After more than five years as my trusty ride, I finally sold my 2010 Hyundai i10. While it was my very first car I bought brand spanking new, I never really got to be too emotional about it. Sure, it felt different not seeing or driving the car on a daily basis but when a car has got to go, it has got to go for whatever reason. Here are some points on letting go of you car.
Know why you’re selling. I have a couple of reasons as to why I decided to sell the car. First, the car has had some history of design faults (with the noises and faults that accompanied it early). Nothing major though but I had the chance to dispose of it just as the warranty ended, and, by that point it gave me a paranoid feeling that when crap starts to show in a five-year old car, you’d be left footing the bill. Knowing that car electronics (sensors and chips are super pricey when needed out of warranty). Second, I now live somewhere east where roads tend to get flooded after a few minutes of heavy rain. Rather than risk driving a wee car through flood water, it’s about time I get a taller ride.
It’s a financial decision. Financial decisions need not be emotional ones but logical ones. You might get too attached to your car but when you need to sell, be logical about it. While conventional financial wisdom dictates that you hold on to cars since they do last for a fair amount of time, that might not necessarily hold true (at least in my experience) here in the Philippines. They don’t build cars like they used to. We owned a Corolla that was dependable and cheap and easy to maintain that lasted us a good 8 years despite buying it as an 11 year old car. The i10 wasn’t so. Parts were quite scarce and pricey (unless you seek out specialist shops in Banawe). It makes just a tad more sense (at least in my case) to dispose and upgrade early while depreciation hasn’t chopped down the car’s value.
Timing is essential. Assess if you can part with the car. You might not want to sell your car in moments when you need a ride. Thankfully, we have another car in the garage to use for the daily commute so losing the car isn’t much of a hassle at least for now. Timing could also mean lapsing warranties, or some financial obligation where you need spot on cash immediately (but that’s what cash savings and emergency funds are for). If you’re looking to upgrade your ride, know when’s a good time to buy or when your target model is coming out so your out-of-service time isn’t too long for it to be a bother. With the state of public transport today, it sure does weigh in.
Prefer direct buyers. As for selling, I took the online route and posted the ad. I explicit stated “direct buyers only” meaning I prefer to sell to the person who will own and use it. Buy-and-sell guys have ready cash and are quick to pay you. My discomfort with this is that many buy-and-sell guys want “open” deeds of sale where the buyer fields remain blank and it doesn’t get notarized. I consider that a risk.
Opt to repair (or in the very least, clean) the car. It will be a negotiation and every little detail (even every minor scratch) will be scrutinized and used to get your price lower. Keep in mind that keeping the car at stock settings are actually more favorable to keeping its value since modifications often mean voided warranties. Not everyone is impressed with aftermarket parts unless the parts are the real deal and provide upgrades in performance. Oh and don’t forget to clear your personal effects from your car.
Be a fair seller. Being detail-oriented with a hint of OCD, I kept pristine records of the car – from registration papers to service records. I was able to walk the buyers through the car’s history (and emphasize with proof that it was casa maintained diligently). I disclosed all the issues I had with the car. Sure some weighed into the price negotiation where I had to knock off some in the price but at least I could sleep at night knowing I didn’t swindle the buyer. Use honest but great looking pictures of your ride to showcase to your potential buyers (if posting online).
Set a decent price. Decent meaning a price point you’re comfortable parting your car for. Depreciation counts. A good starting point is seeing how your insurance values your car. At 10% yearly depreciation, you can see how much insurance is willing to spend to replace your car if it gets stolen or totalled. You can also check online ads for a ballpark range. If kept well-maintained and in pristine condition, then you can set your price on the upper range if not more. If you’re not comfortable selling lower, then don’t. Though this might depend on your financial circumstances (like if you’re in dire straights money-wise), you can definitely tell the buyer “no” if you feel you’re being low-balled and not getting a fair price.
Make it legal. Documentation is key so make sure you have clean papers. One of the reasons my car was quick to sell was that I had complete and clean documentation. The registration papers already had cleared encumbrance and complete. Handshake deals aren’t enough too. We executed a deed of sale, exchanged money at the bank, and had a respectable lawyer duly notarize (not just those quick and easy bangketa notaries) the documents.
Boy, did the car go quick. I posted the online ad at 6 in the morning and sold the car at around noon. At least the car is now owned by a young couple to be used as a daily driver for the wife, and they’re very happy with their purchase.