Friday, May 16, 2008

Buying and Selling Cars - Without a Dealer

I may have mentioned that we recently bought our minivan by going through a consignment lot rather than a traditional dealer.

  • We paid $2000 less than "suggested retail value."

  • We got a Carfax report on it. We signed up for the one-year subscription, which cost $5 more.

  • We had done A LOT of research. The Internet is a wonderful thing. There is no reason to go in blind when you're buying a car - compare prices, read reviews on different models, know what you're doing.

  • The consignment lot was really helpful in making sure we had all the paperwork required completed, so that was great!

I may also have mentioned, or maybe not, that we sold the car we were replacing, ourselves.

  • We got $500 more for our car than we were offered in trade.

  • We listed on Craigslist, at my work, and in the local paper. It was the newspaper ad that sold it, by the way.

  • We asked less than book value. We could do that, we didn't owe any money on it! :)

  • We used our Carfax subscription (see above) to print out a report for all potential sellers.

  • It took us two days to sell the car. Well, and answering A LOT of phone calls. During nap time. (For what it's worth, we should have listed the gas mileage and WHY we were selling, since EVERY caller asked that.)

  • We ended up selling to a mechanic who sells cars now and then. He fixed it up, and priced it $3000 higher than what we did, with a one-year warranty. Wow. I wonder how many repairs a person could pay for in a year with $3000?
Overall, we were thrilled with the way this transaction worked out for us, financially. We've got $2000 left on our van loan, which we will just make the minimum payments on until after the baby arrives, then we'll knock that debt right out our lives!

Wait, was this blog supposed to be about gluten? Hm. Well, both vehicles are completely gluten free.

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