Car ownership is a cyclical process; you buy a new vehicle, enjoy it for a few years and then inevitably come to the point where you want to sell it and move on to greener pastures.
What you might not consider is the timing of the sale, which can be a hindrance if you are hoping to get the best deal on your second hand motor. With that in mind, here are a few time-based tips to help you achieve the optimal price when selling your car.
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Consider residual value
Every car depreciates in value over time, with only a handful of models managing to achieve classic status, and only then after decades of waiting. Because of this, you should plan your sale accordingly.
Of course some cars depreciate quicker than others, but on average you can expect up to a third of the value to fall away in the first 12 months. Once a car is 3 years old, it will be worth half of what it was as new.
AutoVolo, who offer a service to sell your online, indicate that it’s vital to take depreciation into consideration when you’re getting ready to sell your car. In particular, sometimes it makes sense to sell your car sooner rather than later to avoid making major losses.
Pay attention to the season
Used car values fluctuate not just according to supply and demand, but also in conjunction with the time of year.
An influx of nearly-new and quality used motors can be expected twice a year, since new registration plates are issued in both March and September. This means that values typically fall in the aftermath, which in turn should give you an incentive to sell your car well before this happens.
The type of car you own will also impact its value as seasons change; convertibles can command higher prices in the warmer months while the colder weather and icy conditions on the road are likely to put a premium on SUV prices.
This advice works in the other direction if you are buying a car, so stay savvy and keep an eye on the seasons if you are looking to come out on top from a financial perspective. Analysts have even crunched the numbers and concluded that the first Tuesday to fall in February each year is the day on which the largest proportion of people will be on the lookout for a car, so you can be minutely precise with your sale timing if you so wish.
Follow your instincts
At the end of the day you should only sell your car when the time feels right for you and always make sure that you have provisions in place to make up for its absence from your life.
Do not rush in and snag the first offer that comes your way, nor sell your vehicle on a whim simply because it seems sensible in the moment. Consider all your options carefully and the timing should work out as well.