The price of your used car—what are realistic expectations when selling?

Expectations are always hard to balance—especially in the used car marketplace. When it comes to price and time, consumers might find those two variables as confounding as space and time in quantum physics. The sale of a used car in terms of price and the time it takes to sell is unpredictable and constantly in state of depreciation.

 What are reasonable expectations when it comes to price?

 

Setting Realistic Expectations in Today’s Market

2022 started off with economic variables that created a huge uptick in price for used cars. Shortages in new cars lead to consumer demand shifting to the used car market resulting in higher valuations. Based on industry data, the average rise in year over year price in 2022 compared to 2021 was around 30% higher.

So, should you expect the same if you’re selling your car now?  

There’s a lot of things to consider of the part of the consumer when it comes to price expectations.

 

The primary factors affecting a car’s price are:

i. Overall condition/prior damage

ii. Mileage and age

iii. Model and features

 

The make of the car also plays a factor. For example, SUVs with all-wheel capabilities have higher price valuations during winter months. Conversely, a convertible might have a much lower valuation during the same period simply because of demand.

When it comes to large scale used car buyers they often look at the following distinct variables that affect price:


Realistic Expectations Based on Data

Goodcarbadcar.net data shows monthly sales performance for every model sold in the United States on a month to month basis. Individual model sales performance in this way gives you a good sense of the momentum (good or bad).

One of the great things about being a marketplace is our ability to share data on price. We categorized used car sales price by make/model with the following results for 2022 year to date:

We also averaged out the sales prices of similar makes by brand:

 

When it comes to setting realistic price expectations using the wealth of online data at hand to determine fair market value as a gauge for what you might get is a good way to start. Fair market value and online price research is the best way to set expectations of what you might actually get when you sell.