When is the best time of year to sell your car?

May 09, 2024 by

When selling our cars, we all want to get the best price possible, which can often depend on demand. So, how does this demand change throughout the year? Is there an ideal time to sell to get the highest value?

By selling your car at the right time not only do you maximise its value, you also speed up the whole selling process too! But are some months better than others? And does it depend on the type of car?

To find out, we analysed our internal valuation data. We focused on the prices offered for vehicles compared to their average valuations and the number of vehicles sold in 2022. We did this across a variety of different cars, categorised by body type.[1]

The best months to sell your car:

By combining the best months for prices and the number of sales, we discovered that car owners should aim to sell during the first half of the year. Five of the top six best months fall within the first half, proving this is the ideal time to sell for a better price.

Here are the top six best months to sell, in order:

  1. February
  2. January
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. August

The first quarter of the year, January, February, and March, is ideal for selling a car, with the top three spots on our list being taken up by these months. This is due to various reasons, such as new registration plates arriving in March and dealers looking to buy vehicles in preparation for the high demand of late spring and summer.

Despite not being within the first half of the year, August makes the top six. In part, due to this month coming right before another plate change for cars. Therefore, it provides a small window of opportunity for those looking to sell their car later in the year.

The worst months to sell your car:

Our data shows that the second half of the year should be avoided by car owners looking to sell. The demand is lower during this period, and any vehicles sold are less likely to get the best price.

Here are the worst months to sell, in order:

  1. October
  2. July
  3. September
  4. November
  5. June
  6. December

October proves to be the worst month overall for selling your car. In fact, when individually analysing the top five months in which to sell, across all of the different types of cars, October was the only month that didn’t feature at all.

On the other hand, December teeters on the edge of being within the best months to sell, meaning it wouldn’t be a total loss if drivers were to sell. This is because of its proximity to January, the second-best month to sell a car.

Best time to sell a car – by body type:

For many, it’s easy to assume that certain types of cars will sell better or worse during specific months of the year. For example, convertibles are often thought to sell better during the hotter months, as surely that’s when people look to buy them.

However, we’ve discovered that this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, early spring is the best time of year to maximise your convertible’s selling potential. According to our data, the highest price received for a convertible was in April, while March saw the most convertible models sold through our platform.

Here is a breakdown of the best month in which to sell a car by body type:[1]

Car body type Best price received* Highest volume sold
CONVERTIBLE April (100.9%) March
COUPE May (99.1%) March
ESTATE January (97.9%) March
HATCHBACK January (94.3%) March
SALOON January (95%) March
SUV November (94.6%) September

*Offered price as a % of valuation

As you can see, almost all body types follow the same pattern – months within the first half of the year provide the best-offered price compared to the average valuation. In particular, January is one of the best months to get a higher price, indicating that those who start the year with a sale reap the rewards.

Similarly, most types of cars are in demand at the same time. March is undoubtedly the month that saw the highest volume of sales, making this a prime month for selling your car with ease.

SUVs, however, are the exception. They are the only body type that doesn’t follow the same pattern. So, if this is the type of car you’re looking to sell, you might want to take a different approach. Drivers should aim to sell their SUVs in November to improve their chances of getting a fruitful return. That being said, in 2022, the highest volume of SUVs sold was in September, indicating that autumn presents a peak in demand.

In summary:

Drivers should look to sell their cars during the first half of the year or for maximum returns, specifically the first quarter. Overall, February is the best month to sell across all car types, followed by January and March. Meanwhile, as the month that sees the lowest selling price compared to the valuation, October should be avoided. This month didn’t make it into the top five for any of the body types analysed.

Although you’re more likely to get the best price for your car during the first half of the year, August is just as ideal a time for those wanting to maximise their profit. December also presents an excellent opportunity to prepare to sell your car in time to sell from January onwards – the most profitable time of year.

SUV owners should follow a different approach, as this body type has a sales pattern that differs from other cars. Our data shows that November is the peak time for receiving a higher price on an SUV, while September shows a higher demand due to the number of sales completed.

If the timing is right, and you’re ready to sell your car, then we’re here to help! You can get a quick and easy free car valuation to kick-start the process, and we’ll guide you through the rest.

About the data

[1] Data regarding the highest average valuations from clean to offer and the total number of cars sold per month per body type were taken from Carwow sales during 2022. All figures are taken from this data unless otherwise stated.

The car body types included in the data researched are as follows: convertible, coupe, estate, hatchback, saloon, and SUV.