What is Car Seller’s Remorse?

Car seller’s remorse is extremely common. In 2015, about 40 million used cars were sold in the US, a 5.6% increase over the previous year. This number is only expected to increase. So, you can at least take solace in the fact that you’re not alone (there is even a Reddit forum where people talk about their car selling regrets). There are few things that are worse than bidding adieu to your first car, the car that you learned how to drive in, went on your first road trip in, or the one that you saved up for all on your own.

Buyer’s remorse vs. seller’s remorse

You’ve most likely heard about buyer’s remorse. This type of remorse involves the guilt you feel after making a purchase, usually of something relatively expensive. Sometimes people feel that they made an impulsive choice and that they should have just waited for something better. Seller’s remorse is just the opposite. Instead, you feel a sinking sense of regret after you sell something.


What causes car seller’s remorse?

The specific causes of seller’s remorse vary depending on whether we’re talking about a house, property, car, etc. Despite the obvious differences in size and price among the items up for sale, we can all agree that getting rid of something that was once of great value to you is tough. These are some of the most common causes of car seller’s remorse:

  • You had to sell your car for financial reasons.
  • You made an impulsive decision.
  • You can’t find a replacement that is just as good, or even better.
  • The car had sentimental value.
  • You accepted an offer that you think was too low.

How do you prevent it?

There are plenty of ways to prevent car seller’s remorse and all the feels that come with it. Most things you can do are simple and require only a small bit of your time. These are some of our recommendations:

  • Talk to an expert. Meet with someone who knows a lot about cars. They can give you estimates on what your car is worth and/or what price buyers might be willing to pay. You can also discuss with them your wants and needs if you’re looking to buy a new car.
  • Talk to friends/family. No one knows you better than your loved ones. If you ask, they will most likely tell you what you need to hear, not always what you want to hear. Go through different hypothetical scenarios with them.
  • Make a “pros and cons” list. Take a moment to write down the benefits and drawbacks to selling. If the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, then you know you’re not ready to sell. Acknowledging this will only save you (or whatever person/company that is helping you sell) time and effort.
  • Start the detachment process early. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should start thinking negatively. Remind yourself that the car served its purpose and had a good run, but it isn’t the car that’s best for what’s ahead.


How do you deal with it?

  • Remember why you decided to sell in the first place. Make sure you have a solid reason to sell. Don’t base it on job transfers, personal relationships, deferred maintenance, etc.
  • Remind yourself that car seller’s remorse is more common than you think. Coping with selling is a process and it can take a couple of weeks or even a few months before people stop feeling guilty.
  • Don’t second-guess yourself. You made the best decision for you. Own it. It may not feel great at the moment, but it will pay off in the end.
  • Most importantly, work with someone you can trust. You’ll feel a lot better if you are proactive in the selling process and can maintain some control over the situation.

Sell with TRED

TRED is the answer to all of your car selling woes. We will help you get 30%+ than a dealer trade and 12%+ than Craigslist street value by taking care of marketing and transacting your car (and facilitating loan repayment if you have one). On average, it takes TRED about four weeks to tell a car compared to nine weeks through a used car dealer. Better yet, our services are free until your car sells for a price that you approve.

The selling process has three easy steps:

  1. Listing: Download our app (App store or Play store), snap some photos of your car, and choose your listing price. Your car will list across our network of sites. We will send a mechanic to inspect your car and send you a TRED seller packet.
  1. Bid/ask: pre-qualified buyers will send test drive requests and bids that you will receive via push notification from the app. Choose the time and place of any test drive. You may accept, counter or decline any offer.
  1. Transaction: once you and your buyer agree to a price, your buyer will have three business days to pay for your car (otherwise we will re-list it). As soon as your buyer pays, we’ll handle all paperwork, we’ll arrange for them to pick up your car and we’ll pay you via wire transfer.
Sell your car for thousands more than Craigslist or the dealer with TRED. Sell my car

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