What most people regret after selling their cars

We often hear about buyer’s remorse but not as much about seller’s regret. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) Americans who have bought a car have regrets about their purchase. Maybe it’s because as a consumerist society our collective attention is usually on the procurement of things as opposed to letting go of things. This is pretty evident in the car-buying process where people are so eager to get into a new car that they forget that the used car they are trading in (in most cases) has a lot more value than they’re aware of.

While there are stories of people regretting selling that Porsche Coupe or a vintage collectible because they had to; there aren’t as many stories about the regrets of a bad trade-in.

With trade-in equity for used car values at record levels, according to JD Powers, avoid these common regrets if you’re in the market to sell:

1. Selling their cars without researching price

Researching price and understanding the fair market value of your car is essential to avoiding the sting of finding out that you traded in your car for a lot less than you could have gotten. Most people are often resigned to giving up their cars for less because--let’s face it--the draw of that new car smell is so strong.

However, just a modicum of delaying gratification can help get your hundreds, if not thousands in the sales process just by researching the price of your asset and understanding its value.

Also, understand that value is not necessarily fixed. Various online car valuations tools and dealerships will provide different prices. Generating a range based on your research will help your better pinpoint where the true value of your car lies.


2. Selling for less than fair-market value

Selling for less than fair-market value is a persistent theme when people sell their cars. Like an unachievable price nirvana that only the savviest consumers ever experience; FMV has become a figure to deduct perceived value as opposed to an actual price goal.

Consumers should know however, that the used car market values are volatile. For example, Blackbooks week-over-week sales show the peaks and valleys of used car prices over time in 2022:

Obviously, timing the used car market is not like the stock market and the fact that your car is forever a depreciating asset (unless you’re holding onto a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB Spider) should also be taken into consideration.

Learn more about when the best time is to sell for particular makes and how car value depreciates.

3. Not shopping around

There is the adage in finance that there is always someone willing to pay more. The underpinnings of the stock market and market value are based on that single tenet alone.

Apply the same thinking when it comes to selling your car. One dealer’s price, one person’s best offer, one online car sales platform’s valuation will be different from the next.

There is a myth that you’ll never get the true value of your car and dealerships want you to believe that (and rightfully so)—the less they offer you the more they make. That being said, research and data can be powerful tools that can help you get the most of your used car’s value when going to market. If you’re looking to sell and want to get a pretty accurate value of your car’s current value check out our valuation tool on www.autozen.com. We help current car owner’s get the best value for their cars by having hundreds of potential buyers bid for it!