To Sell Your Car Now or Wait, That is the Question!
There are a lot of variables to making the decision of selling a vehicle. What are the pros and cons to waiting? What are the pros and cons to selling now? Hopefully this article can help you with your decision making process.
Why Oh Why?
First question you need to ask yourself is, why do I want to sell my car? Is it an extra car that you just don’t use much anymore? Did your transportation needs change and you are wondering if you can do without? If it’s the former than there are several things to consider. One would be maintenance, even if you rarely use the vehicle you should still maintain it for when you do end up selling it. Things like keeping it clean and making sure it’s still in good working order are important but because you aren’t using this car regularly those costs probably won’t add up as much. There’s less wear and tear and it’s not like you have to pay for gas as often as you would with a car that is used daily. You will, however, have to continue to pay insurance for it, so if that is a cost that you feel adds up then that is certainly a consideration.
As to the latter, then there are some additional considerations. One being, are you still actively paying off the car? If you have found other transportation means that you feel are adequate to your needs then having to pay probably hundreds of dollars a month, plus gas, plus insurance, plus other variables such as tolls or parking depending on where you live, then all of that can add up to quite the sum. While with bus fees in most cities, for instance, might cost you a $100 to $200 a month, depending on usage. If you have already paid off this vehicle well then the other fees associated with having a car day-to-day can still be more than using the bus or other transportation means.
By understanding why you feel the need to sell your vehicle you better understand the urgency of the situation. Another factor to consider is the market itself.
How is the Car Economy?
Since the recession began, the demand for vehicles has dropped because a lot of people have decided they cannot afford making such a large purchase. While there are differences in the used car market vs the new car market, it is important to acknowledge that demand for any type of car is currently weak and this affects all types of vehicles across the board.
A Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?
One might also call this time a buyer’s market because for those that can or need to buy a new vehicle they have a lot more power and options than they would in a healthier market, thus potentially making it more difficult for someone trying to sell.
On the other hand, there were a lot of older cars that were scrapped during the “Cash for Clunkers” government program and that means there are fewer older cars available – which there is always a demand for.
What is Your Car Worth?
One more aspect to examine would be the depreciation of your vehicle. Calculate how much you could potentially get for your car now and in a year or two. This is especially important if you still owe money on your car. If you are in the lucky spot of being able to get more for your vehicle than you owe, then it would almost be silly not to make the attempt at selling it.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find out how much you owe. Call your bank or lender and get the payoff amount. They will tell you what that is and then how long that amount is good for – like maybe 2 weeks or 30 days. It’s the amount you’d have to bring in to completely pay off the vehicle.
If you don’t owe anything on your car, then go to the next step…
The next thing to do is figure out how much you can get for your car. There are websites like Kelly Blue Book and others that will help you estimate what your car might be worth. Another good place to look is eBay Motors. We explain how to do this in another, good article here on this website:
Are You Attached to Your Car?
Another thing to understand is that even for the most practical, logical, and/or pragmatic person, selling your vehicle might become somewhat emotionally difficult — it’s not uncommon for people to become attached to their vehicles. Not only is it a big purchase, but a lot of people spend time researching for one that fits not only their needs but also their style, there is a lot to get attached to.
Sell it Yourself or With a Dealer?
Finally, one last consideration would be if you plan on selling to a dealership or privately; the former will probably mean getting less for your vehicle but the latter will most certainly take longer to sell. Ideally, you want your car to sell quickly and get a lot for it. Sure, that’s ideal but it might not happen. It’ll depend on things like your market, the economy, the time of year and your vehicle. Going with a dealer might be the best option for you, so definitely think and consider it. You can even talk to a few dealers and get some offers.
Ultimately, you will have to make the decision if you want to sell your car or wait. If you’re not sure, then you can always put it out there for sale with a higher price and see if you get any interest. I’ve done that… I got it ready, advertised it and put a high price on it. I didn’t get any takers then but at least I knew that I didn’t miss out on anything – meaning, a buyer that really wanted it for about any price. You might get lucky and find such a person but to get in that situation, you have to make the decision to sell your car or not.
If you just can’t afford your car right now, then put it up for sale and at get at least what you owe on it. When you get rid of your car, you won’t have expenses like fuel, insurance, repairs and cleaning (car washes, etc.). You’ll save money. You can always save up or choose to finance a car later when things get better.
Thanks for stopping by and reading this article. We hope you share it with others. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments area below and we’ll be sure to answer your question.