Author Topic: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!  (Read 3698 times)

MsPeacock

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Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« on: November 29, 2015, 11:02:37 AM »
I have been face punching myself for the past year since finding MMM over this stupid car. I bought it only a couple months before I found MMM. It has to go, but I've struggled some w/ taking action.

What I have: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LTD (which has tons of bells and whistles but it the lowest grade they made the hybrid in). KBBV private sale about $43,000. I owe $25,000 on it w/ monthly payments for slightly less than 4 years to go. I can't stand the thought of spending another 25k on this car that I don't even particularly like., it makes me feel sick to think of it.  Has 13k miles on it and I have had it about 18 months. Super clean.

What I need:
1. Something 4WD (neighborhood is extremely hilly and doesn't get ploughed for days - impassable w/o 4wd.)
2. Backseat large enough for adult sized people on a daily basis (my kids are big)
3. Big cargo area for dog and tons of sports equipment, landscaping materials, camping gear, etc. . Something wagon or hatchbacky or SUVish.
4. Reliable (old car died and was on life support for months and I was in a bad spot which is why I ended up making a poor decision w/ the highlander purchase). I am a single mom - have to be able to get kids, work really long hours - can't deal w/ something that breaks down w/o major major disruption to my ability to get through the day.
5. Not super high mileage.
6. $20k or less - a lot less would be fine.

What I don't need:
1. I have 3 rows but I rarely use the 3rd row and I don't need it. I can manage adequately w/o.
2. Super good mpg. I drive about 7  miles to work, 4 days per week. I mostly stay close to home on other days, just general errands w/in a 5 mile or so radius. I do maybe 1 or 2 long drives per year (e.g. to the beach, NYC, or MI).

I'd prefer Honda, Toyota, or Subaru. The littler cars (e.g. Fit) don't seem to have enough backseat space for regular transport of large people. Considered: older highlander (which was the car that died on me. I did love that car), older 4Runner, and.... idk what. What models or years to consider?

Also - Has anyone had experience doing a private party sale for an expensive car?I have sold past clunkers on craigslist - like 2k cars. I wonder if there is much private party interest for a car that is going to sell for 40k+. Would I be better off trying to work a trade-in at a dealer for a used car?

I also wonder about logistics. Like, should I purchase another car, and then go about selling the current car? I don't really have a good way to manage several days w/o a car (although I could rent one, but I would want to keep that very short term).

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2015, 05:50:06 PM by MsPeacock »

lbmustache

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 12:10:43 PM »
I would try Carmax. I sold my car to them, the price was fair (about $500 less than PP) and the process was super easy. A $500 loss was fine to me since I don't have all day to deal with people on Craigslist. I needed a quick and easy sale.

You are going to get face punches for wanting a larger 4WD car to drive 7 miles to work :)

An older 4runner will be bullet-proof but will not be particularly fuel-efficient. On the plus side, $20k or a bit less should get you a good clean version rather than one beat to death. Have you looked at Rav4s or CRvs? For your situation I would honestly look at a Subaru Outback. It looks like the previous gen has dropped to around $20k.

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/cars+under+20000/Subaru/Outback/Long+Beach+CA-90815?endYear=2016&makeCode1=SUB&maxPrice=20000&mmt=%5BSUB%5BSUBOUTBK%5B%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&modelCode1=SUBOUTBK&searchRadius=0&showcaseListingId=413494380&showcaseOwnerId=1361865&startYear=1981&Log=0

v8rx7guy

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 12:26:49 PM »
Do you really think you'll get $43k for it selling private party?  You might find yourself with a little less than expected. I would look at Subaru foresters

Cypher

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 12:32:24 PM »
I know you are wanting to get out of a Highlander Hybrid but I bought a 2006 model back in January and love it.  I paid 15K and it had 103K miles.  I have had more than one person ask me if it was new when they got into it.  This car has been tremendous and it ticks all of your boxes.  I consider it the most versatile and luxurious car I have ever owned.  Not sure how old your previous Highlander was or how many miles it had when it died but I plan on mine going at least 200K miles.

MsPeacock

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 02:17:00 PM »
Do you really think you'll get $43k for it selling private party?  You might find yourself with a little less than expected. I would look at Subaru foresters

I have no idea - just stating what KBBV is. That is why I asked for other's experience with selling pp expensive cars. I can deal with getting something less than KBBV is that is the reality of the situation.

MsPeacock

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 02:18:36 PM »
I know you are wanting to get out of a Highlander Hybrid but I bought a 2006 model back in January and love it.  I paid 15K and it had 103K miles.  I have had more than one person ask me if it was new when they got into it.  This car has been tremendous and it ticks all of your boxes.  I consider it the most versatile and luxurious car I have ever owned.  Not sure how old your previous Highlander was or how many miles it had when it died but I plan on mine going at least 200K miles.

Mine was a 2006 w/ 100k miles. Had repeated engine problems that just couldn't get squared away. I did really love the car but couldn't handle the lack of reliability.

I don't want to spend 25k in car payments on the current car, that is the really pressing issue. I have to get something cheaper to get my financial house in better order. I think I can get something else for less that will run to 200k or whatever.

RWD

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 04:14:25 PM »
A Subaru should be fine. I'd recommend the Outback based on your requirements.

revisednut

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 06:32:48 AM »
I've had nothing but positive experiences with a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.7L AWD I purchased in 2012, with 120k miles.  I paid $2,700 for it, and have done nothing but tires/brakes/timing belt (essential on these interference engines every 60k miles).  The last one I had was a 2001 that died at 198k miles due to not doing the timing belt (my own fault).  They're regularly for sale with 250k+ miles, and it's not a "popular" car, so they're simple to find on the secondary market cheap, without competition.  The gas mileage is only 18-20, but with the low initial cost and maintenance, I believe it's a wash.

Valetta

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 11:13:44 AM »
My husband's 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe is still going strong at almost 200,000. It's needed very little work other than routine maintenance - parts just needed to be replaced at the typical points. This is bigger than the two cars below and I think it would meet your needs.

I had a 2001 Honda CRV with 4wd until just a couple of years ago that worked great. I got into a terrible accident on the freeway and it was totaled. I had a 175,000 and was planning on driving it for years still. It was much roomier inside than you would think - as an event planner I'm often hauling weird things around and I regularly had 3 adults in the back seat and a passenger in the front.

Now I have a much newer toyota rav4 which I love. Planning on driving it to 200,000+ but I'm only at 39,000 right now. Also roomy, 4wd, and very reliable.

I would go with one of the above if I were you. I do like the Subaru Foresters but I've known two people now that have had tons of problems with theirs. I know that it is just anecdotal and they are supposed to be great cars but that really turned me off to them.

MountainFlower

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2015, 12:31:34 PM »
I drive an older Acura MDX.  It has been a great vehicle.  I'm at 205K miles.  I also need AWD, so I feel your pain on that score.  The MDX also has 4WD low, which I have needed more than once to blow through a large snow drift in my driveway. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car!
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 02:54:43 PM »
Thank you everyone. This is my project for the next few weeks. I am finding that cars are much cheaper 100 miles or so away. First agenda item is to try carmax and see what they will give me for my car (will do Friday). Thank you for all the car recommendations. I am going to go test drive a few of the recommended models. Coming to the emotional acceptance of selling this car has been a big (and good) step for me.

MsPeacock

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2015, 05:54:42 PM »
Updated: got the "new" car today. Had a long day with a very patient Carmax salesman yesterday and test drove about 9 different cars.  Settled on either a Honda Pilot or Ford Escape as my first choice models. Found an 2012 Escape at another Carmax, put it on hold online last night, test drove it, and purchased it this afternoon. No more car payment! Such a relief and I actually like the "new" used car better than my former super expensive car. So glad I did it.

This whole mmm thing has been an emotional journey for me over the past year. I still have a good ways to go, but this was a major hurdle for me to clear today.

JLee

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2015, 11:45:02 AM »
Congratulations!

GoCubsGo

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2015, 08:34:03 AM »
Great job! You made a plan and executed.  Just out of curiosity, how close was CarMax's trade in value compared to the KBB value?

MsPeacock

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2015, 02:36:22 PM »
The KBB private sale was about 43K, the "black book" value according to Edmunds/car.com said 37k for trade-in or there about. CarMax offered me 40k. Since I was trading it in for another car at CarMax I saved on the sales tax, so I figured it was a wash w/ the KBB pretty much. I also see very few cars for sale by owner online that are 43K, so I didn't think I would have much luck selling it myself.

I also did another "online" appraisal through cars. com and was offered about 41.5K, pending going to a short list of dealers for an actual eyes-on look. All of them were in another state (1+ hour drive away) which presented logistical problems and I did not want to deal w/ purchasing a car out of state.

I made sure the car was super super clear and empty of all personal stuff when I took it for appraisal. It was showroom ready.

norabird

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2015, 02:46:26 PM »
You're fast! Not that I'm surprised :)

ZiziPB

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2015, 02:54:52 PM »
Good job!  I did a similar thing earlier this year when I got rid of my luxury gas guzzler.  I ended up not going with Carmax but I did bring my car in for an appraisal and they were right on the money with what they offered.

DeltaBond

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Re: Help me get out of my clown car! Updated: I did it!
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2015, 12:25:49 PM »
You definitely got lucky with carmax, they are random when it comes to what they offer for cars.  Good work!!!