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How to get the best price for your used car

Used cars are selling for record prices, and that is clearly good news for those looking to sell.

Here are 5 ways to make sure you get the best price for your sale.

1. Don’t resist

“I wouldn’t count on it,” he said.

And don’t expect a huge windfall from an older model.

That 2004 Ford Escape in your driveway won’t get you the best price, even if it’s worth a little more than a year ago. The real price gain was for the newer models.

Edmunds shows that retail prices for cars five years old or younger increase from about $ 6,000 to $ 24,000 or more on average, depending on age. The retail price of a 9-year-old car drops from $ 3,000 to $ 13,250.

And if you’re trying to get the top price for your car, you might just have narrowly missed it.

Although the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index for June shows wholesale prices are up 34.3% from a year ago, that number is down 1.3% from the previous year. record set in May. But current prices remain very strong and retail prices continue to climb.

2. Have a plan to replace your car

Make sure you’ve found an affordable replacement vehicle or decided that you don’t need one.

Just as some home sellers have a hard time finding a new home, it’s a good idea to know what you’ll be driving after you get rid of the car you now have. New and used cars are scarce, which is a big part of why prices for both have reached record highs.

3. Sell the car yourself

One way to maximize the price is to sell the car yourself. This way, you can get the retail price rather than the trade-in value, which usually reflects wholesale prices.

“Usually the best possible price comes if you sell it yourself,” Moody said. “But it takes time and effort.”

It can also make you a bit more vulnerable to scams. A car dealership – no matter what you think of your experience with them – is a legitimate business that won’t hit you with a bounced check or some other trick.

4. Shop around before you sell

If you’re going to sell to a dealership, whether it’s through a trade-in, leased vehicle return, or direct sale, do what you would a car purchase: shop around.

Dealers are desperate to build up their used car inventories now. Some even advertise to buy cars rather than just sell them. Given the rush, there will likely be some differences in what the same car goes for at different dealerships. Some dealers might be more willing than others to overlook a scratch, dent, or stain from a can of grape juice in the backseat.

“Since there is a demand for lightly used cars, I would try a few dealers,” Moody said.

5. Return your lease

When it comes to returning a rented vehicle, now is probably not the best time to do so.

Almost all leased vehicles have a fixed price in the contract for which they can be purchased at the end of the lease. This price was set at the start of the lease, based on the expected value. But the rapid increase in the value of used cars means that the price is very likely much lower than the current market rate. With that in mind, it probably makes more sense to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease and then sell it yourself for a profit.

Moody warns that some states do not allow individuals to buy cars with the intention of selling them immediately, unless they hold a dealership license. But these laws are usually written to crack down on sellers who do so on a large scale. This is less of a problem for individuals who buy and then resell a single car.

But be sure to check with the dealership you are considering selling the car to before agreeing to buy it at the end of the lease to make sure that there will be no problem “returning” the car right after you buy it. got the title.


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