Help! How do I sell a car I was stupid enough to buy

Help! I need some advice. When my son was in high school we bought him a 92’ Mitsubishi 3000GT( Mitsubishi Piece of Junk)is a better name. We paid $1000,the first week we had it we had to put in a new clutch and with all the repairs, it has to have been over $10,000 and we still owe $3000 on the loan to replace the engine. My son needs a reliable car for college and we decided to try to sell it. Because of all the repairs we made we thought we could get at least $6000 but everyone is laughing at us. We were hoping to pay off the loan and get a down payment on a new car. Does anyone know how to sell this car? It does have 200,000 miles but the new engine has like 45,000. It has been on ebay 2x and now it is in our local paper. I really need some advice on how to find somebody that wants a car like this. A car salesman told me these were hot cars when they first came out. I wish they still were. Thanks

You want $6,000 for an 18-year-old car with 200,000 miles on the chassis? Regardless of the loan balance, you just need to cut your losses and sell it for whatever the market will bear. I would lower the price to $3,000 and hope for the best. At least you will be able to pay off the loan.

If you have done $10,000 worth of repairs to this car, it should be a good car by now, or at least I would hope so. If the car is still somehow junk, it may be best to just sell it for what you can get for it and absorb any losses you incur. The 3000GT was a complex sports car, and a used one with a lot of miles on it is bound to be problematic. By the way, what compelled you to buy a car like this for a high school student? I know I didn’t need something that powerful in high school. I feel fortunate I sold that Z28 Camaro before I finished it and got a chance to drive it when I was a high school freshman.

The true value of your car is not in any way controlled by how much you have done to it or how much it cost. The true value is only dependent on today. What condition is it in today? That is it. If it is now in good condition, then I would suggest keeping it and get the value out of all you have done.

Read your own message.  You tell us it is a peach of junk, but then you seem to be saying you should be able to sell it for more than the market seems to allow.

If this is the insanely complex (but desirable) VR4 model then you should be able to get around $6k for it, provided it’s in at least average condtion. If it’s the FWD non-turbo SL model, then $3000 is about what you’re going to end up getting for it. The salesman was partially right, the twin turbo, AWD, four wheel steering, gadgets-galore VR4 model was indeed a hot car when they came out. The lesser SL model however was no great shakes.

I had a Mits 3000 VR4 for a few years back in the late 1990’s. It was fast and fun and I was lucky to sell it before problems hit.

To sell yours, put ads on, and Put it on ebay motors with no reserve and no minimum bid, cash only, local pickup. It will sell in a week.


I priced a 1992 300GT SL with AM/FM/Cassette/CD and sunroof. It is worth a little less than $1000 as a private sale in clean condition (nothing major needs to be fixed, all wear items up to date). The mileage deduction is about $370; you might claim that the mileage is much less given that you replaced the engine and have replace many other items on the car. But I wouldn’t expect to get more than $1500. If you ask $3000 you are still so high that no one is likely to call. Try $1500 to $1700 and see if you get any nibbles.

[b][i]Suzanne, This Car Has Already Found One, If Not Two, Stupid Buyers. Hey, They’re Out There. You Just Haven’t Found Another One, Yet !


Try advertising on a college or community college bulletin board where many eligible buyers lurk. Look for a kid in a T-shirt I saw yesterday : “Spelling Bee Winnur.”

Maybe it would be easier trading the car for something else that has the potential of being sold for 6,000 bucks, eh ?

Grocery store bulletin boards are highly efficient, too.


AND, don’t show your hand in dealing a sale.

You don’t want them to see your disapointment in it, you want to sell its attributes.

You won’t get back the money you spent or repairs. Most people who buy a car expect an engine that runs, a clutch that doesn’t slip, etc.

How much driving will your son be doing and how far away is the college he will attend? Maybe the Mitsubishi will see him through until the loan is paid off.

My son went to college 50 miles away back in 1992 in a 14 year old 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon with well over 100,000 miles on the odometer. Except for a frozen fuel line when he didn’t take dad’s advice and let the gas tank sink close to empty (he fixed the problem with a 50 cent can of gas line antifreeze), he got along just fine. In his second year he did an Appalachian studies semester and needed a better car, so we upgraded him to a 1988 Ford Taurus (it almost broke his heart to give up the Oldsmobile Cutlass).

If your son is not commuting, the car doesn’t have to have the reliability of a fine Swiss watch. If he is commuting, but not for a great distance, the Mitsubishi may be o.k. You know this car and what has been done to it.

The value of a car is only what someone is willing to pay for it. No more, no less. I doubt of anybody will pay $6000 for an 18 year old Mitsu with 200,000 miles, even on a good day.

Ebay is IMHO your best option. Whatever you end up left owing, you’ll just have to mentally consider the cost of an education.


This terrible experience is a life lesson in disguise. Next time you buy a used car, 1. check several sources for quality and price range. 2. once you home in on a make and model, begin your search for one in your price range. 3. once you locate a probable car, have it checked out by a trusted mechanic. 4. dont by a car with more than one owner, or more than 100,000 miles on it, even with a pristine service record. the little more you spend on initial cost will more than earn itself back on later repairs. Once burned, twice shy applys to cars as well as love affairs.

Thanks for all your replies. I admit I don’t know anything about cars but I know enough to get advice from a mechanic. When we bought this car from my husband’s friend my husband insisted he would not sell him anything that wasn’t in good condition so he said there was no reason to have a mechanic look it over.
Well, maybe I am not that stupid maybe I just need to be more assertive. Thanks again.

If you know enough to be your own person and not trust the profit motivated advice from a sales person, continue having the same attitude on the second largest purchase most of us will ever make, an automobile. An expensive lesson.

If you’re looking for someone to buy it, you need to find someone as naive as you were. Can you do that in good conscience ?


Actually, the car is running good right now so I want to sell it while it’s running. I just don’t know if it will be a year or 2 from now. I think we replaced everything there is and I believe it’s been about 6 months since we had any trouble.
I would just let my son keep driving it but he will be at school several hours from here I’m not sure if I trust it on the highway.

If the car is running well right now, you are probably o.k. Have a trusted mechanic check the car over. Make sure that the tires, suspension, steering gear and brakes are in good shape. Your son probably has a cell phone to call for assistance if something should go wrong.
I would keep the car and pay off the loan. You know this car and don’t know the problems if you move to another used car. Of course, a new car is more reliable, but the depreciatin and loan payments on a new car are very high. After the loan is paid off, then decide what to do.

I agree with Triedaq. Your son won’t need the car much at school unless he has a job off campus. And he may develop friendships with other students who know enough about car repairs that they can work together on their cars and this 3000GT. That worked for me when I was in college. A couple of hour drive to pick him up is not a big deal if the car breaks down on the way home, and that should not happen often, if at all.

At 18 years and 200k miles it’s going to be near impossible to get much out of this car. A friend of mine in Tulsa bought one of these near new back in the 90s and regretted it dearly; and he’s a mechanic (motorcycle) to boot.

Every time he turned around it was a 1000 dollars this, 1800 dollars that, and eventually he decided to just unload that thing no matter how much his better half liked it.

I’m in agreement that if you can get 3 grand out of to pay the loan off and consider it a lesson learned you should do it; before something like a timing belt pops.

List it on eBay opening bid $5, no reserve, and take what you get…It WILL sell…If you live in a city of any size, list it on Craigslist too…If you can get $1000, consider yourself lucky…If the auction is about to close at a price you can not accept, have a friend buy the car for you…The Market is a cruel place…