When is the best time to sell your car?

On average, you’ll own about nine cars in your lifetime. A change in circumstances may mean you need a new vehicle, or you might just fancy a fresh one. Either way, you’ll want to get the best deal when selling a car. Any money you make from the sale can offset some of the costs of its replacement too. Whatever stage in life you’re at, there are different times when it can be best to sell a car.

Selling your beginner car

The first car new drivers opt for after passing their test is usually an everyday run around. Something affordable, cheap to run, sturdy and safe. Many drivers feel emotionally attached to their first car and it can be sad when the time comes to part ways.

So, when’s the best time to sell your first car?

It’s likely that a newly-qualified driver or someone practising towards their test will be interested, for all the same reasons you bought it in the first place. Think about putting your car for sale between April and August as the driving test pass rates are at their highest in these months.

Also, second-hand cars can be given as graduation and Christmas gifts, so take advantage of this period of high demand.

Moving on to a more professional vehicle

If you’ve sold your beginner car, your next one will probably coincide with your first steps on the career ladder. For twenty-something professionals, you’ll want your next car to be stylish and compact, with plenty of tech features.

Affordability is always important for buyers, even when looking for a second-hand executive car, so bear this in mind when it comes to putting your professional vehicle on the market. Selling the likes of a second-hand Vauxhall can be easy in this respect, as they have a reliable reputation and can be bought and sold at a great price too.

The number of used cars on the market increases in September and March as drivers upgrade to new-registration vehicles. So, selling your car a bit earlier in August or February can help you avoid the increased competition and secure a quicker sale.

Selling a car when starting a family

Another reason to sell your car is if you’re planning to start a family. You’ll probably want something more spacious and practical such as a Nissan with their choice of family-friendly hatchbacks and mini-SUVs. Here the best time to sell a car will be based on personal circumstances rather than a specific month of the year.

You’ll want to get it sold and a new vehicle bought at least a month or two before the due date. So, it’s best to put your current car for sale about four months before, so there’s no urgency for a sale and you have chance to drop the price if it’s not selling.

Becoming an empty nester

If your kids have all left home and you feel it’s time to sell your family car, consider putting it up for sale in the autumn and winter months. The cold weather makes 4x4s, SUVs and other large cars more attractive to buyers.

As temperatures rise, there’s a higher demand for classic cars, convertibles and roadsters. So, if you’re looking for a more modern ride now that your kids are all grown up, maybe buy one outside of the summer months. For those looking to sell such a model, wait until late spring before putting your convertible on the market to get the best price too.

When it comes to selling your car, remember that timing matters. Finding the best time to sell could mean more money to invest in a new car, ready for the next phase in your life.

Image courtesy of iStock.

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