When is the last time someone complimented your car? Do you park farther away to avoid people seeing what you drive? Are you not excited to drive your car when you get inside?
Have you ever thought, “Should I sell my car?” Does that question scare you? Are you overwhelmed?
You're in luck. We have all the info to help you answer that daunting question. It may seem simple but, like an onion, it has many layers. Read on to help answer that question for yourself.
Our Top Tips for Answering the Question, Should I Sell My Car?
Should I sell my car is a complicated question because there are many factors to consider. You need to know the condition of your vehicle. When is the best time to sell my car? How do I get top-dollar for it?
Here we go over the answers to these questions in detail to keep you informed and get you the best price.
What Condition is Your Vehicle In?
When should you sell your car? When you can get the best price for it.
To get the best price you need to know what people are looking for in cars like yours on the market. If your car is relatively new and in great condition, it could be worth a good amount of money.
If it's not, then depreciation is a factor. How much will someone pay you for a less-than-perfect car?
Have you neglected it? Does it look bad? Then you should think about junking your car rather than selling it. But, let's go with the assumption that you've taken decent care of your car and it is in decent physical condition.
Onto the next step, finances.
How Much Do You Owe On It?
So, how much should I sell my car for? Great question. Again, there are some things to consider.
How much did you buy the vehicle for? The answer to, should I sell my car lies in the financing of the deal. Did you buy your car last year for full sticker price? Have you put a ton of miles on it? You might be upside down (owe more than it's worth) on your car.
Now, if you got a great deal and paid less than retail, you could break even or make a little money. If that's the case you need to concern yourself with how to sell my car rather than should.
But, we haven't looked at the real cost of car ownership yet.
How Much is This Car Costing You?
Answering, should I sell my car, becomes easier when you know the actual expense of the car. How much is your car costing you in reality?
Car ownership is an expense beyond your monthly payment. You are looking at insurance, maintenance, gas, and other financial expenditures. According to recent surveys by AAA, the average yearly cost for vehicles driven about 15,000 a year is $8500.
When to sell a car is when you can no longer afford to keep it. Or, when the amount you would make from it would net you a profit.
How do you calculate the true cost of ownership for your car? Here's a list of fees to add up:
- Your total car payment including both principal and interest
- Basic maintenance and repair costs (Average throughout the length of ownership)
- Gas Prices
- Average Mileage Per Month
- Insurance Rates for Varying Levels of Coverage (Can you lower the level of insurance?)
- Registration and Licensing Fees (Varies by state)
- Parking Costs (Parking in major metropolitan areas can add up. In some cities, monthly parking is as much as your car payment!)
Once you've gathered all this information add it up and find the average. This is your true cost of ownership. Now that you have your cost you need to know what your car is worth. Read on to find out more about pricing your used car.
How Much Should I Sell My Car For?
At the end of 2018, used car sales averages soared past $20,000. The average used car payment was at a whopping $400 per month. What does this mean for you? That you're going to get much more for your used ride than you would in the past.
You may be thinking, should I trade in my car or sell it to a private party? In the past, it was a guarantee that you would get more on the private market for your used vehicle. You can use services like Kelley Blue Book to give you a fair trade-in and private party value for your used car.
With the surge in used car prices, the gap between a private party sale and trade-in value is closing. Trading in a vehicle and rolling the value into another car could save you money each month. This is especially true if you decide to invest in another, new-to-you, used vehicle.
But, there are many services now that will buy your car outright. This takes the work of the private party sale out of it. One of these services, especially if your car isn't in perfect condition, can get you the most bang for your buck. In the age of the internet, you can get an instant quote and be able to make a decision right away.
When Trading In Don't Get Taken For a Ride
If you've decided that trading in your vehicle is your best option remember there are rules to the game. The dealer is always looking to make the best deal for, no not you, the dealership. Salespeople are under a lot of pressure to hit certain numbers every month. This means they come in with some aces up their sleeve.
Dealerships know that most people don't know very much about buying and selling cars. After all, this is a pricey negotiation that people only go through a few times in their life. These salesmen do this every day.
To avoid the run-around, always negotiate the trade-in value of your vehicle first. Before talking about the car you're interested in upgrading to. Even better, approach the dealership asking how much they would buy your car outright for.
This will get you an honest answer. It gives you a chance to walk away or go with another dealer before wasting your whole day. Dealers love to confuse consumers by combining the math of two deals at the same time. They give you a great price on the new car and then a rock bottom price for your trade-in.
The best tactic is to do your research before walking in. Know what a fair value is for your car. Go in asking for the high end of the curve. Let them negotiate you down. With the used car prices soaring, believe us, they want your vehicle. They're going to make a big profit on the car.
Once they've given you a price you can both agree on then start discussing new car options. Looking at newer used vehicles is a great option as well. Remember that you can use this as an opportunity to put a huge down payment on a car. One you couldn't afford otherwise. Buying a cheaper, but awesome, used car is a great financial decision.
You Can Always Walk Away
Sometimes you'll answer this question, should I sell my car, with a firm yes. Then, when you go out into the marketplace you realize that it was a mistake. Remember, at any time, you can walk away from a deal.
Don't worry about wasting someone's time or hurting anyone's feelings. At the end of the day, this is a business transaction to the tune of thousands of dollars. You need to feel good about how it all went down after.
The worst feeling in the world is a money hangover the day after a major buy. By doing your due diligence, going to a reputable buyer, private party, or dealership, you should walk away feeling good about the end result.
Make sure you're walking away with something you can afford or a price that will get you out of your car note. If you can pocket some cash too, even better.
Should I Sell My Car? That's Completely Up To You
As we have learned here, ‘should I sell my car' is a rather loaded question. There is a lot wrapped up in a decision like this.
How much do you stand to make from the deal? Are you upside down on what you owe versus the value of your car? Do you want to trade-in or walk away with cash in hand? Are you savvy enough to find a buyer and broker a private party sale? The options are endless.
The good news? We live in the age of the internet and have knowledge at our fingertips. More good news? There's always someone who will take a car off your hands, even with the wheels falling off.
Looking to learn more about selling and buying cars? Want a quote on what your car is worth? Click here to read our blog and get your instant online quote.