And so our phone rang. The couple from church test drove the Vue and liked it. We looked as though we might finally sell it a full year after buying its replacement.
But selling it to someone we knew? That can be dangerous.
Back in our freshman year of marriage, DeAnne and I were involved in a car accident that claimed the car we owned free and clear. And so we punched some numbers through our budget and came up with the amount that we could spend on a used car comparable to the one we crashed. We didn’t have much, only $1000, but we thought we could get something dependable but ugly.
What we found was a 2001 Chevy Cavalier that had been in a rollover accident. The roof was dented a bit, but that was the only noticeable problem. After a test drive and a bit of haggling, my wife and I had a new used car, one that even had a CD player (something the car we were replacing did not). It was great.
For three whole days, it was great.
And then the engine blew. Our $1000 went out the window. I contacted the seller and complained that he sold us a lemon without disclosing any of the vehicle’s problems.
“Whose car is it?” he asked me.
“I bought it from you,” I responded. “You sold me a lemon.”
“It isn’t my car anymore. It isn’t my problem,” he said.
Even writing about it now raises my hackles. In any case, it wasn’t a good experience. Buying used cars is a crap shoot.
And now my wife and I were on the verge of selling one to people we know, people from our church no less. The best we could do was disclose everything we knew about the Vue. Unlike the kid who sold us the lemon, we had documents to back up every trip that the Vue made to the mechanic, every glitch, and every problem yet to be fixed. We encouraged the couple from church to take it to a mechanic they trusted before making a decision and gave them two prices: one that replaced the Vue’s battery and addressed a brake hose issue that lingered and one that sold it “as-is”.
They decided to buy it “as-is”, and they got us a cashier’s check for the amount we requested. And that amount just happened to the same (give or take a couple hundred dollars) as the payoff amount for our current vehicle loan.
I mentioned yesterday that the timing was a little too perfect, but I blathered on today and never got around to sharing my suspicions on why the timing worked out so well. So I guess you’ll have to come back tomorrow for that.
TO BE CONTINUED…