What's the best way to get rid of my Passat?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Marty Christion, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Marty Christion

    Marty Christion Stunt Coordinator

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    After $1200 in repairs in the last 4 months, and probably twice that in the last 2 years, my wife has finally put her foot down and demanded that I get rid of my Passat. Having never sold/donated/blown-up a care before, I'd like to get some feedback from the auto experts in the forum.

    It's a '99 V6 sedan, with 130k miles. It's never been in a wreck. I've recently replaced the radiator, fuel pump, and fixed a cam seal. The driver's side door lock doesn't respond to the key (you have to use the remote, or use the passenger or trunk locks to lock and unlock the driver's side door). My mechanic says the front brakes are low, and the front axle boots need to be fixed. Engine and transmission have never given me problems.

    I plan on buying a different car from Carmax. I owe a little on the Passat, but I can pay it off out of my savings if I need to.

    These are the options I see:

    - Trade-in at Carmax
    - Ebay (with full disclosure of problems and liabilities of course)
    - Private sale (with full disclosure of problems and liabilities of course)
    - Donate to charity.
    - Drive car off cliff, jump out sunroof and parachute to safety.

    If anyone has any ideas on what my best course of action might be (in order to maximize my return on the car without screwing anyone in the process), I would appreciate the feedback.
     
  2. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Stunt Coordinator

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    If you feel up to ripping it apart, you could also sell it piecemeal for parts. Go to some VW forums (vwvortex.com, for example) and make a post that you're parting out the car. You can either take it apart beforehand, or pull bits and pieces as people buy them. Ship out smaller parts, but stipulate that heavy/bulky things like the engine, bumpers, and doors must be picked up. You could even make the buyer of those parts assist with removal.

    After the car's stripped to its bare shell, that's when the fun starts. Use a reciprocating saw or plasma cutter and slice it up like butcher takes a tasty animal apart, and toss the shreds in a dumpster or sell it to a scrap-metal dealer.
     
  3. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    This used to be a great way to go because you could deduct the blue book value from your taxes, regardless of the car's actual condition. The tax laws changed this year and I believe now you can only deduct whatever the charity gets for it at auction. This will probably end up hurting charities big time...

    But, you could google the auction houses in your area and let them have at it. Would be a fast transaction, though it won't maximize your return.

    I hear Carmax does offer decent $$ for trade-ins, but yours is pretty old with high mileage for their standards.

    Good luck !
     
  4. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    I would suggest trading it in towards another car. I did that with my 2000 maxima when it started acting up. I let the dealer look at it and offer me his best price. I owed 4 yrs on it and I ended up owing 3k which was rolled into my new vehicle. Best part is I got about 3k in insentives to cover the costs.
     
  5. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    i feel you on the repairs. my 99 vw jetta has 168k and i just put $1500 into it in feb. and mar. i broke an axle in feb to the tune of $600 after the tow and in march the compressor went out to the tune of $900. luckily, i know a fairly competent foregin car repair shop. the dealership will always rape you on the price of the parts. the axle repair at the dealership would've been closer to $900 and the a/c job would've been $1200+. vw's are definitely costly to repair. you might wanna browse the diy sections at the vwvortex. that's how i learned to fix minor things on my car so i could save money. i only take it with big repairs that i can't do on my own or i don't have the proper tools for. as far as donating the car, that's an idea, but most charities that i've dealt with give below blue book value. slap a for sale sign on it and keep driving or run an ad in the paper. if you trade it in, you're gonna take a bigger loss in my opinion than if you sell it on your own.

    kevin t

    ps. the front brakes on my jetta are easy to replace. 30 minute job per side at most. you could do it yourself relatively on the cheap.
     
  6. Dan Mc

    Dan Mc Stunt Coordinator

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    AutoTrader.com...I had a '96 jeep grand cherokee with 130k miles, and put it up for less than all the others listed (most were from dealers), had tons of calls that day, and sold it the next morning for more than I was asking (had two people show up at the same time and they started a bidding war).

    It was in good working condition, but had some issues also, even had the same thing where the key didn't work in the driver's side door. Just disclose any problems and wait for the calls.
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    What??? nobody takes a shot on this one???? [​IMG] You guys are slowing down here.. [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    It depends on what's important to you. If you want to get the most money out of it, clean it up the best you can and put it on Auto Trader. If you just want to be rid of it and you don't mind losing a lot of money compared to a private sale, but want an easier time, and you are buying a car anyway, trade it in. I don't know about parting it out or charity, but I would guess those options would be even easier and yield smaller returns.

    If it were me I'd put it on Auto Trader for at least 3 months and see what happens. You might end up selling it for more than you expected. I've sold two cars on Auto Trader and it works great. Are you in a hurry?
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'd go to www.edmunds.com and read their indepth tutorials about "how to buy a car" before buying, especially from Carmax. They have a reputation for charging very high prices and lowballing trade-in.
     
  10. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Not trying to be a Carmax apologetic, but their prices on new cars are fairly competitive. Our new Highlander's bill of sale was exactly what was on the web page. No hidden dealer add-ons, transportation costs, etc and was at least a grand less than other local dealers. It was refreshing to deal with a salesperson that was merely an order taker.

    But I will agree their used prices are "over the top"....
     
  11. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Well, I'm here to give you a short financial sermon. Part of your problem is that you financed your car for much too long and now you plan to roll that into another loan and you'll be paying for this car for the next 15 years.

    You need to put enough down so that you can pay off your car in 3 or 4 years. That way, when you have a $500 repair it's just $500, not $500 and then another $300-$500 for the payment.

    My advice is pay it off and then drive it and fix it. As long as your annual repairs are less than your annual payments, you'll be ahead in the long run. Also, insurance will be less on an older car.
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You seem to be preaching that it's bad to take a long loan out for a car. Both my finacial advisor and my CPA father (who acts as my advisor also) would disagree with you. If interest rates are low it's better to be in a longer loan with a lower payment than a short loan with a high payment.
     
  13. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    But it's always good to have a car thats paid for and make repairs as long as they don't exceed a new cars monthly payments.Which brings up another point.....Buying a new car is crazy in itself. Let someone else take the hit unless you get so many incentives that they offset.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    According to who? If the car loan interest rate is very low thanks to incentives, it's much better to have money in the bank than in a car. Monthly payment should not be a factor.
     
  15. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Agreed, if the total cost of the loan is the same. But I can finance $30K for five years at 2% or pay 10K down and finance $20K for 3 years at 4% and my loan will still cost $292 less.

    But the longer loan will increase your cash flow and allow you to save away some money for unexpected repairs.

    Nonetheless, I'll bet that most people don't do this and then have to charge the repairs on a credit card and then pay interest on that also.
     
  16. Hugh Jackes

    Hugh Jackes Supporting Actor

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    Dynamite?
     
  17. Marty Christion

    Marty Christion Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input guys. Since my time is kind of tight right now, I haven't been able to move forward with this. I'm going to think a little more about the financial angle.
     

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