When Is the Right Time to Sell Your Car?

Knowing when to sell your car can be difficult. Of course, if your car looks like it does not have long left in it, then it becomes pretty obvious. However, most people want to avoid leaving it this late. You want to ensure you sell your vehicle while there is still value and good money to be made. So, what sort of factors need to be considered?


Seasonality is a point that is overlooked when it comes to selling a vehicle, but it is actually one of the most important factors. Seasons, holidays, and different events all play a critical role in finding the best time to sell. If you have a luxury convertible, you will want to sell it during the summer and spring months for the most money. As temperatures rise, the demand for sports cars, roadsters, and classics goes up. On the other hand, SUVs, off-roaders, and 4x4s are more attractive during autumn and fall. Moreover, you may want to sell your vehicle before new-registration cars are issued, so that you can avoid the increased competition.

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An opportunity presents itself

Sometimes an opportunity presents itself that is simply too good to ignore. Perhaps you know someone who is looking for a car like yours for a graduation present for his or her daughter? If they are willing to pay top dollar, why not sell your car? You will often find that you benefit from the most competitive pricing when you sell your vehicle in a private party sale or a private auction, especially if you have a luxury car. After all, if you put your vehicle on an online auction website that is available to all, you are only going to attract people that are going to waste your time.

Your vehicle no longer serves its purpose

If your personal circumstances have changed and the vehicle you bought is no longer suitable for your lifestyle, now would be a good time to buy something new. For example, you may have bought a small, lavish convertible when you were single, but now that you and your partner are expecting a child, you definitely need to go for a more appropriate replacement. For a lot of car owners, it’s not about the return on their investment; it is about the enjoyment they gain from their vehicle. If you are no longer enjoying your car anymore, you should look for a new one.

The depreciation factor

Last but not least, we can’t talk about car sales without mentioning depreciation. As you are probably aware, depreciation occurs from the minute you drive away the vehicle you have purchased. It is very difficult to say what your car is going to be worth in 12 months, as vehicles depreciate at varying rates. However, there are some key points to keep in mind, including the fact that new cars depreciate quicker, typically by about 15 – 30% in the first year. For new cars, you will, therefore, want to hold onto them a bit longer. Selling your vehicle a year or two after it has been on the road often isn’t financially viable.

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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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