If you’ve been following us here at Ideal, you know that we’re all about buying and selling cars with a strategy. That means buying cars at the most aggressive price possible, enjoying them as their values hit the very tippy-top of the curve, and then selling them for no loss whatsoever, and sometimes even for a profit!
If this is your first time tuning in with us, you clicked on our blog at the right time, my friend! Even if you have an old rustbucket sitting in your garage, or a 5-to-10-year-old Honda Civic or something, there has never been a better time to put your car up for sale!
In this article, I’m going to run you through exactly why that is! You should sell your car right now! Let’s go!
Increased Used Car Demand – Spending COVID Cash
So, basically, one of the main reasons that it’s such a great time to sell your car right now is that people are absolutely itching to get their hands on used cars. And there are several reasons for that, but they all pretty much lead back to one main factor: the pandemic. Yeah, finally something to be happy about in this awful pandemic! So, how did COVID-19 actually drive up the demand for used cars? Well, it’s a multi-part answer.
First of all, with all the panic and precautions people are taking to avoid getting the virus, public transportation, Uber, and Lyft have all become way less popular. Some public transport systems in major cities went so far as to shut down completely during the pandemic. But, people still have to go places. So, as a result, more people are in need of cars!
And while many people wouldn’t have been able to afford those cars before, hundreds of millions of American households just got a little more money tossed at them by the government. I’m talking about those handy stimulus checks. With a lot of people getting a whole $4,200 pretty much out of the blue from the stimulus payments, many Americans can suddenly afford to buy that used car that they need, thus further driving up the demand.
But, you might say, “Well, do Americans really want to blow all of their stimulus money on a car immediately?” The answer is no. A lot of buyers are choosing to finance their cars because interest rates on auto loans are incredibly cheap right now. And what’s that mean? You guessed it, even more demand for used cars.
The final reason why people are so interested in buying used cars right now is the fact that new car prices are through the roof, which has pushed a lot of people to the used market to seek more affordable options.
But, let’s take a step back there for a second and look at why new car prices have gone up so high, and why used car prices have also risen as a result.
Ballooning New Car Prices – The More Affordable Option
So, I hate to tell you, but if you’ve been long awaiting the return of the classic Ford Bronco and you’re finally ready to buy the new 2021 model, now is probably not the best time to get it because you’re going to end up way overpaying. New car prices right now are through the roof, basically because there have been so few new cars rolling out of the factories.
So, what happened there? Well, basically, the pandemic brought a lot of auto manufacturers to a grinding halt around March of 2020, with some factories closing their doors for even a few months. And I’m not talking about obscure makes like Peugeot or Rivian, I’m talking about the big boys like GM, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, and a bunch of other big names.
This effect was made even worse by the fact that these factories, even when they reopened, had supply shortages. The guys who supplied the bearings were running behind. The guys who supplied the catalytic converters were behind. The guys who supplied the microchips, well, you get the point. Everyone involved with building cars was behind schedule, and they still are!
So, with fewer new cars coming out of the factories, the price of new cars went up. Smaller supply, higher price, that’s just basic economics. But, this also had huge effects on the used car market as well, since fewer people buying new cars meant fewer people were trading in their old cars. That pretty much put a chokehold on the used car market supply. Plus, as I said before, with new cars being so damn expensive, more people were looking to buy used ones.
So, let’s see, supply of used cars going down, demand for used cars going way up. What’s that mean? Used car prices have shot to the moon! I’m talking about a 19.4% increase on average since the start of 2020! That’s absurd!
Sell Your Car Now – That 20% Premium
You heard me right, used cars are at about a 20% premium right now! And that absolutely sucks if you’re trying to buy a used car, but if you’re selling your car, that means you can get up to 20% more than you normally would! Think about that! A car that you’d normally sell for $10,000 is now going for $12,000! That’s a free $2,000 just for being an opportunist!
So, if you were planning on selling your car in the near future, get that old Civic or Miata or G35 up online right now! Hit up Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, CarMax, Edmunds, or whatever! Just get it on the market and watch the money roll in!
If you’re way too lazy to be bothered with talking to buyers and trying to get the best price, you could get one of those instant cash offers that some companies offer; however, you’re going to get a much worse price than if you actually marketed the car yourself online.
Plus, selling your car online is easy. All you’ve got to do is snap some sexy photos of your car, which we actually have a video guide to on our YouTube channel. List it with the specs online and watch the offers come in. Then, you just pick the best offer, and you’ve got to whole lot of dough!
But, wait a second! This is Ideal Cars, a media outlet for driving enthusiasts, and we care about driving more than money or anything else! So, there’s one major catch I should mention.
The Catch – Gearhead Withdrawals
So here’s the thing: if driving is one of the great joys in life for you, and judging by the fact that you’re reading this article, it probably is, selling your car right now might not actually be the best decision for you. If you plan to sell your car right now and you only have that one car, you’re either going to have to go without a car for a while, which means no midnight joyrides or mid-day drag races, or you’re going to have to buy another car.
And, as I mentioned before, prices for new and used cars are through the roof right now. So, if you need a car, whether it’s for commuting or just for your own sanity, it’s probably better to stick with the car you have now rather than to sell your old car for a great price and then buy a new or used car for an absolutely awful price. The money you saved and the money you spent are just going to offset each other, and you’ll have wasted a whole bunch of time.
However, if you have an extra car sitting in your driveway collecting dust and another car that you drive on the regular, you should absolutely sell that car you’re not using. You’ll get a fantastic price for it, and you’ll still have a set of wheels to hoon around in.