A close up shows the V-Motion grille on a white 2022 Nissan LEAF.

3 Reasons to Sell Your Used Model NOW

Are you looking to sell your car, truck, or SUV? There’s no better time than now. Due to the chip shortage that has thrown quite the wrench into the automotive industry, dealers are struggling to stock brand-new models. Since it’s difficult to get new models, it’s making it hard to keep vehicle stock at all. As a result, used vehicle prices are much higher than they’ve been in the recent past. Put simply; you can sell your car to a dealership now and get the high payout benefits of selling to a private buyer without the headache and mistrust that comes along with it. Not buying it yet? We’ve got three reasons why now really is the best time to sell your used vehicle that will quickly change your mind.

Number 1: Low Resale Valued Vehicles Are Worth More Than Ever Before

You fell in love with your little commuter car the moment you first saw it. Young, a bit naive, and a bit uninformed, you bought the car due to its fun specs and looks, not thinking about how much it would be worth in the future. Resale value is a VERY important part of buying a vehicle, and once your model starts to depreciate, the thought of selling it to a dealership may turn your stomach.

This is the unfortunate reality for several models, especially on the luxury and eco-friendly front. If you have a Chevy Bolt or a Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, you’re likely not expecting much of a return on your resale. In fact, if you own any of the following vehicles, you’re on the lower end of the “resale value” pole:

  • Volkswagen Arteon
  • Volvo S90 Recharge T8
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Audi A8 Plug-in
  • Mitsubishi Mirage G4
  • Cadillac CT5

And these are just some of the models you won’t get a great return on. As you can see, most of these vehicles are luxury models. They’re worth more upfront, but after they head off the lot, their value decreases significantly. The same is true for electric and hybrid models. These vehicles are nice to own, but they’re just not ideal when trade-in day rolls around.

However, if you’ve been driving any of these vehicles for a bit and you can’t put off the trade-in any longer, now is the time to make up for your losses. While these models are at the end of the resale value spectrum, right now, dealers will offer you more than normal. Take advantage of this and get out while you can! You’ll be surprised at how much more you can get from your model now compared to what you would have been offered last year.

A blue 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is shown parked in the desert.

Number 2: High Resale Valued Models Will REALLY Bring in the Cash!

If you’re on the better end of the deal where you own a model that offers a nice resale value no matter what, now’s the time to really get your money’s worth. For example, that 2012 Jeep Wrangler you own could still bring you well over $20,000 depending on its condition. Wranglers have always been known for holding their value, and this fact is even more true in the market right now. In fact, on average, the Wrangler’s value has only dropped 9.2 percent over the course of 5 years, whereas most vehicle resale values drop over 40 percent within that time frame. You could sell a Wrangler at any time and get more than your buddy with the pimped-out Civic, so selling it while the market is hot puts you way ahead of the game.

Oh, and if you’ve got a 2021 Wrangler that you want to trade in already, expect a 2-door model to retain 84.1 percent of its original worth. A four-door model follows closely behind with an 81.4 percent resale value. Whether you own it old or new, the Wrangler is a great model to sell right now. Among other high-value vehicles are the following models:

  • Toyota Tundra and Tacoma trucks
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Ford Mustang
  • Dodge Challenger

It’s not all about the Wrangler, although it’s the best example out there. The fact is that if you own a truck, SUV, or sports car, you’re likely in line for the highest possible resale values. While this is the general rule of thumb, if you’ve been holding onto your model for the past few years, now’s an even better time to let go before resale values drop again.

Number 3: Smaller Payments on Your Brand-New Model

Ready to upgrade to a brand-new vehicle? When you are able to track down a brand-new 2022 vehicle, you can finance a much smaller amount, thanks to the market’s current high resale values. For example, if a dealership gives you $20,000 for a 2012 Jeep Wrangler, and you want to trade that in on a $60,000 Rubicon, you’re only financing $40,000 as opposed to the full amount. This is common sense, of course, but the point is that just last year, dealerships were offering less than what they’ll give you now. It’s difficult to part with a beloved vehicle, but it’s best to do so while you can at least get your money’s worth.

For example, let’s say you’ve been rocking a 2011 Ford Mustang for the past ten years. While you may love it, you’re missing out on upgraded tech and better fuel economy. Since the Mustang’s resale value is so high, you can trade this in for a brand new Mustang model without draining your bank account. The inflation rate for used vehicles is up 40%, whereas new vehicles are only up less than 10%. You get where we’re going with this.

Plus, when you trade in, the emotional connection isn’t entirely lost. When you upgrade to the same model but a different model year, you’ll maintain all the fun things you loved about your old model (off-road capacity, fuel economy, spaciousness, etc.) while keeping up with the status quo and driving a much more reliable vehicle.

A blue 2021 Ford Mustang is shown driving past a body of water after researching 'how to sell your car.'

What Are Some Perks to Selling to a Dealership?

Normally, in order to feel like they’re receiving a reasonable payment for their vehicle, sellers will sell to a private buyer. There are several risks associated with this, though, such as insufficient payment methods and scammers, personal liability if the vehicle breaks, and so on. When you sell to a dealership, however, those possibilities dissipate. Now that rates are high and dealerships are “over-paying” for used models, you can get the best of both worlds when you sell your used vehicle – a high yet reliable payout.

You’ll also save a lot of time when you sell your vehicle to a dealership. When you sell privately, you must sort through multiple buyers to ensure that you find the right person. Even then, you have to trust your own judgment and hope that your gut feeling is right. Selling to a dealership, on the other hand, is a speedy process that takes less than a day – sometimes, even less than an hour. Oh, and paperwork is minimal to none. The folks behind the counter will handle all of that stuff. You don’t have to worry about the title, the bill of sales, or anything like that.

In addition to these perks, you may even get a nice tax break for your trade-in. This varies according to state, but in Georgia, you can save as much as $2,500 depending on the vehicle and individual tax liability. This tax break is often applied to your new model, acting as an additional discount on top of whatever your trade-in is already worth. Overall, the main perk to selling to a dealership rather than a private buyer is that your sale is legally protected.

Get to Selling!

Now that you know all the perks to selling your car right now, specifically to a dealership, it’s time to take action. We don’t know how long this elevated market will last. This year alone, used car prices have gone up as much as 40% compared to the past. That’s a difficult percentage to beat. This inflation rate is higher than any other market’s inflation, including the housing market and, most importantly, new car prices. We believe it’s safe to say that for many people in the car market, it’s out with the old and in with the new!