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Love It or List It: Paying Off Your Car vs Selling It

Love It or List It: Paying Off Your Car vs Selling It

A person is shown looking at their laptop and paperwork.

As you stare out the window at your car sitting in your driveway, barely used anymore, you may wonder if it's time to sell it, even if you are still paying it off. Maybe you've recently accepted a position that allows you to work from home, or maybe you've decided to be a one-car family. No matter your situation, if you're wondering, "should I sell my car," then let Sherwood Kia help. Your car plays a huge role in your everyday life, and if you find yourself not driving as much, it's only natural to consider whether or not your car is worth keeping. Are you asking yourself, "Should I pay off my car or sell it?" Our professionals can help you decide what will work best for your financial situation and discuss the benefits and limitations of each scenario.

Paying Off Your Car: The Benefits

We're all on a mission to have the least amount of debt possible these days, and your car payment can take up a huge chunk of your budget. Paying off your car will allow you to save money each month, as well as help improve your credit score. Showing the credit bureaus that you can make regular, on-time payments and ultimately pay off your auto loan can tremendously benefit your credit score. This will allow you to afford more high-ticket items in the future. You'll also feel accomplished seeing that "Paid in Full" notice on your loan statement—that calls for a celebration.


Is it financially wise to pay off your car? Absolutely, but everyone's situation is unique. Paying off your car is a smart decision if you still need your vehicle, especially if you're a frequent commuter or a worker who needs your vehicle to accomplish tough tasks. Plus, when you are finally ready to sell your car or trade it in for a newer model, you'll be able to pocket the full value of your vehicle instead of needing to use some of the money to pay off the loan.


Paying off your car may be the right move for you, although it will depend heavily on your unique travel needs. Not only will you be able to improve your credit score and feel accomplished, but you'll also be able to enjoy more freedom in your budget once that hefty payment isn't coming out of your bank account each month.

A couple is shown holding paperwork and talking to a salesperson at a car dealership.

Paying Off Your Car: The Limitations

As we mentioned above, everyone's situation is unique, and if you're struggling to make the monthly payments on your vehicle, you may feel as though there's no end in sight when it comes to paying it off. Sometimes, we get caught up in the shiny new offerings on the showroom floor, and our budget gets pushed to the back of our minds. Unfortunately, some dealerships take advantage of this and sell cars that are out of their customers' budgets, resulting in them struggling to make payments. You may be stuck with this unfortunate situation for the foreseeable future, especially if your goal is to pay off your car instead of selling it and getting rid of the burden.


Another aspect you'll need to consider when you pay off your car is that the vehicle is now officially yours, but depending on the length of your loan, your car may be quite outdated. Newer models will have been introduced with better tech, more power, and enhanced comfort features, causing you to wonder if it was worth paying all that money on your current vehicle. Remember, common loan terms range anywhere from 36 to 72 months. That means your car can be up to six years old by the time you finally pay it off, and think about how many advancements can be made in that span of time.


If you're thinking about paying off your car early, there are limitations to consider. Depending on your lender, you may be hit with early payment penalties. These penalties can add up, and unfortunately, they can be even higher than the interest you would have paid on the loan had you not paid it off early. There's a lot you need to consider when you choose to keep making payments on your car, and if you're not willing to make some sacrifices, it may not be the right route to take.

Selling Your Car: The Benefits

Selling your car is a big decision, but when you decide it's the right option for you, you'll be able to enjoy immense benefits. For one, you won't have that financial responsibility each month, allowing you to put your hard-earned money toward something else you really want. When you sell your car early, it is more likely to be in good condition, so you also improve your chances of getting more money for it, which means more cash in your pocket. This is especially beneficial for those who no longer require their vehicle because why pay for something you're not using?


We always recommend selling your vehicle to a car dealer near you because of the quick and convenient process you'll enjoy. Being able to drive your vehicle to the dealership and let the professionals take care of the rest is an unmatched feeling. You won't have to worry about marketing your car and finding the right buyer for it, negotiating over the price, and potentially losing out on money. When you partner with a respected dealership like Sherwood Kia, you'll be able to take advantage of an easy car-selling process from start to finish. We are also able to make you a competitive offer for your vehicle, especially when it's in great condition, which again results in more money in your pocket.

A person is shown shaking hands and passing a car key.

Selling Your Car: The Limitations

As with anything, there are a couple of limitations to watch out for when you sell your car. Foremost among them is negative equity. This is when you owe more on the car than it's currently worth, otherwise known as being "upside-down" on your vehicle. If you're looking to get rid of your car, you'll need to pay the difference between the loan and your vehicle's value, which means you're effectively losing money by selling it. Negative equity can be avoided by choosing a car that maintains its value, opting for a shorter loan term, and keeping up with maintenance and repairs.


The final obvious limitation of selling your car is that you'll be without a vehicle. This may not be a big disadvantage, especially if you have another car in the family, you don't venture out of the home as much anymore, or you have easy access to public transportation. However, if you are planning on selling your only car, you want to make sure this is the right choice for your lifestyle.

Should I Pay Off My Car or Sell It?

This decision will be up to you; however, now is the time to sell. As more drivers are seeking out high-quality used cars, dealerships across Alberta are looking to keep their used lots stocked with quality models. When it comes to getting the most for your vehicle, Sherwood Kia can help. We offer fair market value and have a professional team that can take care of all the details of your sale without issue. You won't have to worry about a stressful situation when you choose to sell your car to us. Contact us or stop by and meet with us, explore your options, and make the best decision regarding the future of your travels.

Categories: Sell My Car