Thursday, September 11, 2008

How I Got Rid of my 96 Neon

Now that I had my 05 Elantra, the next step was to get rid of my Neon. It had about 120,000 miles on it, well, that's what the odometer said, but since it only worked about 1/2 the time, there were probably several thousand more miles on it. A friend from out of town said he would ask some people from work if they were interested in it. He said I shouldn't expect to get much, $500 if I was lucky.

I wanted to kinda speed things up, not only to have some extra money in my pocket, but also so the car wasn't sitting out in the driveway indefinitely (Neons hate spending their evenings sitting on driveways!). I thought of putting an ad in the paper, but that could be quite costly. Ah-ha! I found my car through Why not try to sell mine the same way?

So I went on their website. It cost $25 to place an ad, but it would stay on their website until the car sold. I entered the relevant data and priced the puppy to sell ($750 or best offer). I knew that people were more inclined to respond to the ad if I posted a pic of it. However, I didn't have one and sure as hell didn't want to mess with taking a pic, having some photo place put it on a disc, download it to the website, etc. I was able to find a pic of a Neon on the internet that looked quite a bit like mine:

The pic was so small that if someone came out to actually see the vehicle, they wouldn't know the difference.

I went to bed, content that I would get a buyer in the near future. The next morning, I went to work and got an email from a guy who said he was interested in the car. His email name was lucky freiheit08 (wonder why they call him Lucky?). Here is what he had to say:

"What is the lowest you would go on the price how are the tires and the transmission can you send more pictures"

I told him I didn't have any other pics, but described the vehicle and the issues it had in great detail. I wasn't prepared for the commotion that occurred that evening. I had 3 or 4 voice mails from people who were interested in the car (I had quite underestimated the demand a "beater" might have). This young dude from out of town said he would come take a look at it that evening. Another guy, interested in purchasing a first car for his teenage daughter, said he would also stop by. This other lady said she might as well.

The father came by first and took the car for a test drive with his daughter. He offered me $500. I declined, saying that another guy was stopping by later to take a look. He then asked what it would take for him to take the car off my hands. I said I'd let my sweet Neon go for $675. He then gave the car keys (which he still had in his hands from the test drive) to his daughter and a big smile broke across her face. He asked about writing a check out, but I said I preferred a cashier's check. So they headed to their bank.

Now I just had to tell that young dude that the vehicle was no longer available. I called him on his cell and told him what happened. He said he was just coming into town with $650 cash. I said I was sincerely sorry and to make up for it, I would give him $25 cash and a couple movie passes. He said that would help ease his pain.

Next, the father came back and instead of a cashiers' check, gave me $675 cash. I transferred the title to him and all was well. About a half hour later, the young fella stopped by in his mom's white Impala and took the gifts I had for him. He asked that I call him if I heard of any people who were selling a car for under a grand. Four months later, I pray he found a beater he could be happy with.


paige said...

that Neon was one hot commodity apparently

Mags said...

I had a red neon once too-it was the first car I had to make payments on, and actually, I loved it!

Timothy Smith said...

My wife had a Neon as well but it had been in several accidents. We were both laughing pulling it up to be traded in as it squealed so loudly and all the car salespeople were outside laughing. The air was busted, window did not roll down. It was total junk. They gave us 500 for it but I suppose it went to the junk yard.

My wife loves the Camry and we got a sweet deal on it. We both miss the manual transmission though.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

I think I would be overcome with emotion seeing the daughter's facial expression. My '95 Ford Mustang has become a beater. The odometer stopped working about four thousand miles ago and has well over 200,000 on it. Luckily, the maintenance on it hasn't been too severe except one time when a casket head blew.

I want one of the most fuel efficient cars out there for my next ride. It doesn't matter to me how it looks. We tend to personalize our vehicles too much. I just want a vehicle that gets me to where I'm going without the maintenance hassles.

Timothy Smith said...

I agree. I think our next car will be the Chevy Volt as power is cheap here in Phoenix, especially at night. I guess if you drive under 60 miles a day it requires no gas.

I may wait for them to be out a year or two first.

Sarah said...

i totally forgot about trying to unload an old car! i tend to hold on to mine for AGES and my last one ended up being a dealer trade-in, so i missed out on all the "fun".

houstonmacbro said...

You are so thoughtful. I mean, what other person would give someone a consolation gift like you did.

That was a really classy move!

Thomas said...

Paige, I definitely underestimated the demand for cars priced under a thousand dollars.

Mags, I also loved both of my Neons. I spent ten years driving them and grew quite attached to the little buggers. When I see one on the road these days, I shed a tear...on the inside, at least.

Tim, the air being busted on your wife's Neon is no surprise to me (both of my Neons eventually became unable to hold Freon for any length of time). Having a Camry is definitely a step-up.

PJ, 95 'Stang, huh? In his younger days, my brother was quite a big fan of the car. His was beige. Like Tim, I'm with you on the importance of practicality.

Sarah, the 96 Neon was the first car I ever had to unload.

Houston, I was waiting for somebody to mention that. You have made my night.

houstonmacbro said...

It really is all about the little things in life.

lauren said...

I dig the fact that you gave the other guy $25 and movie passes. Cool!

And your Neon will go to a good home. That's the first car that girl will ever have and even if it ends up falling apart around her, she'll still love it forever. Awwww....

Rocketstar said...

Nice tale Thomas.