There’s no set-in-stone, clearcut way to know when it’s time to get another car. If you sell it too soon, you may be giving up on more good months or even years together, plus the possibility of a title loan online. Wait too late, and you might end up kicking yourself, what with more repair bills than planned for, costly depreciation, and unsuitability for evolving needs. To help you, here is how to know when to sell your vehicle.
When Your Needs Change
Life happens, and things change. Perhaps you have a growing family, and that fun, sporty ‘Vette you have is, alas, no longer a practical fit. A minivan is what you really need. Or maybe, now that you have a longer work commute, you need a vehicle that’s more fuel efficient.
When it Reaches Peak Value
Unless the plan is to never sell your vehicle, you might want to consider unloading it when it’s most valuable. Thanks to stubborn supply issues, demand for used cars is through the roof right now. Depending on the vehicle’s make and model, you might be able to get what you paid for the ride, if not more.
Another factor is the car’s overall condition. It’s much easier to sell a car that is in good mechanical and cosmetic shape than one that needs major work. Otherwise, the buyer might ask you to deduct repair costs from the asking price.
Mileage is another key consideration. A rule of thumb is that when a vehicle reaches the 60,000 to 70,000-mile mark, it may be time to sell it. Why? Because after that is generally when pricey repairs come into play. You can also sell the vehicle for a higher price when it’s within the above range. Once the odometer reads six figures, you enter a different selling class in the eyes of potential buyers. And that’s true even if the vehicle is a Honda, Toyota, or some other brand known for producing durable products.
When Repairs Begin to Equal a Car Payment
After you’ve made a major repair, it’s only human nature to want to enjoy your newly fixed car. The risk is that more repairs will soon be needed, especially if a lot of mileage is involved. The vehicle could end up costing you a lot of cash. So, you want to sell the car when it’s running well.
You also want to avoid having to make a $2,500 repair on a car worth about $2,500, although this can get tricky. You should first determine your vehicle’s worth. Then you should ask a mechanic you trust about upcoming maintenance costs, which might include major repairs to keep your vehicle on the road. Next, compare how much the vehicle is worth to the amount needed to keep it running. It’s time to sell if the latter exceeds the former.
When Fuel and Insurance are Too High
The amount it costs to insure and fuel your vehicle can vary depending on the vehicle’s model. A small hybrid, for example, will be less of a gas consumer than a full-size sport-utility vehicle. And insurance premiums for a luxury ride will likely be higher than for a less-expensive hatchback, although where you live and other factors also come into play.
If Safety Becomes an Issue
While your vehicle may start up every time, braking suddenly feels a bit less sure, and that rust from those salted roads is becoming a worry. Note, too, that many of the newer vehicles have advanced safety systems that help you avoid collisions.
The bottom line is that people get attached to their vehicles for various reasons. We get it. Plus, it can be kind of a hassle to sell and then buy a new car. Still, what you must do is take a clear-eyed view of your situation, then make the right move for you and your family.
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