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The Price for Used Vehicles Has Peaked. Here’s How to Set Realistic Expectations & Get a Fair Price for Your Ride.

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By Mehrsa Raeiszadeh

As many of us languished at home at the height of the pandemic—unable to travel, go to the office, or even find some decent Lysol wipes—we all felt hungry for some, any, form of entertainment and freedom. So, many of us went looking for the ultimate symbol of freedom and protective armour: a shiny new set of wheels.

Combined with supply-chain disruptions and rising manufacturing costs, this trend—dubbed “Covid Cars” by The Atlantic—put the price of used cars through the roof. And new and luxury cars weren’t immune to these forces. In March of 2021, Bentley’s Adrian Hallmark said, “We began 2020 with the strongest order bank since 2003, and we started this January with 50 percent more orders than last.”

However, car manufacturers and dealers knew this gravy train would eventually pull into the station, or at least slow its pace. Right now, used cars aren’t selling for nearly as much as they were in June or July. So, if you plan to sell your car anytime soon, it’s important to set realistic expectations and boost your selling power in other ways. Read on to learn how.

The Current Car Market Trends

According to Business Wire, used car prices dropped overall in August to an average of $33,414, as dealers lowered prices across the board to maintain sales momentum. “Prices are now $8,497 (or 34 percent) above projected normal levels, a premium that fell by a staggering 9 percent from July—the largest-ever monthly drop for CoPilot’s index,” the press release says. And, according to Canadian Auto Dealer, above-average declines persist in the used car market from September 2022 onward.

On the other hand, prices for new vehicles are on the rise and show no signs of slowing down. “In July 2022, the average new car listed on AutoTrader.ca was $55,469, up 1.5 percent from the previous month and 18 percent from the previous year,” CTV News reports. “On top of that, new car inventory has continued to slide,” they add.

Given these trends, it seems sensible to hold on to your car for now, right? Not necessarily. A car is a depreciating asset, and hedging your bets as prices continue to drop won’t make you any richer. As your car ages, you’ll spend more money to keep it on the road, whether that’s investing in a new battery, a new transmission, or any other number of necessary repairs. Additionally, if you finance your car, this monthly expense may feel like an unnecessary financial burden in this current economic slump.  

So, how can you come out ahead if you want to sell your ride or trade it in? It all comes down to selling strategically through the right platform.  

How to Sell Your Car for a Fair Price

You don’t need to kiss your precious wheels goodbye at a deeply discounted price. Equally, you can no longer expect to be greeted by a hungry audience of buyers willing to pay a heavily inflated price. If you plan to sell your car anytime soon, now’s the time to manage your expectations and find other ways to boost your selling power.     

For example, if you sell your car online through a reputable auction site like MintList, you can put your car in front of hundreds of interested dealers, increasing the chances that you’ll get a fair offer. Also, if you plan to do a trade-in, you can choose from the inventory of hundreds of dealers versus just one, expanding your buying options.

Additionally, you’ll only pay tax on the trade-in difference of your vehicle versus the full purchase price of your new car, saving you thousands of dollars in sales tax. If you trade in your car the old fashioned way—in person through one dealer—these tax savings are only good towards that dealer’s inventory. With MintList, you can sell your car to one dealer and buy from another without losing this trade-in tax benefit. 

Take-Home Lesson

So, there you have it. Used cars are selling for less and new cars for more, so it’s important to set realistic expectations. However, you can still sell your car for a fair market price. And you can expand the pool of potential buyers by listing on a reputable online marketplace. Exactly how much can you sell your car for today, given the current decline? Click on the link below to see how much your car is worth.

What’s the Trade-In Value of My Car?


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