You bought your car years ago when money was tight. It wasn't the latest model, but it did its job. For years, it's been transporting you to work and around the town. You even drove it cross country for vacation.

But now your family is outgrowing "old reliable." Every time your kids pile in the back seat, you wonder if it's time to sell your old car and start anew.

Here are some things to consider before selling your car. Using these guidelines, you can determine whether it's best to sell, donate or keep your car.

1. The Car's Year, Make and Model

Typically, the older your car, the less money it's worth. However, due to supply and demand, certain makes and models are worth more at different times.

Get an estimate from an auto dealer to find out how much your car would be worth if you were to sell it today. The trade-in value reflects how much you'll get when you sell the car to the dealer.

If you're not in a rush to sell your car, you may want to wait a while and see if your car's value goes up. Prices usually go up in the spring and summer, when most people buy new cars. But keep in mind that your car is aging while you wait, which usually causes your car to depreciate in value.

2. The Car's Odometer Reading

Even more important than your car's age is your car's mileage. The more miles it has driven, the less money buyers will be willing to pay. Here are some basic guidelines of how your car's mileage affects your asking price.

  • Less than 30,000 miles: You'll get the most money if you sell your car before it reaches this stage. It's at about this stage that most cars need their first major repairs.
  • Less than 60,000 miles: At about 60,000 miles, you'll likely need to replace your car's brakes, tires and timing belt. You might save money by selling your car slightly before it hits 60,000 miles.
  • Less than 100,000 miles: Most people are unwilling to buy cars that have racked up more than 100,000 miles. They fear that at this point, cars will cost too much in repairs. You should try to sell your car before it reaches this point. Otherwise, donating your car may be your only option.

Keep a close eye on your car's mileage and try to sell it before it reaches one of these checkpoints.

3. The Car's Condition

Your car's condition plays a large role in when you should sell it-and whether you should sell it at all. Visit a mechanic to get an evaluation. Ask the mechanic which repairs your car will need in the next year and how much they will cost. You can also check your car's owner's manual to find out what repairs are recommended at this point in your car's life.

Compare the cost of repairs to the cost of the trade-in value. It might actually cost you more to repair your car than it would to sell your car and buy a new car. If that's the case, talk to an auto dealer about selling your car.

If your car requires expensive repairs, an auto dealer may not accept it. You could try to sell your car online, but that may not work out either. Another option is to donate your car. Many non-profit organizations accept used cars. They can sell the parts and use the money to fund their organization.

4. The Car's Gas Mileage

A final factor to consider is how much you're paying for gas. You can calculate your car's gas mileage by noting how many gallons of gas it takes to fill your tank. Divide the number on your trip odometer by the number of gallons. This calculation determines how many miles your car drives per gallon.

Research the gas mileage of other types of cars to see how your car's gas mileage compares. Calculate how much you'll pay for gas if you continue to drive your car for the next year or five years, and compare that with how much you would pay for gas with a different type of car. You may find that it's financially advantageous to trade in your car for a car with better gas mileage.

Use these guidelines to determine whether it's time to get a new car. Along with these guidelines, consider your family's needs. For example, maybe you recently had a new child and need a larger car. Or maybe you want a vehicle that can tow your new boat. These and others are valid reasons to get a new car.

If you're ready to sell your car, turn to Young Automotive Group. We can give you a no-obligation quote on your vehicle's worth.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory