If you’ve had your car for a while now, you might be wondering whether it’s time for an upgrade.
On average, it is expected that people will keep their cars for up to six years until they purchase another one. However, that number is changing and it doesn’t always apply to you.
Should you upgrade your car? And if so, how should you go about it?
In this article, we look at when you should upgrade your car, how you should upgrade it and whether you should go to a dealership or a vehicle broker.
When should I upgrade my car?
As we mentioned above, it is expected that most people keep their cars for up to six years before they upgrade. This has risen from four years a few years ago. Companies still keep their cars for three, however, and some have even said that people keep their car for up to ten years.
It is also thought that the average car on the road is eleven years old. So, when you upgrade is really down to you. However, just because some people keep their cars for ten years doesn’t mean that you need to keep yours for ten years.
You should start to consider upgrading your car when you start spending more on maintenance than you did before. So, if you find yourself spending more money on keeping your car on the road then it might be time for an upgrade.
You also might want to upgrade if your circumstances have changed. For example, if you have moved from the city to the country, you might want to retire your small city car and invest in something slightly bigger that will fare better off road or in extreme weather. Alternatively, if you are starting a family, then you might want to trade in your two-seater sports car for something more practical. You can read our top family cars here.
When should I sell my car?
You might be wondering if there is a certain time of year that is best to sell your car. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter that much. However, there may be a time where it will sell quicker or for more money.
For example, if you have a convertible, you might want to sell it at the start of the summer. The weather is warmer and people are more tempted to buy a car that they can enjoy straight away. So you might be able to sell it for more money or in a shorter time period (it does mean you will have to part with it for the summer though).
Equally, if you have an SUV or a car with the four-wheel drive then you might be better off selling it as the weather gets worse. But really, it doesn’t make too much difference.
How will depreciation affect the resale value of my car?
One of the things that you need to think about when selling your car is depreciation. Depreciation is how much value your car loses while you are driving it. They say that a car starts depreciating as soon as you drive it out of the forecourt. And, a car depreciates the most in the first few years.
There are many things that can affect the depreciation of a car. These include;
- The mileage
- This affects the depreciation the most. The higher the mileage, the lower the resale value
- How old the car is
- The older the car the lower the resale value
- What condition the car is in
- If you have got your car serviced regularly and have maintained your car well, then the resale value will be higher. This is why it’s important that you take care of your car while you have it. You can read more about maintaining your car here.
- The make and model of the car
- Some car makes depreciate quicker than others. For example, Mercedes, BMW and Audi depreciate slower than say, Renaults. So the make of your car may impact how much it sells for when you resell it.
So those are a few of the things that affect the depreciation of the car. You can read more about depreciation here. The best way to ensure that your car has high resale values is to simply take good care of it. Make sure it is serviced and you keep it clean and maintained regularly. But regardless, your car will depreciate.
How should I resell my car?
Some people might want to sell their car privately, and others may want to part-exchange their car. It’s really up to you which you decide to do as they both have their merits.
If you sell your car privately, then there is a chance that you could get more for it than if you were to part-exchange it. This is because you can set the price and you can negotiate accordingly. However, if you do choose to sell it privately then you could end up waiting for your car to be sold. With a part-exchange, you don’t have to worry about having to meet potential buyers which can take up quite a bit of time. If you want to keep your Saturdays free for the near future, then we recommend part-exchanging the car. It’s easy and quick.
However, if you’re willing to spend a little bit more time selling the car, and in turn possibly getting a bit more for it, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t sell it privately.
If you sell your car on a website such as webuyanycar then the whole process can be done within a few days. However, you might not get as much for your car. If you go through a website such as Autotrader or Gumtree, then the process can take longer but you could get more for your car. Ultimately, it’s up to you.
Vehicle Broker vs. Dealership; Which is better for reselling my car?
Alternatively, you could go through a vehicle broker or a dealership.
If you choose to go through a dealership then the following could happen; The Dealership will give you an inflated price for your car say £5000, but it could be worth £4000, a Dealership will normally value your part exchange themselves and they tend to be “conservative” with valuations. So, when they offer you what you want for your car it does not mean they are being generous as they will simply reduce the discount they give you on the new car so they can pay you more for it.
However, if you choose to go through an independent broker like OSV, who deals with part exchanges (many can not) they will send the details of your car to multiple “professional valuers” and then come back to you with the best price for your existing car. Now, that bid may not be £5000 but it could be £4500, then the broker normally has greater discounts on the new car than the normal Dealership which you also benefit from, so this way you can benefit with greater discount and a fair price for your car, so overall you are better off. As already mentioned not all vehicle brokers have access to a lot of traders, therefore it is important that you do your research before you choose which broker to go through. You can read more about how to choose a reputable vehicle broker here.
Should I upgrade my car?
After all that, should you upgrade your car? If your car is costing you more in maintenance than it has done before, then you should consider upgrading. If you are paying more to keep it on the road than you would be for another, newer model, then it’s time for an upgrade.
Or, if your situation has changed and your car is no longer fit for purpose, then you should consider upgrading your car.
How you go about upgrading your car is up to you, you can resell your car either online or through a dealership or broker. Alternatively, you can part-exchange your car and get money off your new one. Hopefully, this has cleared a few things up about whether you should upgrade your car, when you should and how.