When is it Time to Sell Your Car

Mercedes 450SL Convertible for sale

21 Mar When is it Time to Sell Your Car

When is it Time to Sell Your Car

The decision of whether or not to sell your car and get a new one is tough.  Most of us do not have the luxury of simply buying a car just because we like it and we we want it.  Most of us choose to sell our old car and purchase a new one, because we need reliable transportation to accomplish our everyday needs. It is a tough choice, because often our current car fulfills our needs well. Although, a new car would be nice, we have to consider trimming our monthly budget to afford the expense of paying for it versus not having that monthly payment with our current car.  Hopefully, in this article, I can help you with your decision on whether or not to sell your car and purchase a new one.

As cars age and they rack up the miles, major repairs become inevitable. Suspension, steering, and transmission components are common parts that wear out as cars approach 100,000 miles or more. Even if a car isn’t often driven and has low mileage, age and exposure to the elements still degrades rubber and plastic parts, interiors, and paint.

Some cars can be reliable to 300,000 miles and beyond if they are often garaged and regular maintenance is performed. Most modern cars however, will offer trouble-free driving between 100,000 to 180,000 miles, or approximately 8-14 years.

As the seller, you are responsible for having the vehicle passing a smog test before you transfer ownership. This means the best time to sell your car is when everything is still working well. Older cars with many miles also means higher risk for a potential buyer and reduced sales price for you.

Take advantage of timing to get the highest sales price. Convertibles and sports cars are more popular in the spring and summer, where trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles are in demand when the weather turns cold and rainy or snowy.

Keeping good records of vehicle maintenance and repairs, including items related to recalls (example: airbag recalls) as this will go far in giving potential buyers the confidence that they are buying a good car.

It’s always better and cheaper in the long run to service your car regularly and perform preventative maintenance.  Unless you plan on downgrading or need a completely different type of car because your needs have changed, you should only consider replacing your current car if the annual preventative maintenance exceeds the annual cost of a new car of a similar type. Most cars will average about $1,000 – $2,500 in annual maintenance costs after the factory warranty expires.  The maintenance cost of your car compounds itself from year to year.  Therefore, if you didn’t fully service your car (do more than just an oil change) in the first year, you can bet that you will be spending that extra unspent money in addition to the annual maintenance cost, the following year.

We often see customers that haven’t maintained their car properly for two to three years and have only given it a couple of basic oil and filter changes at a quick lube establishment.  Then they are shocked when we tell them that their car needs at least a couple thousand dollars in service and repair work after a full inspection has been performed.  Their first reaction is, “I am going to sell the car!”

People get too caught up, in the fact that the repairs of their current car , exceed its current “good condition” value or what they could sell it for.  From a budgeting standpoint, that is the wrong way to look at things. The value is how much it will cost you per year to maintain it versus trimming your budget to make the monthly payments on a new car.  Let’s say that the car in question is a 2004 E320 Mercedes with a 135,000 miles and has a current resale value of $6000. Well, a new Mercedes E350, Audi A6, or BMW 535i  is going to cost them a lot more than it would to catch up with the maintenance. Approximately $5000-$7500 more per year of monthly payments. In this case, it is better financially to keep the car, fix it, and to properly continue to maintain it at a reputable repair shop.

Determining what your car is worth can be tricky.  ‘KBB.com’ can be a helpful tool in determining what your car’s sales price should be. You must balance this with what it will cost you to replace the vehicle, unless this is an extra car you no longer use.   It is better and easier to sell your car when it is healthy and properly maintained than when it has fallen apart due to lack of proper maintenance.


Allow us to give your car a comprehensive inspection to determine its needs and repair costs to help assist you in making the right decision on whether or not to sell your car. At Sprint Motorsports, we are experts at providing a tune-up of your car.  It all starts with a comprehensive mechanical and computer systems inspection using dealer level equipment.  Performing a regular engine tune-up on your car can restore lost power, efficiency,  improve gas mileage, and extend your car’s life.   Regular maintenance that goes beyond your vehicle manufacturer recommendations can  help prevent costly engine failures. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


Our Sprint Motorsports Gaurantee

We promise that a maintenance service and tune-up performed at our facility will be done right the first time and we back that up with an unmatched warranty.

To schedule an appointment for major or minor service, please contact service@sprint-motorsports.com or 408-831-3730. We welcome you to stop by our shop at 2099 S 10th St Unit 40, San Jose, Ca 95112. If you have any questions about your auto’s performance or maintenance, feel free to ask our friendly staff for assistance.