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To Keep or Sell: Which Is Best?

To Keep or Sell: Which Is Best?

A person is shown sitting in the front seat of a vehicle after searching "sell my car."

Are you wondering if it's time to replace the family vehicle? There are so many variables to consider, after all: the market, the condition of your car, how pressing your need is for a new vehicle, what sort of offers you are looking at, and more. You're not alone if you're hard-pressed to decide whether to keep your car or sell it. Many people have to make this decision every day. However, a few things can help you make your decision. Paradoxically, it's usually better to sell your car if it is either in perfect condition or on its last legs. If it's somewhere in between, it probably makes the most sense to keep it. Let's take a glance at some of the deciding factors to assist you in the decision-making process.

Inner Workings

First, how old is your vehicle? Has it had any major work done, or has upkeep been mostly routine maintenance? If you've had the car for a while and it is beginning to have major issues, it may be better to sell it before it drains your bank account. As vehicles age, they will inevitably need more and more work to keep them running. Maintenance and repairs will be required more often, and you'll need to cut the car loose at some point. Hence, if you have an older car, selling it now is better than keeping it and regretting that decision when you have to foot the bill for repairs down the road.


If you have a car that is still in perfect condition, it also might be worth selling while you can still get good money for it. This is not to say that you should sell your car every year or two. If you always want the newest model, we recommend talking to our finance team to see if leasing makes more sense for your needs. Generally, you want to buy a newer vehicle, maintain it well, keep it for a while, and then sell it before it gets too old. Every car tends to have a timeframe for how long it will be reliable without major work. Getting to know brands, models, and the best model years will go a long way in helping you determine the right time to sell.

A person is shown passing a car key.

Interior Design

Have you spilled coffee on the floor mats? Is there a stain in the trunk due to a leak? Are the seats worn? If you decide to sell your car, you will need to inspect the interior and perhaps do some deep cleaning to get the vehicle ready for sale. Preventative measures like seat covers, all-weather floor mats, a sun shade, and a steering wheel cover––and keeping snack and drink consumption to a minimum in your car––will help you keep the interior of your vehicle in better shape for a longer period of time.


Of course, accidents do happen, and you may have permanent damage or expensive repairs. If something goes awry, be sure to maintain the rest of the interior and do your best to cover up or clean up the mess so that your car's value doesn't deteriorate along with the carpet. There are many inexpensive products that can help keep your vehicle neat and in good condition. Don't be afraid of a little elbow grease, and remember that it doesn't have to be pristine to still look good.

Extra Special

Is your vehicle a special edition, or does it come with extras? Is it a higher trim level? Did you upgrade the stereo or opt for any bells and whistles when you bought it? These add-ons might not have cost you much more at the time, but they might swing a deal in your favour later. If you've got a high-quality stereo system or leather seats, chances are, you've got something more interesting than the regular, run-of-the-mill model, which will boost its price. Be sure to understand exactly what you have when estimating the value of your vehicle, as it could sway your decision to sell your car.

You've Made the Decision to Sell

If you've made the decision to sell, you may want to spruce up your car a bit before you sign the bottom line. It's a good idea to take it in for a wash, vacuum out the interior, freshen the air a bit, take off the bumper stickers, and have any minor issues repaired. Make sure to gather the necessary documentation and other items like spare keys, repair bills, maintenance records, and the like. You want your vehicle to put its best foot forward, so make sure it shines.


There are plenty of ways to sell your car, from newspaper ads and social media to car dealerships near you like Sherwood Kia. Depending on where you go to sell your vehicle, you'll get a range of prices. It's good to keep in mind that the highest rates of depreciation are in the first few years, so if you can find the sweet spot, try to sell during that time. It will be the most money you can make on your vehicle, potentially meaning smaller car payments on your next vehicle.

A person is shown giving a thumbs up from the front seat of a vehicle.

You've Made the Decision to Keep

If your car is a couple years old and still in good condition, you'll probably want to hang on to it for a while. It's a good idea to keep up with maintenance, prevent any permanent damage from being done, and keep an eye on your vehicle's performance. Even though you aren't selling it any time soon, you will be selling it eventually, and the less work you have to do at that point, the better. Also, it feels good to have a well-maintained vehicle. You know you can rely on it and that you can enjoy it while you have it.


If you are keeping your vehicle, you may want to invest in it a little. See about getting it detailed and upgrading the areas you've wanted to upgrade since you bought it. Make it as comfortable as possible while keeping it in good condition for the next driver. You won't regret it, especially when it is in better shape than many other used vehicles. Keep up with your paperwork, save any maintenance or repair bills, and ensure you have everything you need to eventually make a great sale.

Make the Choice That Will Benefit You

After the four-year mark, the rate of depreciation slows but never stops. If you've got a vehicle that is only a couple model years old, and you're wondering if and when to sell, you should either sell soon or plan on holding on to it for a while. This isn't a definitive timeline, of course. The best time to sell can change depending on your life, how much you need a vehicle, and what kind of make and model it is. If you're still taking care of your car to the best of your ability, it will still sell for a higher price than a beater that wasn't properly taken care of.


This decision is up to you. Only you know what you need and when you're ready to sell your car. However, it's always good to have information beforehand because being prepared will reduce the hassle and stress you may encounter later down the line when you are ready to sell. If you are wondering what your car is currently worth, just contact us here at Sherwood Kia to find out. We are always happy to help!

Categories: Sell My Car