Trends have proven that early fall (September/October) is the hottest time of the year for remarketing, with another peak selling season, early spring, just past us now (March/April). Based on this, you may want to wait 4-6 months before putting used vehicles on the market, to get the best return. You should avoid remarketing in December and January for this very convincing reason: A two-year-old car sold in October can sometimes bring in $1,000 more than the same car sold the following January. Benefit From Seasonal Cycles Becoming familiar with these seasonal peaks and valleys of used-car demand (and thus prices) can put more money in your pocket when it's time to remarket. Not knowing the best times to remarket, on the other hand, can cost you dearly. During the December holiday season, for example, retail customers are more inclined to spend their money at the mall rather than on a car. Remarketing your vehicles at this time of year could mean you have the Christmas spirit -- becasue you'll pretty much be giving them away. If retail customers are interested in purchasing a vehicle at year-end, they may be more inclined to take advantage of year-end manufacturer promotions (low-rate financing) on a new car, vs. the higher interest rates that accompany the purchase of a used vehicle. What all of this means to you is a softer market for used-car sales at auctions. Dealers just aren't motivated to take the risk of having those extra used vehicles on their lot. Your vehicles take longer to sell -- and when they do sell, they go for lower prices. Getting the Best Return There are other ways to get the best return on your used vehicles. Most importantly, encourage your drivers to treat company cars as their own. One of the most successful ways to get drivers to take care of their company cars is to offer them the opportunity to purchase the used vehicle. Because the drivers have taken care of the vehicle themselves, they make excellent cars for their family members to drive. Selling direct to your employees also eliminates auction fees for transportation and clean-up, which means more money returned to you. Choice of color will also impact your resale value. The best colors for resale are whites, reds, blues, and greens. The least attractive for resale are blacks, golds, and purples, according to the auction experts at Wells Fargo Fleet Services. Valuable Commodities Your company vehicles are, above all, necessary tools to get the job done and keep your business growing. But even when a vehicle has reached the end of its service life for your company, it is still a valuable commodity on the used-car market. And that market, like all markets, fluctuates. When you trade in your used vehicles, don't get taken to the cleaner's.