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When should I sell my car?Back

When to sell your carSelling your car can be a life-changing event and a decision you will no doubt spend time deliberating over. Knowing the right time to sell a car is a step in the right direction to making sure you get the right price for your sale.

There are some simple rules of thumb when considering selling your car such as knowing what type of year or what time of month you should sell. For example, if you sell your car in February or August ahead of the new plate change, you will get a better deal than when the new plate has come out, simply because your car will instantly lose value every time a new plate is issued.

If you are considering part-exchanging your car, you will more than likely get a better deal if you exchange towards the end of the month when dealers are keen to balance out their books. In the same way, part-exchanging a car ahead of a plate change is also one way of ensuring you get the best value for money for it. You can often purchase a new car for less than you would expect to pay as dealers are keen to make way for new stock.

In terms of the age of your car, the standard rules still apply, the older you car is, the less money you will get for it. Dylan Setterfield, forecasting editor for CAP used car price guide said: “There isn’t a particular age where the depreciation and value curves combine at their most beneficial. Cars do most of their depreciating in the first nine months. But if you’re looking to sell a car to trade up, you want to sell it when it’s relatively new because the younger a car is, the more it’s worth.”

But one of the areas which we have little control over when it comes to selling our cars is the current market. Setterfield continues: “If, say, you’re looking to sell a Volkswagen and it sold a lot of cars to the daily rental business last July, those cars will come on to the market next month and the price of VWs will drop.

Warranty Direct has released a reliability chart which is well worth a look. Warranty Direct specialises in providing cover to motorists when the maker’s guarantees have expired. The chart suggests that when cars reach five years old or 60,000 miles their failure rate is higher than at any other time in their lives and this is when things start to go wrong.

Sell too early and you could lose money in depreciation, but leave it too late and reliability could become a deciding factor. That’s why being informed and knowing your market has never been more important. Websites such as will provide you with a clear idea of what your car should be worth at the time of selling it, so it is important to do your homework thoroughly before you enter into a sale.


Posted by Leana Kell on 06/08/2013