Get tim­ing right when sell­ing your car

IN­DUS­TRY NEWS/ Sea­sonal fac­tors can play a part, but a mileage read­ing of more than 150,000km is a turn-off for prospec­tive buy­ers

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

When is the right time to sell your car? There isn’t a per­fect age, and it varies from car to car, but in­dus­try ex­perts agree that ve­hi­cles with more than 150,000km on the clock tend to fetch a lower price.

While there is no ex­act equa­tion de­ter­min­ing the right mo­ment in time to sell, there are some fac­tors that should be con­sid­ered be­fore putting your car on the mar­ket, says Nun­ben Dixon of Gumtree Auto.

“De­pre­ci­a­tion is of­ten the big­gest de­cid­ing fac­tor. New cars lose value much faster than pre-owned cars, usu­ally about 15%-30% in the first year, depend­ing on the make and model, and up to 50% across the first three years,” he says.

“If you are driv­ing a new car, you might want to hold on to it for as long as you can to get the most value out of it.”

Sea­son­al­ity can also play a part, he says. Con­vert­ibles, clas­sics and sports cars sell poorly in win­ter, while off-road ve­hi­cles ex­pe­ri­ence a slight peak. Hatch­backs are pop­u­lar all year round, but tend to sell quite well to­wards the end of the year as par­ents buy grad­u­a­tion presents or get-arounds for their chil­dren who are start­ing to drive or mov­ing away to study.

“Jan­uary, March and Septem­ber usu­ally sees a peak in de­mand, while De­cem­ber sees de­mand slow down. You might de­cide to hold off sell­ing to avoid the added com­pe­ti­tion or you can ride the wave of ex­tra traf­fic, es­pe­cially if you are sell­ing your car on­line.”

In rec­om­mend­ing sell­ing a ve­hi­cle be­fore it reaches 150,000km, Dixon says: “Gen­er­ally, af­ter five years of use, fail­ure rates go up for cars.

“War­ranties ex­pire, car own­ers let main­te­nance and ser­vices slip, and the ac­cu­mu­lated miles start to take their toll on the ve­hi­cle. But if you’ve kept up with your ser­vices, re­placed parts and gen­er­ally kept your ve­hi­cle in good con­di­tion, mileage doesn’t have to be a deal breaker,” he says.

The most in-de­mand cars on the pre-owned mar­ket are twoto three-year-old ve­hi­cles, val­ued be­tween R150,000 and R250,000.

Ac­cord­ing to Tran­sUnion SA, 43% of used ve­hi­cles sold are un­der two years old and 9% are demo mod­els, which in­di­cate con­sumers are opt­ing for un­der two-year-old ve­hi­cles.

Twice as many South Africans still buy pre­vi­ous­ly­owned ve­hi­cles as buy new ones, and that trend is set to con­tinue with the bat­tered rand likely to push up new car prices. Mar­ket fac­tors which are out­side your con­trol can also play a huge part in how much your car will fetch. For in­stance, 2017 would not have been a good time to sell your Ford Kuga, fol­low­ing the big fire-re­lated re­call, but your odds are much bet­ter in 2018.

“Volk­swa­gen and Toy­ota are peren­ni­ally pop­u­lar, whereas up-and-com­ing brands such as Haval or Geely are much harder to flip on the pre-owned mar­ket,” says Dixon.

Get­ting the ab­so­lute best value for your pre-owned car starts with pur­chas­ing the right car straight off the bat, con­cludes Dixon.

“Do your re­search be­fore you pur­chase a car. Look at de­mand, re­li­a­bil­ity and de­pre­ci­a­tion. And once you’ve bought that car, make sure to main­tain it prop­erly to avoid los­ing out when you sell.”

The most in-de­mand cars on the pre-owned mar­ket are two- to three-yearold ve­hi­cles, val­ued be­tween R150,000 and R250,000.

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