The Best Time of Year to Sell a Used Car

Most people don’t think much about this, but selling used cars is definitely affected by the seasons. If you know you will be selling your car in the next year, try to time it to minimize your sale time and maximize your profit.

First, some obvious examples:

Convertibles – These sell best right around the first sunny warm days of the year (April and May for most of North America). Obviously no one wants a convertible in the winter, and by late summer it’s too hot for most people to picture themselves in this largely symbolic type of car

SUVS – Like convertibles, people usually start looking for these when they have already seen one snow. January-March are great times to sell any sort of four wheel drive vehicle

Luxury cars – These sell best when people are feeling well off. At the end of fiscal quarters and especially around bonus season these cars are more likely to sell

Economy cars – The best time to sell a bottom of the market, economical clunker is around August-September. Why? Students going away to college, and especially those just arriving to a college town often find themselves needing something to just get by.

Minivans – This one is purely speculation, but if you assume most people buy Minivans when they are adding children to their family, we can look at the months where most children are born in the USA, which is August and September. Try to sell your Mini van in the summer or fall and I’ll bet you’ll have good luck

Everything else - We’ve found consistently the best time of all to sell a car in the USA is March/April. I believe this is because American’s do not have a lot of savings, and tax return time is one of the few times people have a large lump sum of money to spend. Right before Christmas is one of the worst times to sell a car, as people are thinking about spending on other things, are out of town etc… But right after New Years there is usually a peak, perhaps because of end of the year bonuses.

Of course you can find all of the above types of used cars for sale by owner or dealer at