Author Topic: Slowly coming around to the idea of maybe selling my car. Maybe. Ish.  (Read 3088 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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When I first posted to this community, I got some advice suggesting I sell my car, which is a 2012 Toyota Yaris in excellent condition (though it could stand to see the underside of a vacuum), on which I still owe almost $12k. 

I have a huge amount of internal resistance to this idea, because the security of having a car I know I can rely on means a lot to me for a lot of reasons.  But I'm trying to overcome it; I'm poking around the edges of it, trying to figure out what it would mean for me to be without it.

My alternative, if I sold it, would probably be Zipcar plus my bike.  I already bike most places I need to go around town, and I have public transit for the rest.  Right now, honestly, I'm not using the car for much beyond emergencies and an emotional security blanket.  Well, and a relationship aid - my room mate and I shared her car for a couple of years, and it was always a big source of strain for us; our friendship, which is really long-term and important to me, is better off for me having a car.

So, I'm thinking about it.  I'm not quite ready to commit to it.  But what I want to understand, if you guys can help me, is the process for selling a car.  I've never done it - this is the first car I've ever owned.  I understand about advertising, and trying to be safe when letting people see or test drive the car.  But how does the actual money exchange work?

Say I get someone to the point of buying the car.  I wouldn't want to sell it for rock-bottom prices - I need to make back at least what I still owe on it, and preferably more so I can make back some of what I've spent.  But that's a lot of money for most people - do they pay cash?  Do they get a loan from a bank and bring me a check from the bank?  If that's how it works, do I cash the check and pay off my loan before I hand over the keys?  What do I do if they want to write me a personal check?  I would think I'd need it to at least be a cashier's check or something, right?  And after all that, how do they get the title, if the title is still held by Toyota? 

I hope you guys will forgive my waffling on this - I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.  Owning my own car was a major milestone for me, it feels like the thing that made me (at this very late date) officially a grown-up.  Letting go of that is a hard transition, but I'm trying to get there. 

I hope you'll also forgive my utter ignorance on this topic - any advice would be welcome!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Slowly coming around to the idea of maybe selling my car. Maybe. Ish.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 05:27:09 PM »
If you got your loan from a bank, the easiest way is to have the transaction done there. They have notaries, and you need one for the title anyway, regardless of liens. Being able to do everything at once makes it a lot easier. You'll also be less nervous doing a transaction in a building with people in suits than say, on your porch.

I for one sure as hell wouldn't take a check. Cash is king, and readily available at the bank.

Edit: disregard all the above, I missed the fact that your car is owned by Toyota.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 05:53:20 PM by Paul der Krake »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Slowly coming around to the idea of maybe selling my car. Maybe. Ish.
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 05:50:21 PM »
I bought a car in April from someone who had financing through Toyota Financial.  There was some form they could send you to authorize the payoff and release of title to the new buyer. 

I actually think it might have been easier to just finance it and then pay it off the next week.  Letting the banks take care of all the paperwork betweeen themselves would have saved time and a few trips to meet and exchange forms.  If your buyer wants to finance, there bank can just work everything out with Toyota Financial. 


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Re: Slowly coming around to the idea of maybe selling my car. Maybe. Ish.
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 06:14:42 PM »
When we sold our VW, the buyer needed financing. I called VW, told them I was selling the car and then the buyer's bank handled everything with VW. I got a check for the excess paid by the new buyer from VW a couple weeks later. If you have an entirely cash buyer, I'd have them bring a cashier's check and go to your bank with you to deposit it, just to make sure it isn't fake. But really, most people are honest and are more worried about you ripping them off. I've sold a couple of cars now and it was always a more friendly transaction than I anticipated.