When Is the Best Time to Sell a Car?

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Timing is a critical factor when you're thinking about selling your car. Demand is greater for certain vehicles during particular seasons; plus, holidays and special events offer good opportunities to sell your car. In addition, you may want to take into account the economy, since demand for some vehicles can sometimes be influenced by the economy. Finally, you need to look at the mileage and wear and tear on your car.

Best Time of Year To Sell Your Car

One of the most important factors to consider when seeking to sell your car is the time of the year, especially if you're looking to sell your car quickly, knowing the season that cars typically sell best. According to DMV.org, trucks and 4x4s sell best during the fall and winter. Convertibles and sports cars sell best during the spring and summer, while commuter vehicles typically sell best during the peak of summer or winter. By selling your car during these periods, you can often sell it more quickly and at a higher profit.

Holidays and Special Events

In addition to the time of year, you also want to factor in holidays and special events, since particular times of the year offer ideal opportunities for selling your vehicle, including tax season, hunting season, Christmas and Independence Day, as well as high school and college graduations. Hunting season in certain parts of the country can increase the demand for trucks and 4x4s. If you have one of these junk cars to sell, you may want to consider listing it at the beginning of the season.

Recent high school or college graduates and their parents often look for cars at the end of spring, so either consider listing your car to sell online, then or in the fall when students will be returning to school. Typically, during Christmas and Independence Day, newer cars are priced lower. If you have a newer car with low mileage, you may want to consider listing it during these holidays in the hope of attracting a buyer searching for the best deal.

The Economy

The economy is another factor to keep a close eye on when looking to sell your car. In a strong economy, luxury cars and SUVs often will be in the greatest demand; conversely, in a weak economy, in which gas prices can often rise, fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles may become more popular. Used cars may also become easier to sell when the economy is in a downturn, because qualifying for loans is more challenging, and interest rates rise in a weak economy. Finally, the economy can impact the cost of public transportation. When these costs rise, it is not uncommon to see an increase in demand for used cars.

Mileage and Wear and Tear

It's also necessary to monitor the mileage on your car and its degree of wear and tear. While you always want to monitor these essential maintenance factors, they become even more important when you are trying to sell your car for cash. You should try to sell your car before it reaches the 100,000-mile mark, because older cars with more mileage are often seen as a higher maintenance risk. If you have an older vehicle with a lot of mileage, it may be more difficult to attract a car buyer at the price you are seeking. Make sure to try to sell your vehicle when it still has much of its engine life remaining.

While the best time to sell your car depends on many factors, these four are a good place to start.

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