With inflation and high gas prices making it more difficult to make ends meet, here’s a way to quickly make some big bucks.
Sell your car.
While conventional wisdom says vehicles – especially if bought new – rapidly depreciate in value, the current economy is turning that belief upside down with the average used car selling for 30% more than a year ago and dealers having low inventory.
With that high demand and low supply, your car, like mine, is similar to a share of stock with an all-time value.
Five years ago, when I was commuting into downtown Phoenix to The Arizona Republic, I bought a new 2017 Honda Fit LX for $16,900 (pre-sales tax).
I was thrilled to get an economical vehicle with 36 miles to the gallon, and it was bright yellow – one of the colors of my alma mater, the University of Oregon. I even tricked it out with Oregon Duck stickers, floor mats, car seat head coverings and tire air caps.
I drove my prior Honda for a decade, and I thought I’d be driving the “Duckmobile” for at least 10 years.
How much is your car worth?
Yet, after some unexpected expenses and with my car essentially being unused as I now work from home for USA TODAY, I was curious as to how much I could get for my vehicle.
It also helped that my wife has her own (paid off) car to commute to work, and we are empty nesters.
So, I did a “how much is my car worth” on Google, and began inputting data on sites ranging from Carvana, to Edmunds, to Autonation, to local dealerships in San Diego.
I was shocked.
The online offers ranged from $12,070 to $16,575.
Biden hails 2030 target of 50% electric vehicles
Declaring the U.S. must move fast to win the car making future, President Joe Biden touts a commitment from the auto industry to make electric vehicles up to half of U.S. sales by the end of the decade. (Aug. 5)
So, in taking the highest offer from Carvana, I essentially drove my car for free for the past five years.
How to sell your car online