Best time to sell your car – Vector image of cars driving in different seasons

When is the Best Time to Sell Your Car for the Best Price?

Unlock the best price for your car with AutoFlip. Our guide helps you pinpoint the best time to sell your car, considering various influencing factors.

Timing your car sale right makes a huge difference in the final price you get. Various factors play a role in determining the best time to sell your car in New Zealand, from seasonal demands to economic conditions. In this guide, we'll explore these factors in detail, providing insights on maximising your return when selling your vehicle.

Understanding Seasonal Demand in Car Sales

The influence of seasonal changes on car sales cannot be overstated, with each season offering unique opportunities and challenges for selling vehicles.


Spring is often hailed as the sweet spot for sellers. The improving weather has people eager to venture out, sparking that new car fever. Many buyers have tax refunds burning holes in their pockets, giving them extra cash to spend on a new car. And with summer road trips on the horizon, buyers start shopping for family hauliers like SUVs, comfy sedans, or campers perfect for hitting the open road.


As temperatures rise, so does the demand for vehicles that offer a fun and comfortable driving experience. Convertibles and sports cars become highly sought after, particularly in regions with scenic drives and coastal roads. Families also look to upgrade to newer vehicles with enhanced comfort features like air conditioning, sunroofs, and spacious interiors to accommodate holiday travels. The longer daylight hours and vacation mood make buyers more enthusiastic about exploring new car options, keeping the market buoyant.


As summer fades, the focus shifts from leisure vehicles to more practical and family-oriented cars. Autumn is an important time for families preparing for the new school year, making SUVs, station wagons, and minivans popular choices. While the market might slow down compared to the bustling summer months, there is still significant activity as buyers look for reliable vehicles to navigate the cooler months. Sellers should highlight features like vehicle reliability, safety, and fuel efficiency, which are key decision-making factors during this season.


The chill of winter generally cools the car sales market, particularly in regions that experience severe weather conditions. The demand shifts towards vehicles equipped to handle adverse weather, such as SUVs, trucks, and all-wheel drives, known for their durability and enhanced safety features in snowy or icy conditions. Although it's typically the slowest season for sales, savvy sellers can capitalise on the reduced competition by highlighting their vehicle's winter-friendly attributes.

Understanding these seasonal trends allows sellers to tailor their strategies and ensure they present the right vehicle type at the optimal time. This approach not only maximises the chances of a quick sale but can also significantly impact the final selling price by aligning with buyer demands and expectations.

Economic Climate

Broader economic conditions and used car market trends affect your car's value and influence the best time to sell your car. During economic downturns, used cars are in demand as buyers look for budget-friendly options. On the other hand, during economic booms, buyers might be more willing to purchase new cars or higher-end used models.

Fuel Prices

Swings in fuel prices may also impact the best time to sell your car, depending on the model. Surges in fuel prices can increase the demand for fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles. When fuel prices are low, larger, less economical vehicles might see a boost in interest.

Global Events

Keep an eye on global events that could affect car availability and prices, such as the recent semiconductor shortage that has impacted new car production globally, thereby increasing the demand for used cars.

Personal Circumstances

Sometimes, personal needs determine the best time to sell. If you're moving, needing quick cash, or upgrading to a new vehicle, these factors might dictate your timing more than anything else mentioned.

AutoFlip Can Help You Find the Selling Sweet Spot

With AutoFlip, you get more than just a listing site. Our team provides accurate car valuations and strategic insights based on deep market analysis to pinpoint the best time to sell your car for maximum return. We leverage real-time data to ensure your car hits the market when serious buyers are ready to pay top dollar.

With AutoFlip, you're equipped with all the tools and expertise needed to navigate the complex used car market and drive away with the best possible result.