The hidden costs of selling your car privately

When it comes to selling your car, holding out for the highest price rarely makes the best financial sense.

Many car owners tend to look at two figures:

  • How much you paid for the car, and
  • How much you can expect to sell it for

The biggest factor that’s often ignored by many people when selling a car – and perhaps the most important – is time. The longer it takes to sell a car, the more it costs you out of your own pocket.

At HelloCars, we know a thing or two about selling used cars, so we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 hidden costs of selling a car.

⏰ How much is your time worth?

If you’re leaving work early, skipping out on social commitments or just otherwise moping around most weekends waiting for a potential buyer to come around and inspect your car – you’re wasting precious time that could be focussed on something other than trying to sell your car.

📆 The ongoing monthly costs

Just because you’ve decided to sell your car, doesn’t mean the ongoing monthly costs of car ownership disappear. Monthly insurance installments, number plate storage fees or just getting your car washed every time a potential buyer comes around all adds up to hundreds of dollars more out of your own pocket.

🔧 Service clock is still ticking

Even if your car is sitting idle in your garage, the wear and tear costs are still ticking up. All modern cars maintain a service schedule based on both kilometres and months. If your car sits for too long it may just roll over to the next service interval – and no one wants to buy a car that has a service reminder message on the dash.

💸 Depreciation falls off in chunks

While depreciation may be obvious, what people seldom realise is that sharp corrections in the used car market can slash thousands off your car overnight. Every time a new model is released, a manufacturer holds a special sales event, or a flood of ex-fleet vehicles hit the market – it devalues your car.

🚘 Registration

This is the big one. With vehicle registration costing upwards of $1,000 each year, the closer your car comes to running out of rego, the more of a bargaining chip it becomes for potential buyers to haggle down the price. Even worse, paying to re-register a vehicle you’re trying to sell is money down the drain (in most states at least).

So how do you get the best price for your car?

The goal should always be to get the best price for your car in the fastest amount of time with the least amount of hassle. Taking slightly less than what you expected now is likely to put you ahead in the long run.

Let our hindsight be your foresight. Get a quote in just 60 seconds to sell your car with HelloCars.