When Should I Sell My Used Car?

Determining when you should sell your used car will come down to a few key factors. Some of the most common reasons that people decide to sell their used car include:

  • Transmission trouble
  • Engine trouble
  • Can’t pass inspection
  • Wrecked or totaled the car
  • It’s an old car (maintenance too much)
  • Want a new one
  • Lifestyle changes

Below, is a brief explanation of each to help you decide whether it is time to sell your used car.

1. Transmission Trouble

The transmission enables a car to properly shift gears. When issues arise with the transmission, maneuvering the car into gear becomes difficult and eventually impossible.

Replacing a transmission can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3500. Most car owners determine whether they should sell their car based on its value and the cost of replacing the transmission. If the replacement is more expensive, selling your car “as is” would be more sensible.

2. Engine Trouble

Now there are a lot of intricate working parts on a car’s engine. To put it in layman’s terms though, the engine is like the brain of the car. If the brain is not functioning properly, neither will the rest of the vehicle.

There are some basic engine repairs you’d do well to have. These can include things like replacing spark plugs or getting a new gas cap. However, a crack in the engine, worn engine bearings, or a blown head gasket are more serious. These may require the engine to be rebuilt costing you anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000.

3. Won’t Pass Inspection

Every year (depending on the age of your car) you are required to pass a state vehicle inspection. If your vehicle does not pass the state requirements, a failed sticker is placed on your vehicle. You’re required to make repairs before the vehicle can “technically” be on the road. Repairs must be done immediately or you risk getting citations every time you hit the road.

Common reasons for a failed inspection are a check engine light on, failed emissions (likely a faulty oxygen sensor), defective ignition system, or an air injection system failure. Each of these problems could cost you several hundred dollars to repair. Some car owners have even repaired one thing, gone back to inspection, and failed for yet another thing. This of course, is a reason to believe they should sell their used car.

4. Wrecked or Totaled the Car

If you have a used car that is wrecked or totaled, now may be the time to sell it. A vehicle that was involved in an accident can have a lot of damage. Moreover, if you have an older vehicle that has liability coverage, the costs will be all on you.

Some of the most common auto body repairs include a dented bumper, deep scratches in the paint, a cracked windshield, suspension damage, and rear-end damage. The costs per repair could range from $50 to $10,000. That’s a serious chunk of change for an older car that may require other repairs as well.

5. It’s an Old Car – Too Much Maintenance

The older a car gets the more repairs it will need. As your car’s mileage nears 200,000, you’re going to start experiencing more problems. They can include rusted exhaust systems, spark plug replacement, shocks and strut issues, increased oil changes, old hoses, electrical problems, worn brake lines, rust, and the need to replace old mechanical parts. Once your car reaches about 175,000 miles you’re looking at an average maintenance cost of $5,000. This does not include the cost of gas, major repairs, or insurance.

6. You Just Want a New Car

This one is self-explanatory. Some people just reach a point where they are ready for something new. They’ve had the car a while and although it still runs pretty well, they just prefer to ride in something new.

7. Lifestyle Changes

Life changes with the wind. Some people decide to sell their used car because they can’t afford the cost of ownership right now. Some sell their used car because they no longer have the room to store the car. Others need a car with more room because of a new addition to the family.

When should you sell your used car? While these reasons are all logical, it all boils down to when you’re ready. And when you are, Sell My Car Online will be right there to assist you in getting a great offer for your used car. Call us at (855) 929-0828.