Is There A “Best Time” To Sell Your Car?

A question we get asked again and again by customers looking to sell their car is “When is the perfect time to sell my vehicle?”.  With prices constantly fluctuating in the used car market and even Morgan Stanley predicting a 20% plunge in used car prices over the next four years, it’s worth it to make the extra effort and get the most value out of your used vehicle when you’re ready to sell.

Asking yourself the following questions can help you pinpoint the most lucrative time to sell your vehicle:

  • What’s the ideal time of year to sell my used vehicle?
  • How can I determine the best time to sell my used vehicle?
  • Are there certain mileage milestones I should worry about reaching?
  • How should I factor expected major repairs into my decision to sell or keep my vehicle?

What’s the ideal time of year or season to sell my used car or truck?

Most experts agree that the spring and summer are the ideal seasons to sell your vehicle.  When the sun emerges, so do the buyers and sellers. Generally in the winter months, most family budgets are more devoted to the holidays and gift giving, so you may have a harder time selling your vehicle in the fall and winter.

Additionally, the type of vehicle you are selling can impact its sales value.  For instance, selling a convertible in January is a much harder task than mid-summer.

What can I do to determine the best time to sell my used vehicle?

As mentioned above, the market for used vehicles increases quite dramatically during the warmer months, but this can also be a double-edged sword for car sellers as they may find the market flooded, which can also cause a price decrease.

Taking a look at vehicles for sale in your area that match the vehicle you are selling can be a good indicator to see whether or not a market is flooded.  Do you see a number of vehicles with the same year and model for sale? Perhaps it’s best to put off selling your car for a few weeks or until you see those cars start to disappear from the market.

Are there certain mileage milestones I should worry about reaching in my vehicle before selling it?

Aside from condition, mileage is certainly one of the defining factors in a used car’s price.  The 100,000 mile mark is one of the major mileage milestones that car buyers and sellers worry about, but in reality this is more a symbolic number than a point at which car repair or maintenance costs would increase.

Timing your sale to “pass on” certain major repairs can be a successful strategy and avoid you shelling out additional money for a repair right before you sell the car.  Generally the first major service for a vehicle would come around the 30,000 to 40,000 mark, and this is also the time when most vehicles are resold as Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles.

Additionally, car values can take another tumble at the 60,000 to 70,000 mark.  It’s at this point that most warranties expire and buyers won’t pay as much money for a car without warranty coverage.

How should I factor expected repairs into my decision to sell my vehicle?

Major repairs often center around mileage milestones which (in most vehicles) are outlined quite clearly within the owners manual.  Selling a car before these milestones can help avoid a repair bill right before the sale.

Almost all vehicles have dedicated user websites or facebook pages at this point, and finding the community for your vehicle can help shed a light on common failures or repairs that vehicle owners report.

Does the transmission generally require extensive repairs before the 70,000 mile mark?  Maybe that’s a sign you should put the vehicle up for sale before you’re footing a $3,000 repair bill.

At We Buy All Cars in NJ we take pride in making offers to vehicle owners that exceed what they can expect from dealerships.  Our process is simple and you can get a quote within the hour by filling out our form here on the website, or calling us directly at (856) 834-5558.  Find out why we’re the best place to sell your car in New Jersey!