How to sell your car when the market is hot
As many Americans are looking for a vehicle due to the market recovery caused by the impacts of the pandemic, supply chain issues and semiconductor shortages, now may be the time to sell your vehicle. In fact, if you bought your car within the last two years, it might be worth even more now.
Selling your vehicle puts you in control when it comes to getting a good deal and with so many people looking for a new set of wheels, now is the perfect time. The average price of a used vehicle soared more than $28,000 in December 2021 – more than 40% more than two years ago – according to Kelley Blue Book. So you could potentially make more money than you otherwise would by selling your vehicle.
Options for selling your car
The best choice for you will depend on how much time you have, your confidence with the online marketplace, and your need for another vehicle.
Selling your vehicle privately usually means a higher payoff, direct negotiation, and the chance to avoid dealer fees. But a private sale requires extra work.
The best place to start is online. Sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and AutoTrafter can help you estimate your market value using search parameters that include make and model, mileage, state, and your location.
Other private sale options include local ads or Facebook Marketplace. But sticking to a trusted website will usually weed out scammers.
Recovery of your vehicle
If you’re looking to buy another vehicle, a trade-in is an effective way to sell your current car and walk away with a new one. Your local dealer can usually accept a vehicle trade-inand it’s a pretty simple process.
After making sure that your current vehicle is reimbursed, you can use the sale price of your vehicle to deduct it from the price of your new vehicle. This means that instead of cash – as you would for a private sale – you will instead lower the price of your new car. But new cars are expensive, so it might not go as far as you’d like.
Sell to a dealer
Similar to trading in your vehicle, selling to a dealership can be one of the easiest ways to get rid of your car. The dealership will take care of most of the hassle of selling the vehicle. But with this convenience comes a lower payout.
Especially with today’s auto market, dealerships are more likely to be willing to take the used vehicle away from you. But be sure to shop around for your car and get a few deals before accepting one so you know you’re getting the best deal.
Documents needed to sell your car
There are a few things you will need to organize before selling your vehicle. Early preparation means you don’t scramble to find the necessary forms after you find a buyer.
- Vehicle title.
- Deed of sale.
- Loan information, if applicable.
- Repair and maintenance records.
Tips for selling your car while the market is still hot
Follow these tips to get the most out of the vehicle you’re selling before the market cools.
Repay your current loan
Before purchasing your next vehicle, it is important that your loan is fully paid off. Sell a vehicle that always has a privilege on it is a complicated process. Ensuring your loan is fully repaid will protect your credit and save you from future headaches.
Know the value of your vehicle
It’s especially important to know the value of your vehicle before diving into the selling process. This will ensure that you get the most money possible when selling privately or through a dealership. take advantage of Car Value Option from Kelley Blue Book and research the selling prices of vehicles similar to yours in your area.
Don’t forget the curb appeal
No one will want to buy a vehicle with too many scratches or dents or an exceptionally neglected interior, so consider whether your car might need cosmetic repairs, minor repairs, or detailing before potential buyers see it. Commit to spending a little more money to clean the car to the best of your ability.
Take a step back and try looking at your car through the eyes of a potential buyer. Pay particular attention to features and areas like the seat upholstery, center console and windows. A used car that smells like new is much more likely to sell.
Create ads that display
Once your car is detailed, take good pictures of it. This is especially important if you are selling online. Cover every possible angle, inside and out. Part of buying a car online is avoiding scams, and a well-photographed car will be much more legitimate than an ad with one or two photos.
Include information such as price, year, make, model, and mileage in the ad. Other important details to add are the special options you have, the trim of the car, the gas mileage type of the car and why you are selling it.
Protect the sale
If you choose to sell your vehicle privately, there are several ways to protect yourself. Keep track of paperwork and be methodical every step of the way, including writing the exact mileage on the title before handing it over. Payment should also be made securely – a cashier’s check or a reputable online payment processing service are two of the easiest options.
Also meet in a public space and be sure to tell your trusted friends and family where you are. You can also bring someone with you for added security.
Close the deal
When you are ready to complete the transaction, you will need to take care of several legal and administrative details. After the sale, contact your insurance company to have it removed from the police, but not before notifying your motor vehicle department of the sale. Canceling your coverage prematurely may result in the suspension of your license for having an uninsured registered vehicle.
Reasons why you might not want to sell your used car
It’s tempting to try to get more for your vehicle before prices drop, but you might want to wait if you don’t have another ride to fall back on. New car prices averaged over $46,400 in December 2021, according to Edmunds. That’s a hefty amount, even if you get a good amount for your current car. Unless you can get a great interest rate, you may not walk away with more money in your pocket.
There is also the problem of inventory. You may not want to sell your vehicle if you don’t have another one waiting. Many are still empty and ongoing supply chain issues mean you’re unlikely to find any anytime soon. As more companies adopt a hybrid schedule, you may not be able to get around the way you want without a car.
Decide how you want to sell your car and go from there. Trading, selling at a dealership, and selling privately all have their pros and cons, and what’s best for you will depend on how much time you have and what you’re looking to get out of the sale. Whichever method you choose, used car prices are high, so now is probably the best time to sell.