Monday, October 29, 2012

Selling a car

We've sold one of our cars.

We sold the Camry in anticipation of our upcoming cross-country move; the Prius gets such good gas mileage, that it's become our primary vehicle. The Camry was handy when we were both commuting to work, but with one of us unemployed, it's sat largely untouched in our driveway for six months. Rather than have to deal with getting two cars cross-country, we decided to sell it. If we need a second car in Seattle, we can purchase one there.

We took the easy way out: we simply returned it to the dealership. No, it wasn't a lease. Dealerships will buy a car directly off you, without it being a trade-in. We made an appointment at the nearest Toyota dealership, and brought it in. They looked it over, and offered to buy it back for what we still owed on the loan. Some minimal paperwork later, and we walked off the lot sans one car and one car payment. The whole process, from start to finish, took about an hour.

Now, if the dealership had not offered us what we still owed, I would have then taken the car to Carmax, to see what they would offer, and then listed it on Craigslist to see what the private market would bear.

It's easier than you think to sell a car you don't technically own, especially if it's not to a private buyer. The blue book value was about $2,000 more than what we owed; it's possible I could have made a profit, especially if I'd shopped it around a little, but I have enough to worry about with this move. I don't have to make a car payment on it anymore, which is all I really cared about.

That same day, I returned the plates to my nearest AAA office (they can do simple things like cancelling plates, saving me most of a day waiting in line at the DMV), got them cancelled and got a refund on the registration, removed the car from our insurance policy (did that online, took 5 minutes, saved $60 a month), and returned the EZ-Pass box.

I think I spent more time and energy selling the sofa.

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