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"Out with the old..."

Now that I’ve bought my new Toyota Yaris (yes, detractors; I’m still happy with it!), what to do with the Suzuki Swift?

Was offered a paltry amount on trade-in (our having arrived at a purchase price first), so I passed it up and am still driving it around town, saving the new wheels for weekend road trips. Blue book for private sale is around $2k, but just wondering how a woman alone goes about doing this… Advertise it to strangers (everyone recommends eBay for the highest return) and get in the car with them for the test drive? Sounds dangerous… Or just give them the keys and let them take it out for a spin? Also sounds dangerous.

This is probably why people settle for less.

Never done anything but trade-in; advice?

If you want to allow test drives hold onto their license. It allows to get their real age if young(don’t bother with anyone <18).

Fuel prices are low again so the hysteria appeal of your higher MPG vehicle has passed currently. Not sure what source you are look at for $2k private sale but my guess is likely about 40-60% of your $2k. Check out which is more realistic based on average sales.

Private sale; never tried ebay. Always go with them on test drive. Insures they don’t “over-do” the enthusiasm of the test drive. Take a friend if you feel unsafe. Cell phone essential.

You can list it in the local publication that every car buyer uses. It may be a newspaper, or something that comes out every week. You have saved some money by not trading,so the price can be competitive. You have the best “reason for wanting to sell it”. “Because I bought a new car.” I’m happy driving my lawn detractor and I got a detrailer for it too.

Hold their licenses while they go off on a test drive? What if they get stopped; won’t they need their licenses??? Hopefully everyone realizes this dip in gas prices is merely temporary and the cost will skyrocket again. Gas-miser time…

But I’m tempted to sell it for less to someone I know vs. dealing with strangers.

I’ve had much success selling cars privately and locally. Never tried e-Bay. Never had a car worth enough and don’t care to deal with the hassles of long-distance sale or payment. I always ask for cash and I’ve always gotten it. Advertise in the local newspaper and/or park the car in your front yard (or other prominent location) with a “For Sale” sign in the window.

Cars that offer high fuel mileage are in demand now.

Depending on the potential buyer I have allowed them to take the car for a test drive alone. I wouldn’t do this for a teen-ager, but I’ve done it several times without any problems. I’ve also been allowed to drive cars I wanted to buy without a co-driver, so I’m not the only one who does this.

You could ask to see a license, but I really doubt someone will steal the car during a test drive, and it’s safer to allow them to take the car than it is to get in the car with a driver you don’t know.

Where did you get the $2K figure for your Swift? To be honest it sounds a bit high, but I don’t know enough about the Swift.

One piece of advice: Decide what you are ACTUALLY willing to accept for the car before you try to sell it. Be honest with yourself about what it’s worth. Remember, the true value of anything is what someone is willing to pay for it. If you can get $2K for a Swift, then go for it.

Perhaps keeping it for around town use is the best thing to do. It’s always nice to have a spare car if you can afford to keep two.

Expanding on jayhawkroy’s cell phone suggestion, I would recommend that you pre-arrange with a friend to call him/her on the cell when you are going on a test drive with someone.

If you are already engaged in a phone conversation when the test drive begins, someone with bad intentions is far less likely to “try something”, since he and you would be instantly heard by a third party who could notify the police. In your conversation with this friend, be sure to include things like, “we just turned onto Kennedy Parkway”…“we just passed the Safeway”, etc, so that your general location is known.

Yes, this suggestion may sound a bit paranoid, but when you see some of the people who come to your house for a test drive, you will understand this precaution. In fact, I would suggest that you arrange to meet prospective buyers in a public place–during daylight hours–rather than allowing them to come to your house. When closing the sale, accept only a cashier’s check that you can verify over the phone with the issuing bank.

A solitary woman can seem like an easy mark for someone with criminal ideas, so it pays to take precautions.

EXACTLY! You can’t hold someone’s license.

If you have a friend who is interested in the car that’s great. Make a good deal, but don’t give it away.

$2k figure came from Kelley on; automatic transmission. But, yeah, I’d settle for $1,500 from someone I know first… Esp. if it saves my life… : D

I really don’t like eBay for doing car transactions because the auction format really doesn’t work well for used cars and at least in my experience there’s so much funny business going on on both the buyer and seller end of the eBay car section that I’d steer clear unless I’m dealing with a local person. And, though some used car dealers manipulate the auction process to artificially inflate prices, usually private party sales prices on eBay are not much higher than anywhere else.

I’ve had the best results and most pleasant transactions just putting a car on craigslist with what I think is a reasonable price (generally what I’d pay for it) and making clear in the ad that the price is firm, which generally weeds out most of the tire-kickers. With this car especially, the craigslist crowd is probably more of your target market anyways. Depending on the year, engine and transmission type and where you’re located, I’ll bet if you put it on there for $1,500 firm it’ll be gone quick.

I usually will ask for a credit card or a checkbook or something if they want to take it on a test drive, though asking to see a drivers license isn’t a bad idea because when they’re driving it, they’re on YOUR insurance! Also if they have their checkbook with them that suggests how serious they are about buying.

Laws vary by state and country. Some places it would not be a problem.

Didn’t you say that this legendary Swift needed about $1300 in repairs? Keep in mind that the KBB value assumes that the car is good mechanical condition. If your 15 year old swift requires such repairs you must deduct the amount from what you are asking.

Oh sure you can. Done all the time.

Read the BB definition of “Fair” condition. That allows for both body damage and mechanical problems/need for repairs. Mostly what my “legendary” Swift needs is maintenance items (routine replacements) which I don’t care to invest in since I’m replacing the car. It runs fine. And $1300 is an overestimate by about $600…

And it’s “or best offer”… Asking $1800; I can always come down from there…

I think you’re going to have to. Especially with the cost of gas on the way down and the fact that alot of people lost a ton of money in the stock market in the last month or two.

Um, because gas is very temporarily below $3 per gallon, suddenly this perfectly functional car is a throwaway? Check the used Swifts/Metros on, too…

KBB is a dreamworld site in used car prices.

Frankly, and I don’t know what year this thing actually is, but the Swift/Metros/etc’s were really flimsy spartan cars and really the hysteria over gas prices is the only reason why any but the very newest of them are worth over $1000 at this point. Also notice that though you see a lot of very high-priced Swift/Metros/other old econoboxes, especially on the internet, you see very few actual sales made at these prices. By and large these are hopeful individuals and used car dealers trying to use people’s irrational reaction to high gas prices to sell them a massively overpriced car.

Andrew’s also right about “book prices”. They’re fairly accurate for trade-ins and dealer sales, but the private party sales numbers are not because the vast majority of private party transactions are not recorded, especially with low-value cars where financing doesn’t come into play.

(Standard Metro-bashing disclaimer: I actually do really like the old Metro/Swifts and I wouldn’t mind owning one and I wish they made more basic cars like them. But trying to sell them at a premium is absurd.)

“This THING”??? It’s a 2000 (not even nine years old yet) and a creampuff. For a “flimsy” car, it’s never once failed to start, broken down, or disappointed me, and “spartan” isn’t necessarily a dirty word to those of us with simple tastes.

But okay, okay; $1500…

Incidentally, this IS about the “very newest” of the Swifts; they stopped making them in 2001. Don’t know about the Metro; haven’t kept up since I traded mine in for the Swift.