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When Is The Right Time To Sell My Old Car?

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5 Min Read

If you have watched the Bollywood movie, Dhamaal, you will surely remember the outstanding performance of Asrani. He played the character of Nari Contractor who was emotionally attached to his old Amby. His unparalleled love for his vintage Amby was much more than he showed to his actual son, Boman.

The Boman-Nari-car trio created hilarious scenes. But they also painted a picture of the man-machine relationship, which is relevant to this article’s plot.

In early times, people bought cars to last a lifetime. The owner’s emotional attachment made them reluctant to sell the vehicle. Nowadays, you are more flexible regarding changing or selling your car, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love the machine.

Apart from that, there are various other reasons why we sell our cars. But the right question will be, ‘when is the right time to sell my car?’

When Should I Sell My Car?

1. When the Car is Old

The odometer is the best indicator of a car’s age. More the number of kilometres logged in the odometer, older the car. You may argue if a 4-year-old car covers less distance than a 2-year-old car which one is older?

That’s a valid confusion.

But technically, the car that has done more miles will be valued lower. Although every car is built to last 15-years, the engine starts giving troubles after about 1,00,000 kilometres. The farther your drive, lesser the engine health left for the next buyer. That’s one point to keep in mind.

Another aspect is the car’s warranty, which generally covers the first 5 years. Also, there are extended warranties one might opt for. Now, if you sell your car after 3-years of using it, the next buyer gets 2-years of valid warranty on the vehicle. More you use the car, less the next buyer gets unless there is an extended warranty.

Therefore, if you sell your car after using it for 3-5 years, it will fetch you the best value.

2. Sell Your Car When the Maintenance Cost Shoots Up

When the car gets old, it costs more money to run. Over time, the fuel consumption increases, and also wear and tear surfaces now and then. To make things worse, it becomes challenging to find genuine parts. Eventually, all these add up to the maintenance cost.

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These issues are prevalent in almost all cars, diesel and petrol engines alike.

3. Performance Dropped? Sell Your Car!

Your car is old when the occasional hiccups become more frequent, even after proper periodic services. Sell your car as soon as you can, if you think there is an issue with the car’s performance. It’s improbable to crack a good deal, should the problems become persistent.

Some indications of declined performance are:

  • Noisy engine: If the engine starts making unnecessary grunts, you will hear them inside the cabin. That’s the sound of a struggling engine. It’s better to get it checked for issues.
  • Power-loss: The car doesn’t respond as quickly or run as fast that it used to? That’s a clear indication that the engine is losing its power. Get it checked for possible issues.

These are vital problems and can drastically take down the value of your car. Fix them and sell your car off.

4. Once the Purpose is Served, Sell Your Car

We all buy a car specific to our needs. A young office goer buys a hatchback because it serves his purpose right. Also, we select cars keeping in mind the road condition. For example, you stay in an area where the roads are pretty dilapidated; you probably drive an SUV for better ground clearance.

Now, you have moved to a different area with better roads. You may consider selling your SUV and buy a sedan instead. The young office goer did well in his career, got married. He can sell his hatchback and probably buy a family car. It essentially means, when one purpose is served, and a different one needs attention, we can buy sell or purchase or upgrade our cars to address that objective.

5. Upgrade to the Newer and Better Car!

When new cars launch in the market, they come with better looks, better performance, and better safety features. They allure general customers and car enthusiasts alike. And when we find that some of the features are important to have, we decide to upgrade, and rightly so.

The wireless car connects (android auto, apple car play), auto park assists, Abs, Ebd, etc., are considered some of the necessary features in an automobile. A few years ago, only the top-end models of premium cars had these features. So, it will indeed be wise to sell your car and opt for a newer model that comes equipped with these technologies.

6. When the Norms get Stricter for Your Old Car

Recently the Government of India has banned the sale of BS-IV motor vehicles. Forcing the companies to upgrade their cars and follow the norms. The measure has been taken to reduce vehicular pollution. This policy, in particular, doesn’t force any car owner to upgrade to the new models. However, it bans vehicles that are too old from getting out on the roads.

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A few years ago, the National Green Tribunal ruled out the plying of 10-year-old vehicles with diesel engines, especially in the Delhi-NCR region. Such measures from the Government can force the vehicle owners to upgrade the specific category of vehicles, for the greater good.

7. Getting the Right Value for Your Old Car

The moment you drive your car out of the showroom, it loses its value by quite a margin. Over time, it continues to lose its book value. After a couple of years, suppose you decide to sell your car. We recommend you to check the market value of your car.

The value, however, fluctuates a lot depending upon multiple factors. For example, you have driven 20,000 km in the last 3-years and you are offered 60% of the cars original price. But you decide to drive it for another year or 10,000 km more. By the time you decide to sell it, your car’s value has decreased by 20%.

The reason behind the decline can be anything – more km logged, any possible damage might have had occurred, etc. In simpler terms, you always run the risk of losing the value of your vehicle, if you keep it for long.

If you get a great value, you can even buy a pre-owned car for yourself, with that money.

Don’t Sell it Too Early

There is one important point to add. Selling your car too early means losing its value as well. How? Suppose you are buying a brand-new car for Rs. 5 Lac. The moment the vehicle is registered, its value is depreciated by at least 10%-15%, depending upon the brand and the vehicle model. Now, the value doesn’t dip further until its 2-years old. Besides, opting for zero-depreciation car insurance can also help.

Should you decide to sell your car before 3-years with 10,000 km on the odometer, you automatically start at a price depreciated by 30%. Where, in reality, you are selling almost a new car at a low price, without even enjoying its performance. If we factor in the insurance cost and others, the loss is more significant.

To Conclude

On an online forum, motor vehicle experts and vehicle owners opined on the perfect time for selling old cars. A major percentage of those people believe that one should use a car for at least 5 years.

That said, when selling your car, you call the shots. Because it’s you who feels connected to your car, and you will only know when to part ways. We can only hope that this article helps you make the best decision.

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