7 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Car

selling your car

We all have that one friend who drives an absolute beater. You know, the one when you’re riding shotgun and all you can think about is if you have your last will and testament in order? And then you suggest that maybe its time to get a new ride, only to hear, “Nah man, this car’s got at least 100,000 more miles on it.” It doesn’t.  Don’t be that guy. 

There comes a time in every car’s life when it’s time to face the music and trade it in for something new. If you don’t, you could be endangering your own life and the lives of anyone unfortunate enough to be sitting in your passenger seat. 

This one’s for you stingy guys out there, here are 7 signs it’s time to sell your car. Let’s go!

#1: It’s Rusting

super rusty car
Advance Auto Parts

So, you’ve had the family hauler for a while. Sure, it’s starting to show its age, but it’s holding together pretty well considering it got passed down from your great grandfather. That is, until one day aunt Suzie goes to hop in and her legs go through the floor! That’s probably a sign that it’s time for something new…

You could’ve caught it earlier and saved yourself a boatload of money, and headaches, but now you’re stuck with an old rustbucket that belongs in a junkyard. Thanks to the road workers who salt the road in the winters, we all have to deal with rust. Hey, they’re just doing their job.

Normally, this isn’t too much of a problem, but it can get to the point where rust starts building on the chassis, making it unsafe to drive. Or it can form on body panels, destroying your paint and clear coat. All in all, not a fun thing to deal with.

So, if you start to notice rusting, it’s probably a good time to deal with it before you end up putting your foot through the floor, or just cut your losses and sell the damn thing.

You might also want to sell your car if it’s in perfect working order, but you’re ready to switch over to team manual!

#2: Switch From Auto To Manual

manual transmission

If you live in a city, chances are you’re going to want an automatic transmission. But if you live out in the country and don’t have a manual, you might as well not have a driver’s license. Hand it over. Just kidding, this is Ideal, not the DMV.

But, in all seriousness, it’s time to sell your car if you want a different type of transmission. Sitting in traffic with a manual can get old fast, but banging gears on backroads is one of the best feelings known to man. And if you’re alreadyon team manual, make sure to go and pick up one of our “Save the Manuals” tees.

But as much shade as we throw on the autotragic transmission, the thought of driving manual sitting in traffic just doesn’t sound too appealing, if you ask me. So, if you’re in a situation where switching up your transmission is crucial, it could be a good time to sell your car and go with a new manual or automatic gearbox.

But regardless of what kind of shifter you got, if your car keeps breaking down, it is definitely time to sell that thing.

#3: It Keeps Breaking Down

car breakdown
Sterling Insurance

If you’ve owned more than one car in your life, you probably know the heartbreak of a breakdown. You’re going to the store when all of a sudden you watch that temperature creep up into the redzone. So, what do we do? Well, most people choose to ignore it and act like the problem will fix itself, which I wouldn’t recommend.

But then you get to the store, and there’s a massive pool of coolant under your car. But you ignore that too and try to limp it home. Now, suddenly, you hear a ticking coming from the engine! And it’s the thrid time this month!

I hope by then you realize that there’s a problem worth paying attention to. And sure, you could run it over to the mechanics again and again and again, but really, it’s time to sell your car and get one that’s more reliable. I know that saying goodbye to your faithful daily driver can be tough, but when it’s time, it’s time. 

And hey, if you’re lucky, and you use the Ideal Car Strategies, you might even get a new whip that appreciates in value!

 #4: It’s Going Up In Value

toyota mk iv supra
Garage Dreams

So, if you’re in this boat and your car has gone up in value since you’ve bought it, first of all, good for you! But, also, it might be time to think about selling. Now, I know this doesn’t happen to most cars, but you might be surprised how often it actually does. From everyday drivers like 4Runners and Tacomas to Lotuses or Vipers or even M3’s.

There are cars out there, from mild to wild, that hold their values or even go up! And sure you might want to wait until they peak, but make sure you watch those trends closely. If you’ve got a Mark IV Supra, just a few years ago you were probably selling a decently clean turbo manual model for $40,000 to $50,000. And now, just a few years later, that number is doubled. Today, you’re potentially looking at a 6-figure car!

So, the lesson here is to pay attention to trends. There’s no formula for finding when your car will hit peak value, it’s a matter of keeping your ears to the streets so you can avoid holding onto your Mark IV supra too long, or not long enough.

And maybe you wanted to hold onto that Supra for a few more years, but your family is expanding. You’re going to need a whip with a little more space.

#5: You Want A Bigger/Smaller Car

big and small vehicles

A coupe is definitely not the best family car, and it definitely won’t do the trick if you plan on hauling bags of concrete and two-by-fours. So, if you just had some kids or you’re starting a carpentry business, it’s time to sell that coupe and get something bigger! But, if you already have a big SUV or truck and your commute is long, or parking is limited, it might be a good time to downsize.

Some people want the added utility of a bigger car or the gas mileage of a small car. So, if either of these describe you, it’s time to trade in your car for something that better suits your needs.

But whether or not your current car’s size is ideal, if it’s been in a wreck, you definitely need to sell. 

#6: It’s Been In An Accident

car accident rollover

It’s your first time behind the wheel of your new 2020 Corolla, and boom, some jerkoff swerves into your lane and takes out the whole side of your new ride. What a bummer! And even if no one gets hurt, you’re going to have to wait an eternity to hear back from your insurance company about whether or not your car’s totalled. 

But the sad truth, though, is that you probably don’t want that car back either way. Even if you go to the best body shop in the world, it’s nearly impossible to put a wrecked car back together the way it left the factory. And even if they were able to, it’s probably you let them buy it from you at market value.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: market value is generally more than what you’d get for it if you sold it outright before a crash. But chances are, if you’re driving a modified missile, you won’t be compensated for all your aftermarket goodies.

But if you do get in a crash, do the smart thing, and sell that car off. Well, I mean, unless you’re Goonzquad. But once they rebuild their cars, they drive them. If you happen to have a car sitting in your garage that you don’t drive, I think it’s pretty obvious that you should sell that thing off.

#7: You Don’t Drive It

lost 1969 chevrolet yenko chevelle
Hot Rod Network

Why have a car that you never drive? Unless you’re an oil magnet or come from old money, chances are you can’t afford to own a car and just let it sit. Not only is it bad for your wallet, but it’s bad for the car too.

A sitting car is just a depreciating asset. Go sell that money hole in your garage and buy some stocks, invest in property, or buy a turbocharger for your other ride. That way you’re either making money or actually using it towards something you’ll enjoy.

Don’t let that car sit and collect dust. Go sell it and put it towards something useful.

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