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February 14, 2011

The car is sold

It’s tempting to try to ascribe some kind of significance to selling my car on Valentine’s day, but really it was just the way the calendar worked.

1996 CivicI’ve driven the same vehicle for a bit less than fourteen years. I took out a loan to buy it in March of 1997, a very lightly used ‘96 with about six thousand miles on the odometer.

I paid the loan off in about three years, and just kept driving. (Quicken might be able to tell me the lifetime TCO of the car and help me suss out a cost per mile, sometime.) It got pretty good mileage. It got hit once or twice, by objects ranging from softballs to Lincoln Continentals (and including one pop-up canvas “garage” at one of our apartments).

I replaced the trunk lid to get rid of the spoiler. I didn’t replace the stereo, even though for the last few years if you turn the knob right or left it’s anyone’s guess whether the volume went up or down. I fixed some things and not others.

I think it would be stretching things to say I loved the car. I think it would be fair to say we were pretty used to each other. I did not relish the idea of shopping for a new car, and the annoyances of the old one did not add up to wanting to get rid of it.

The tipping point turned out to be car seats. You can’t get car seats into the back of a two-door car—at least not this one.

So Sunday morning I put it on Craigslist. I fielded a lot of emails and made a few phone calls. Tonight I had a family come by. They looked it over, looked under the hood, kicked the tires, took it for a drive. Then they counted out some hundred-dollar bills and I signed the title over.

They’ll come back in a few days with new license plates, and it will be someone else’s commuter car for the next few years. He sounds like he knows how to keep a car running. I suggested that he’d get it to 200,000, and he responded, “I’m going to get it to 300,000.”

Posted by pjm at 9:42 PM | Comments (0)