The Top Signs That It’s Time to Sell Your Car


Modern cars are loaded with safety features and amenities to make each drive a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The average car’s lifespan is only 12 years, and routine maintenance is critical to getting the most value from your investment. You’ll create lasting memories and enjoy a reliable vehicle for years.

The challenge with owning a vehicle is knowing when should you sell your car to a dealership or new driver. Knowing the signs to look for with your used vehicle will provide hints that your car’s lifespan is ending.

The good news is that you’ve come to this eye-opening guide to the signs that it’s time to sell your vehicle and get money for your asset. Continue reading to time your sale for the most significant profit possible.

You’re Nervous the Value Won’t Last

At a certain age and mileage, your car will reach a point where it has little to no market value. Outside of collector cars, most cars will begin losing value after ten years.

You’ll find several websites dedicated to sharing your car’s value online. Entering the VIN will help you get the most accurate numbers to estimate what you’ll get if you sell your vehicle to a private buyer or dealership. Your car will not be more valuable in the future than it is today.

You Hear Strange Noises

Strange noises are often a bad sign when you’re driving a vehicle. A car is made of thousands of moving parts, and noises coming from these parts are a sign something is wrong. If you hear squealing when braking, it’s a sign your brake pad’s indicator is rubbing against your rotor.

A squealing noise coming from under the hood indicates you have a loose belt. Keep your ears open and ready for sounds when driving. Identify the noise by researching the causes online. If you listen to these sounds, you’ll be prepared to sell your ride while you can still get value for it.

Approaching 100,000 Miles

The 100,000-mile mark is a significant waypoint in your car’s journey. It used to be the gold mileage standard, determining when a car is reaching its retirement age. Many car owners viewed vehicles with 100,000 miles as living on borrowed time.

Changes in technology and engineering are allowing modern cars to last for several hundred thousand miles. The perception from society is still a generation behind, with many people in the older generation sticking to the 100,000-mile rule.

It’s best to sell your car before it reaches 100,000 miles to get a more substantial return. Cars drop in value when they reach the 100,000-mile mark and beyond.

Gas Costs Are Robbing You

Many cars were manufactured when gas prices were much lower and manageable for car owners. Finding yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle getting 15 miles per gallon is terrifying when each gallon costs over $3.

Newer vehicles combine hybrid technology and electric vehicles to eliminate the need for expensive gas. The best cars average over 30 miles per gallon, helping you save money at the pump.

Lower gas and energy prices will lower your car’s ownership cost. If the rising prices associated with gas are robbing or intimidating you, it’s time to explore your options for selling your vehicle. Look for a reputable car dealership and consider trading your car for a new ride.

You Notice Rust

Rust is a sign that your car has been exposed to the elements, and it’s a standard feature when living in snowy areas that use salt to keep ice and snow off the roads. It’s natural for car owners to see rust and become nervous about their vehicle’s future. Oxidation tends to spread around your car.

You can mitigate the rust by sanding it and repainting the rusted areas. The rust will attack your suspension, exhaust system, and doors. Rust is one of the first things car shoppers look for to ensure they get a good deal.

Consider your options when you begin spotting rust on your car. Explore your options and get estimates for trading in or selling your vehicle to get maximum value when selling.

Outdated Safety Systems

Modern cars have several impressive systems designed to keep drivers safe in all conditions. Top systems drivers should want in their vehicles include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. If your car doesn’t have these systems, it’s time to consider selling it and buying an upgrade.

If you’re driving without these systems to protect you, it’s natural to have some fear. Consider trading your current vehicle for a new one when you notice the signs and ask yourself, “When should you sell your car?”

Check Engine Light Appearances

The check engine light is designed to alert drivers when something is wrong with the engine. It’s one of the most dreadful things to notice when driving your vehicle. Part of the fear is identifying the cause of the light coming on.

The fear of the unknown kicks into high gear when your budget is small, and your potential engine problems are not. The cause of the light coming on could be as simple as a loose gas cap or as daunting as an engine misfiring.

If your check engine light continues coming on after repairs and visits to the mechanic, it’s time to reassess your needs and car situation. Look at your options for selling your used vehicle and find one more reliable with an auto refinance.

It’s a Money Pit

Nothing is worse than pouring countless dollars into fixing your used car only for the most recent repairs to fail after a few months. You’ll develop stress and anxiety related to each time you need to start and use your car.

In most cases, it’s much cheaper to repair an old car than it is to buy a new one. You can afford it several times before the money you pay equals what you’d spend for a new car.

If you reach a point where the constant repairs are catching up with you and putting a dent in your savings, it’s time to consider selling your vehicle and buying an upgrade. The warranty coverage is reason enough to look at new cars for peace of mind.

Getting Stranded Is Normal

When your vehicle begins having significant mechanical issues, getting stranded in inconvenient locations is typical. If these incidents become a regular occurrence, exploring your options to sell your used vehicle is worthwhile.

You spend countless hours waiting for tow trucks and friends or family to help when stranded in your car. It’s also a source of stress related to work and school. Missing work and school because your car stranded you again could result in severe consequences for your future.

The two things to look for in a car are safety and reliability. If your vehicle becomes too unreliable to trust, it’s time to sell it and move on.

Your Mechanic Warns You

A trustworthy mechanic is worth their weight in gold. If your mechanic warns you that your car is reaching the end of its lifespan, trust their word and begin looking for options to sell your car and buy a new one.

You may take your car to the mechanic for routine maintenance, and they discover a broken component that is expensive to repair or replace. The news puts you in a position to expect a costly breakdown.

Be honest about the circumstances if you’re prepared to sell your car. Your mechanic did you a solid by being honest about your vehicle, and you should pass that kindness on to potential buyers.

Signs of Transmission Trouble

Transmissions are notorious for their complexity, and you must look for signs your transmission is getting closer to failing. Unfamiliar noises will provide an early warning of your potential transmission issues. Grinding gears and fluid leaks are other signs to look for when you’re worried your transmission is failing.

Poor Gas Mileage

When your car faces a sudden change in gas mileage, it’s a sign that you should consider selling. Keep track of how often you’re stopping for gas compared to previous years to determine if your fuel economy is decreasing with time.

Your car may have an issue with its compression stroke. You can attempt to counter the problem by investing in a fuel cleaner. If the fuel cleaner doesn’t do the trick, ask your mechanic to run diagnostics. Brace yourself for negative news and prepare to sell your car.

Now You Know “When Should You Sell Your Car?”

Knowing when should you sell your car will do wonders for your bank account and peace of mind, and knowing the signs to watch for will help you stay prepared. Listen for strange sounds and monitor your gas mileage to ensure all components work as designed. Watch for signs of rust, consider your safety features, and check for your car’s check engine light.

Knowing the basics of auto maintenance will do wonders for your savings account and confidence. Explore our Auto content for tips and auto maintenance tricks today!

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