may also determine the best time of year to sell it.

How About the Model of the Car?

The year of the car also plays a major role because most people perceive older cars to be of less value, despite wear or tear. You may find that a 2018 model has less value than a 2019 model, despite having the same mileage. This means that the best time to sell a car is before a new model rolls out.

Beyond that, consider the vehicle generation, which mostly lasts anywhere between 5 to 8years. Despite having mild updates, a new generation suppresses the value of the previous one, so you may want to sell your car before a new one hits the market.

Does the Market Matter?

Undoubtedly! Market conditions are not the same in different areas. For instance, selling a car in Florida could be very different from selling a vehicle in Kentucky. The local market plays a huge role, so check out the supply and demand before putting up your car for sale.

Does the Type of Car Matter?

The type of car matters just as much. For instance, selling cheap cars such as vans or station wagons is not the same as selling convertibles.

If you’re selling a convertible, spring is an excellent time to sell because buyers will anticipate the beautiful weather and look forward to road trips. Sports and classic cars are not that affected by time, but they may fetch a better price when the weather is great outdoors.

The Worst Time to Sell a Car

The absolute worst time you could possibly sell your car is when you absolutely need to. If you have a pressing issue and are desperate to sell, you’ll be at a weaker negotiating price. The end of the financial year is not a very good time to sell a car because dealerships always have discounted prices, which could make it hard for you to find the right buyer.

Most holidays are not recommended either because people are preoccupied with gifts, vacationing and having fun. There may be people looking to gift loved ones with cars, but you can’t sorely depend on this. Winter also happens to be the worst season to sell a car.

When to Sell a Used Car

Even though we have established that the best time to sell a car is between 4 and 5 years, you may have an old car that you want to get rid of. If the repair bills tend to be mounting up or the car got into an accident and making repairs would be a loss, then cut your losses and sell it.

One of the best ways to get rid of it fast is by selling it to cash buyers. You may have a truck or van, and you are wondering where to sell truck van for cash, then cash buyers are the answer. Most of these buyers buy cars as they are for salvage.

What’s the Best Way to Sell Your Car?

Now that you know the best time to sell a car, here are some tips on the best way to sell it. For starters, you need to keep it well maintained and fix any pending repairs that are worth it. Well-looked after cars tend to sell quicker and for a better price.

Don’t Just Sell Your Car! Do It the Right Way

Timing is everything in all kinds of markets, and the auto market is no different. The best time to sell a car may depend on model, mileage, and type of car but consider the market as well before listing. Pay attention to the demand and supply of your particular model to avoid a saturated market and try not to sell when you have to.

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