If you’ve shopped for a used car at any point in the last two years, then you already know just how crazy things have been in terms of supply and pricing. We reached points where used models were selling for as much, or even more than, a brand-new version of the same vehicle. It’s made shopping for a used car a bit of a nightmare, but it also means you have a tremendous opportunity available if you have a vehicle you want to sell. Times being what they are, if you roll into a dealership with any model and yell, “I want to sell my car!” a salesperson will come running. But certain vehicles are going to net you more than others.
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to get yourself into a bad situation chasing after a little money. If you have more vehicles than you need but are unsure which one to sell, this is a great time, and it can be helpful to know which one will likely get you more money. But while it’s tempting to get a big trade-in value or sell your car for a good amount, you don’t want to do that if it leaves you in a tough spot or with a larger monthly payment than you can really afford. With that in mind, let’s take a look at which cars are the most in-demand at dealerships and will likely get you the most.
In addition to the aforementioned note about making sure you’re in a situation where selling your car won’t make life worse for you, it’s also important that I mention all of this information is pretty general. Just remember that things might be a bit different in your particular area since there are some important geographical factors when it comes to car sales and prices. Things are also still pretty volatile, so a lot can change from one month to the next; different dealerships may make you different offers for your car, so it pays to shop around when selling. The condition of your vehicle will also have a huge impact on how much a dealer will pay you for it.
Some of the most valuable used cars out there are Tesla models––pretty much every current model, including the Model Y, Model 3, Model X, and Model S. Not only is there a fair amount of hype around Tesla vehicles, but they’re also difficult to buy new at the moment, with long waiting lists for customers. Being able to buy a used Tesla today, rather than wait several months for a new car, is too attractive for many people to pass up. A used Model Y will only sit on a dealer lot for about 25 days on average, less than half the overall average time, and has been increasing in resale value lately. In other words, dealerships love these vehicles because they’re in demand and they sell high––use this to your advantage if you have a Tesla you want to sell.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Right up there with Tesla models is the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, one of the hottest and most popular vehicles on the market right now. Much like with Tesla vehicles, the Mach-E has been notoriously difficult to get a hold of as a new model––Ford has had waiting lists since day one and had to suspend sales of the 2022 model about halfway through this year because it simply couldn’t meet demand. If you want to buy a brand-new Mach-E and are not already on a list, you may be out of luck until 2024 models hit the road.
This means a used Mustang Mach-E is the only option for people looking to enjoy what this impressive electric SUV can offer. On average, a used Mach-E will only sit on a dealer lot for about 27 days right now, and they can go for a very high price since there’s no reliable alternative way to get one. You’ve got the upper hand when selling a Mach-E to a dealership at the moment, and you can use that to make a nice chunk of change off it.
Hybrids and EVs in General
If you feel like you’re noticing a trend so far, that’s because you are––hybrids and electric vehicles are very hot right now. With gas prices going up this year and a growing number of charging stations popping up across the country, alternative-energy cars are in high demand. This has created a situation where Tesla models, EVs, and hybrids across the industry are all selling very well, especially used vehicles that can be much less expensive than brand-new options with all the latest features.
Not only are EVs and hybrids selling quickly, but they’re also increasing in resale value, which is music to the ears of any dealership. Whether you have a Honda Insight, Kia Niro, Toyota Prius, or Chevy Bolt EV, you are in an excellent position to sell to a dealer in your area. They might try to say that people prefer new hybrids and EVs to older ones due to their increased range and performance, but the reality is that most buyers aren’t that picky.
Sedans Are in High Demand
Despite the fact that many car companies are abandoning the sedan market, or perhaps because of it, sedans are in high demand at the moment. Both compact and midsize models are very popular, with big boosts to the resale value of cars like the Kia K5, Honda Civic, and Mazda3. Noticing a trend? The big sellers are imports––domestic sedans are not quite as sought after. However, that doesn’t mean models like the Chevy Malibu or Ford Focus are unloved. People will always need affordable and reliable cars, so these sell quickly for dealerships, particularly as used models have become more expensive than ever.
Sports Cars Are Sought After
It’s not all about practical cars, as some of the most popular options are vehicles that most of us can’t justify at their new-car prices but become more attractive at a lower used-car price. Resale values on the Dodge Charger and Challenger have both gone up recently and are likely to continue to do so as gas-powered versions of these cars have been discontinued this year. Similarly, a Chevy Camaro will only sit on a dealer lot for about 33 days on average, making this Chevy performance favorite one of the fast-selling used sports cars on the market, rivaling many more practical vehicles.
Do Your Research
No matter what you’re looking to sell, it’s important that you take your time to do some research, understand what your vehicle is worth, and accept nothing less than what you deserve. You might be tempted to sell to a private buyer, but be extra cautious when doing so to avoid scams or other illegal activities. Dealers might pay you a bit less, but it’s the safest and simplest way to sell a vehicle. Plus, you can get great value right now if you know what you’re doing. If you have an old car you have been letting collect dust or feel like now is the time to downsize your vehicle, take some time to see how much it is worth today. You might just be surprised.