Vehicle Shuffle

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user 135067

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Apr 28, 2016
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No, it's not the latest YouTube craze. In August we were facing a few expected but serious automotive expenses. Registration and inspection on our 6 year old Prius. The thing about a 6 year old Prius is it will eventually be a 10 or 12 year old Prius and that huge 10,000 volt battery would need to be replaced. $$$$$ Maybe getting rid of it while the thought of that expense was low to a buyer. Also, the Prius is anything but a snowy, hilly winding road competent car. Don't get me wrong. In dry weather the Pius was magnetized to these curves. That heavy, low hanging monster battery under the back seat gave it a very low center of gravity. And I didn't mind the fuel mileage. 60 mpg plus. Once calculated to 92 miles per gallon. It went forever on its 8 gallon tank. But owning a car that might set in the driveway all winter... not financially practical.

The lease was maturing on the Honda. We had a choice to just give it up, or, although we got it new, we could buy it at a used car price. The thing is we didn't want it.

One way or another we were getting rid of the Honda. So we went car shopping, thinking we could return the Honda and trade in the Prius. That would leave us a car down. What to do. What to do.

We shopped Hyundai, and a few other low end all wheel drive brands. My wife refuses to drive a used car. But we could buy a used car as the second car if she had her new one. I do have a very large very old van that gets crappy gas mileage. It just carries lumber, mostly. We need a second car that won't empty the local filling station.

So that's the background.

I had a Subaru Outback years ago and I really liked it. So I convinced my wife to look at a Subaru. She fell in love with the Crosstrek.

It was not in my plan to convince her to buy a car that cost 50% more than any car we'd ever bought.

Subaru offered us $8000 on the Prius which coincidentally was the pay-off. I'm getting really depressed now.

The salesman said "We don't sell Prius. We can only offer what we do because we'll auction it off. BUT! Carmax buys used cars. Lets see what they'll offer."

He typed some keys on his laptop and his face went white. He turned the the computer to face us. $16,900.

Well, I'm feeling better.

"Just a minute," he says. he typed into a website for Carvana. "Oh my god." He showed us the Carvana offer and then he took his computer around the showroom to show his coworkers.

$19,800 for a six year old Prius!

"This has to be a joke," I say.

"No. They are a legitimate car dealership."

We gave it a shot expecting all kinds of adjustments once they got us where they wanted us.

Nope. They came and got the car and cut us a check for the full $19.800.

With a smile on my face I stood in my drive and waved goodby to our once best car.

We paid off the Prius balance and had money left to go find that used second car. We found a 2012 Escape for $8K. I have to tell you, after buying it, the more I learn about it the better I like it. And we still had money left.

"This is great, what will they give us for the Honda?"

They couldn't buy a leased vehicle. "What if we buy it and then sell it to them?" We got an offer as though we owned it." $26,000!! So we scraped up the $15,000 and bought the Honda outright.

The Crosstrek was ordered but not to arrive... maybe ever. I think average wait was 108 days according to one website. We waited. We checked the offer on the Honda. $23,000


Carvana stock had dropped 94%. Some said they were facing bankruptcy. Then $21,400."

Oh crap. We've lost $5,000 sitting and waiting for the Subaru. If it keeps going down we'll be upside-down on the Honda.

Subaru came in last weekend. The offer dropped again. $19,200. Then that same day, $19,079. We tried to hold them to higher offer that they had emailed us "Good through December 24th" Nope. They kept dropping it down.

So over the weekend we shopped it on Carmax. $21,600.


We expected them to bargain against the Carvana offer. All they had to do was punch it in and see what the competition offered.

So we went an hour north and picked up the Crosstrek. Then we took the Honda 2.5 hours south to the nearest Carmax. They checked out the car and cut the check. No bargaining at all.

So the Vehicle shuffle took about 12 weeks. It came with a lot of stress. But all in all it turned out much better than my initial expectations. The money helped with the purchase of the Crosstrek. Now I'm broke again. But it's one less car payment and I'm really happy with the cars we ended up with.

We bought the 7 year maintenance warranty with the Crosstrek.

That means she is going to keep it!! No changing cars every three years. No monstrous registrations and tax bills. And I won't have to so much as change the oil!

I"m FREEEEEEEeeeeeee!! :giggle:
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user 135067

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2016
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Frankly I was shocked at the offer. Pleasingly so but still shocked. We only payed $24K for it and drove it for 6 years. To get almost $20K for it was a gift from [Enter deity of your choice].

I might have kept the Prius if it had been all wheel drive. It was front wheel drive with that overweight batter nearer the back. When going up hill the weight is shifted away from the drive wheels. It would have spent the entire winter sitting at the bottoms of the snowy hills.

I had the Subaru out in the slop today. It did fine. What I like about Subaru is their anti-slip technology. My outback could clime parking lot snow mountains. With the two newest vehicles we are winter worthy.

Being so far out in the boonies I worry about transportation. It would take an ambulance 45 minutes just to get here on a clear day. Now even with snow and ice I can be at the emergency room in under an hour.

And lets not forget that when the roads are too bad for everyone else I can still go out for milk and bread. :D
Mar 21, 2020
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In my mind
I definitely applaud you!!! Good GREAT job! Handled VERY well!

I really like hearing when people don't just take whatever is offered to them by some salesman. I only bought one vehicle through a dealer. It was used and I told them how much I would pay period for a certain vehicle with a certain range of miles. It was low. They keep saying no way. I would need to come up atleast another $5K more. They put me through the ringer. But, I held my ground.

A few months later a salesman said he could do the deal IF I went to this up coming sale, was the first person in, and the first person to purchase a vehicle during that sale. I was and I got the vehicle I wanted for the price I wanted.
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