A woman is driving to a dealership after searching "sell my car."

Here’s Why Now Is the Best Time to Sell Your Used Car

Selling a used car is never easy, with so many people simply putting up an advertisement saying “Sell My Car” on any number of websites. Sure, you are liable to get calls and emails, but it can be a real hassle. However, the good news is that selling a used car may be easier and more lucrative than ever. You may wonder why now is the best time to sell a car. As you begin the vehicle-selling process, you will see that a number of forces are working in your favor.

There really is nothing like getting more than you bargained for when the results are positive—this is the case when selling a used car today, and it all comes down to the supply chain and the greater economy. Each of these has worked to increase the price of used cars. This is a huge win for you if you are in the market to sell your vehicle. Nevertheless, while there are many ways to sell a used car, the best way is to sell it to a dealer. That’s the direction you should go in if you are a used car seller today.

Two Market Forces at Work

There are two market forces working in your favor, one related to the automotive market and the other to all goods for sale today. Let’s start by focusing on the automotive market. As you probably know, the price of all things is determined by the interaction of supply and demand. As demand for a product or service increases, the price will rise unless there is an increase in the production of such item. For example, if My Chemical Romance is playing a concert in your town, there will only be so many seats available for the show. If people still want tickets once the show sells out, the price will go above the face value on websites like Stub Hub—they aren’t making additional seats at the arena.

Similarly, the Pandemic disrupted the production of new vehicles. One factor was the shortage of semiconductors for key electronic systems in automobiles. In addition, many auto plants were closed or had to scale back production due to labor shortages. As a result, the major automakers produced far fewer cars, trucks, and SUVs than they would in a normal year. This led to many drivers having to look at used and pre-owned automobiles to replace their lost, stolen, or broken down vehicles. Since there weren’t any additional vehicles being made, this shortage in supply to meet the demand for cars drove the price of all vehicles, new and used, up, as people were willing to pay more to get their next car, truck, or SUV. This means that you should have no problem finding someone willing to buy your used car.

The other factor driving up prices affects almost every good for sale today in the United States. Unless you have been hanging around with Rip Van Winkle, you have noticed that the American economy has been hit with the worst inflation in over 40 years. Prices for everything from gasoline to milk has gone up at an alarming rate. This has certainly been the case with used cars, which had not contributed to inflation for the last 20 years. In the past year, used cars have contributed 1% to the annual inflation rate. For example, in December, used car prices went up by 3.5%, while the prices for all other goods and services only increased by 0.5%. Until this inflation subsides, the price of used cars will continue to go up, making now the perfect time to sell, as you will get a return on your used car unlike any you might have gotten even just a year or two ago.

A person is shown passing a car key to a salesperson.

The Different Ways to Sell a Used Car

There are two ways to sell a used car. You can either sell it yourself or sell it to a used car dealership. If you are looking to sell it yourself, there are several ways you can go about this. You can put a “for sale” sign in the window of your car with your phone number and email address. You can place an advertisement on a website like Craig’s List with details about the vehicle. You can even ask a friend who runs a local gas station if you can park the car on his lot and see if any of his customers are interested in buying your used car. You will probably find a potential buyer but may get many more headaches and hassles as well.

First, you will be dealing with strangers, which comes with its own risks. Even if you sell your used car to someone you know, you will still have to worry if something goes wrong with the car after you sell it. Nothing can kill a friendship faster than a dead used car you sold your neighbor. No matter how you sell it yourself, you will need to prepare all the paperwork. This will entail knowing all the details of your used vehicle and getting together and filling out all of the transfer documents yourself. Some states have all kinds of forms for selling cars that can be difficult and confusing if you don’t have a law degree or a relative who is a lawyer to help guide you through the process.

Selling a Used Car to a Dealer Is the Still the Best Way to Go

The only positive of selling a car yourself is that you might get more money than if you sell it to a dealer. This is assuming, of course, that the person buying isn’t sure about the Blue Book price for your used car. If the buyer has checked the price, they may drive as hard a bargain as a dealer. So, there is no guarantee that you will get a better price selling a used car yourself.

There are many advantages to selling the car to a dealer than selling it yourself. First of all, you won’t have to take on the risk of selling a car to a stranger. The Internet is full of stories of people who tried to sell a used car to a stranger and got robbed, assaulted, or received a check that bounced. Your local used car dealer has a reputation to protect and will probably not risk it over one used car transaction. This is why you will get paid the price you bargained for with a dealer. When you leave, you can be sure the dealer’s check will clear.

Also, when you sell to a dealer, the dealership will do a full inspection of your used car. If a problem arises after you complete the sale to the dealership, you don’t have to worry about the dealership coming back after you, unlike in a private sale. The dealer is in the automotive profession, and if they missed something in the inspection, that is their problem.

Finally, you won’t have to hassle with all the paperwork it takes when you sell a used car. The dealer has its own in-house team of salespeople who are well versed in the documents required by your state so that they can do all the paperwork preparation for the deal, and you will have peace of mind that it was done right.

A roll of money is shown tied to the roof of a toy car.

Sell Your Used Car Now

Today may represent the best time in your lifetime to sell a used car. Prices for used cars have never been higher, and this goes for all makes, models, and vehicle types. This means money in your pocket, which is always a good thing, so if you are looking to sell a used car, head over to your local dealership and see if you can get the price you want on your old vehicle.