The auto industry has been plagued by bad news and then even worse news over the past several years. Some of the problems, such as used car inventory shortages, meant big bucks for individuals who had a car to sell because dealers were paying top dollar for almost any vehicle. But what about now? Is January of 2023 still a good time to sell your car?
Falling Used Car Prices
After used cars saw record high prices in 2021 and 2022, prices are falling. The chip shortage and the supply chain issues made it difficult for buyers to find new cars, so they were either hanging on to their cars for longer or shopping for late-model used cars. Now that dealers have more new cars in their inventory, the demand for used cars is dropping.
What Used Car Prices Mean for You
The lower demand for used cars means that prices for used cars are also dropping. The good news is that prices are not doing a freefall, so if you still want to sell your car, you can still get a good price for it in January. It just won’t be as much as you would have gotten last year. The prices are expected to keep going down, although the average cost of used cars is still higher than it was before the inventory shortage. The market is so unpredictable, so the earlier in the year you sell, the more you will likely get.
What Used Car Prices Mean for Dealerships
So, what does the current use car market mean for dealers? During the used car shortage, dealers were paying astronomical prices for used cars just so they had something to sell their customers. Now, with more inventory available and falling prices, they are making less money on each used vehicle they sell. Dealers are doing their best to squeeze every dollar out of each used car sale as the entire market transitions from a seller’s market to a buyer’s.
How to Get More for Your Car in 2023
Looking to get the most out of your used car? You have some options. You can sell it privately and maybe even get a good amount of cash from a buyer who wants to avoid high-interest rates. You can also sell it to a dealership. Many dealers will still purchase your car even if you’re not planning to buy a replacement. While the demand for used cars is dropping, dealers still want to have used cars on their lot to offer their customers.
Trading your car at a dealership is the easiest way to sell it, and you can apply the money you get towards your next vehicle purchase.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line for individuals who want to sell their car in January of 2023 is don’t wait. Used car values are on the decline and will probably continue to see above-average depreciation in the first part of 2023.
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