How You Could Decide When It Is Right To Sell Your Car

By Janis Reid

Inevitably, many people become attached to their old cars. Cars serve as pleasant reminders of the family vacations, first dates, and funny mishaps of yesteryear. However, owners must acknowledge when it's time to say goodbye, and post the cars on sale. If cars have structural damage, and if continued repairs will cost more than a new vehicle, then selling may be the right option.

Rust problems are a good sign that it's time to sell a vehicle. Despite the fact that vehicle workmanship, undercoating, and paint have improved significantly, a used car that faces wintry conditions, or which travel over rough roads, will inevitably show signs of rust. If rust spots push through the paint, the wheel wells are probably in poor shape, and vehicle damage may be irreversible.

Major engine problems should convince an owner to sell. When an engine rod is knocking, or gas mileage suddenly drops, the car will need significant engine work. Owners will pay for an engine rebuild, which may or may not be successful.

Owners must consider selling if safety is compromised by needed repairs. If the brake light or oil light is coming on, or if the temperature gauge runs hot, then owners should pull the vehicle over immediately, to avoid collisions or expensive repairs. Even minor problems with seat belts, airbags, tie rods, ball joints, and brakes add up to a significant amount of money, as well as creating a safety hazard.

Some people experience changes in lifestyle which cause them to need new vehicles. A family sedan, rather than the old compact car, may be a better choice for growing families. Or, if the family budget can no longer accommodate an old gas guzzler, then owners may need to look for a car with higher gas mileage.

A repair versus buy analysis will help drivers to make their decision. Listing the cost of needed repairs, and estimating how long they will last, is the first step. After that, owners should write down the cost of car payments, and compare the two figures. If repairs will cost more, both in terms of time wasted and money spent, then making the sale may be the only viable step.

Selling privately and trading in to a dealer both have advantages. Cars which are sold privately will garner more money, even though the selling process will require more hassle. On the other hand, trading in works well when owners would have to dump a significant amount of money into getting the car into sellable condition. The decision is a question of both money and convenience.

When vehicles are still running well, with no significant structural damage, then owners do not need a new car, even though they may want one. However, when the vehicle has serious problems, or major life changes mean that the old car simply doesn't suit the family, then selling the vehicle is the right option. Before posting the car for sale, owners should decide whether to trade in to a dealer, or to sell the car privately.

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