Why Now Is a Great Time to Sell Your Old Car

Well-maintained older vehicles can fetch you a pretty penny these days. Here's what you need to do before heading to the lot.

Why Now Is a Great Time to Sell Your Old Car Photo by Alen thien / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve been keeping an old vehicle — think 2009 or older — this is a great time to look at selling it or trading it in.

Auto industry experts say affordable used cars are difficult to locate these days, so car dealers are willing to pay premium prices to get their hands on the hard-to-find vehicles — especially if they’re well-maintained with reasonable mileage, CNN Money reports.

There are two main reasons that cheaper, used vehicles are so difficult to find today. For starters, people are keeping their old cars even when they buy a new one, thanks to an improving economy and more-reliable cars. In addition, there are relatively few used cars to sell that are around 9 years old, because there were fewer new cars sold during the Great Recession.

So if you have an old vehicle, now is a great time to look at selling it. Larry Dixon, a used car market analyst with J.D. Power and Associates, tells CNN Money that car dealers will pay “top dollar” for vehicles that have been well-maintained and cared for by previous owners and have reasonable mileage.

But before you head to a car lot with your old car, make sure you’re not inadvertently leaving money on the table.

For example, sometimes it makes sense to put a little extra money into the car in hopes of getting more return from a dealership. As we said in “7 Ways to Boost Your Old Car’s Trade-In Value”:

I’m not suggesting you spend a load of cash and give the car a complete makeover. But the better the condition, the more money you’ll make. If you’re not a car person, you might want to find an expert you trust to advise you on what repairs would be worth the cost. Think of the repair as an investment; you want to get back in a higher price at least as much as you spend on the repairs.

For more tips, take a look at “Get the Best Price on the Sale of Your Car or Truck.”

Do you have an older vehicle you want to get off your hands? Comment below or on Facebook.

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