The Trouble With Selling Used Cars . . .

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If you’re having trouble selling your used car it might be because fewer and fewer people can afford to buy it.

Trading in is no problem – other than the problem of getting wholesale value for your trade-in, which the dealer will then finance to someone else at full retail value. Plus interest.

But you – the private seller – probably do not want to finance the sale of your old car. You want cash, paid-in-full at the time the keys and title change hands. This is the way used cars have been sold between private parties for more than 100 years  – until recent years. What’s changed is that something like one-third of Americans haven’t got the ability to pay cash for anything that costs more than three figures; for about half of the population, it’s a stretch to buy – as opposed to finance – a new refrigerator.

But aye, there’s the rub. 

Used cars cost a lot more than a new ‘fridge – in part because of the cost of new cars, which is now well over $30,000 on average. That’s for a minivan or family crossover. 4WD trucks and SUVs routinely transact for $50,000.

Even with depreciation, these things still cost a lot more as used cars than most people can come up with in cash. That $30,000 minivan or crossover is still worth about $15,000 after five or six years and if you’ve tried to sell one recently, you already know how hard it is for people to come up with that kind of money.

You clean the vehicle up in your driveway; vacuum the interior and wax the finish. It looks great. It is great. Nothing wrong with it and many people would love to buy it. The problem is they can’t afford to – without financing it.

No comes the real rub.

Because these people cannot afford to pay you, they end up paying more at a dealership, where they not only pay marked-up retail value for their new used vehicle but also interest on the loan they have to take out because they could not afford to pay you cash. Interest adds a lot of expense to the cost of a car but it adds even more expense to used cars because the lenders can make the borrowers pay it. They know they have them over the ol’ barrel. That if they want to drive it away, today – they’re gonna have to pay.

Ironically, the people who can’t afford to pay cash would have paid less – in interest – on a payment plan for a brand-new car. But they can’t afford the price of the new car.

Which demonstrates the axiom that people who can’t pay usually pay more than people who can pay. This is the “lay-away” or rent-to-own model, which was once upon a time the dynamic at seedy department stores in the not-so-great part of town, where the poor got the shaft – as they usually do.

But now everyone gets the shaft.

Because so many are stretched so thin, the person trying to sell his used car will probably end up trading it in instead – because he can’t find a buyer capable of buying it. This will cost him thousands of dollars, the difference in the wholesale value he gets for his trade-in and the marked-up full retail value his old vehicle will be sold – and financed for – by the dealer.

This is a measure of what the irresponsibility of the American volk (which consumes more than it earns) exacerbated by the policies of the American government (which has made everything it touches – which is everything – cost more than it should) have done to America.

Before the government got into the business of decreeing how cars will be built – and by dint of that, how much they will cost buyers – new cars cost a great deal less than they do now. That meant they cost less as used cars – and most people could afford to pay cash for them.

The decreeing got under full steam toward the end of the 1960s, so it’s instructive to look back and see what a typical family car cost  brand-new just before then.

A 1965 Chevy Malibu – which was a full-size sedan that could carry six adults – stickered for just over $2,400 when it was new, a sum equivalent to just over $20,000 today. Which sum will buy you – just barely – a small sedan like a new Toyota Corolla that seats five adults, less comfortably. A current-year full-size sedan like a Dodge Charger – which is the least expensive example of its type currently available – stickers for  $29,995, a sum equivalent in 1965 purchasing power to about $3,600 – which is a big difference in real cost.

It is of course true that the base ’65 Malibu was a spartan car in terms of amenities. You did not get AC or power windows for your $2,400 (much less six air bags, which you probably would not have wanted to pay for). The new Charger comes standard with all of that plus more.

But that’s precisely the difference now vs. then.

Before the government got into the car-decreeing bidness, basic cars were commonly available. You could buy more expensive cars with AC, power windows and so on- but you didn’t have to.

New – or used.

Today, you do – if you want to buy any car made within the past 15-20 years you have to buy a car with AC, power windows and much more. Including the much more added to the roster of standard equipment by the government, such as six (and often more) air bags. There is no low cost option.

Which raises costs for everyone.

It is why the cost of used cars is so high – and why more and more Americans can’t afford to buy (rather than finance) them.

. . .

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  1. How ridiculous is the used car market? Hubby sold his truck this week for more than the price that he paid for it originally four years ago. Yes, one can argue that a dollar four years ago makes the truck worth less today, but that still is not a bad turnaround. We basically drove 25K miles for roughly $6800 when factoring in insurance, PP taxes, fuel, and repairs, which equates to $141/month.

  2. I actually enjoy buying and, to a lesser extent, selling used cars privately. with very few exceptions, I have had really good experiences with the buyers/sellers.

    I always end up buying a car based upon the person who is selling it. I enjoy meeting new people, and if I feel comfortable with that individual not being shady, etc…I pull the trigger.

    What kicks me in the rear end, however, is paying a sales tax on the used vehicle. The car was already (heavily) taxed when new. Every time it is transferred to a new owner – BOOM – taxed yet again.

    • Amen, Frankie!

      And: In my state (VA) you used to be able to “get away” with listing a “sales price” of say $500 – to lessen the tax. But now the SOBs use the NADA used car price guide to dun you for the “average fair market value” of the car.

      Hence, my decision to become a pirate and just drive (and ride) my vehicles with Farm Use and other such tags, no “inspection” and screw the state, as much as they have screwed me.

      • Thar ye go…ARRGH!

        This weekend, we FIRE UP the Plymouth Fury II’s engine (taken from an ’85 Dodge Ramcharger) for the first time! I’ll savor the sweet odors of gasoline from a venting carburetor float bowl and exhaust fumes from a 12.5: 1 Air/Fuel ratio, as “Gawd” intended.

      • Eric,
        I like your thinking…and have done likewise with the sale price. The vehicle was already taxed – what a racket!

        The emissions testing in my Nanny State (Pa) is another thing that kicks me in the ass..God forbid that I have a check engine light with a few floating codes…NO STICKER FOR YOU!

        On a side note…maybe it is just my imagination, but…I swear that the driving skills have gotten much worse lately. Slower reaction times and poorer decision-making on the highways and byways.
        My theory is – a combination of the JAB and the Mask-Wearing Driving Sheep!

        Quite bizarre!

  3. Eric,

    I’d have to disagree with your restatement of the 1964 Chevy Malibu’s 1965 price of $2400 in current dollars ($20,000). You must have done this based on the official inflation rate, which is obviously severely understated. If we do it on a more realistic measure like the price of silver or gold, the current dollar price would be much higher.

    Let’s do silver first. Silver was $1.30/oz in 1965, and it is $25.33/oz at the time of this writing, which is 19.5x. So if you were to sell your Chevy Malibu in 1965 and buy silver (e.g. Kennedy silver half-dollars), they’d be worth $46,763 now.

    If we take gold, the price rise is even higher. Gold was $35/oz in 1965, and it is $1,733/oz at the time of this writing, which is 49.5x. Your $2,400 would be worth $118,834 now, although you wouldn’t be able to invest your money in gold in 1965 (legally) since gold was banned in your country until 1975.

    So cars in 1965 were actually very expensive compared to now.

    • Hi TTM,

      Another way to consider this is that car loans back then were typically 3-4 years, which is a measure of affordability. A car like the Malibu referenced was also a full-size car, equivalent in today’s terms to something like a new Charger or Chrysler 300 – and those cars cost close to $30,000 (and up) to start. Yes, they are much better equipped in terms of amenities such as AC and power options. But the fact remains that back in 1965, ordinary working-class people could afford and did routinely buy full-size/rear-drive cars like the Malibu whereas today most people drive much smaller, much more expensive cars.

      So while I agree with you that inflation has been severe, I disagree with you that the cost of cars in ’65 was higher than it is today. If that were true, kids just out of high school and young people in their 20s back in the ’60s could not have afforded to buy V8 powered muscle cars, which they did in huge numbers.

      • Eric, this may be true but it means that workers back then had more money than they do now. It’s not because cars were cheaper then. Which makes sense – real incomes have been falling for a long time now.

        • Hi TTM,

          It means their money bought more, certainly. But the fact remains that in the ’60s cars were more affordable, the evidence for that being the fact that more people were able to buy them – including people working at low/entry-level jobs. As hard as it is to believe cars like the original Pontiac GTO and Mustang and the cars they inspired were marketed at people in their late teens and early 20s. Their parents – working and middles class people – routinely drove the size/layout equivalent of current-year six-figure cars like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7.

          • Automobiles didn’t have the costs of more burdensome Government regulation, which mounts overall in the products used for the components of the cars/trucks, regulations imposed on manufacturers/distributors/retailers, and, as we’ve well-discussed in this forum, REQUIRED features or capabilities that otherwise would not result from normal competition and/or consumer demand. Such a thing as minimum wage laws, though since, when Henry Ford was noted for making the minimum pay for a worker $5 a day (good money in 1912), most workers started well above that; but there’s always the “rising tide” effect on wages.

            However, until about the mid-70s, the “two-car” family wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is today. Or, if the family had one, Dad drove the old “beater” to work, coat-hanger for an antenna and all. Just as homes have generally gotten larger and fancier, so have our cars (at least ‘fancier’). For example, I actually got a deal on my 2020 Fusion precisely b/c it doesn’t have leather seats, though I put leather covers on it soon after purchase. The difference to get them would have been some $3,000, and I can have quite a professional re-upholster job done for far less if I had to have them all that bad. Which brings to another of my gripes: Automakers tend to “package” their vehicles such that to get something you MUST have, you end up paying for features that you could do without. It becomes an argument for buying a luxury ride USED, letting the first owner be the “sucker” that takes the huge depreciation hits either b/c he’s getting divorced and has to unload his expensive ride, or he’s got the bug for the “latest and greatest” toy, like a TESLA.

  4. Boy I’m glad I took my Doctor’s advice that debt was a “life threatening” condition for me.

    I’ve owned 4 cars in my life and I’m 64.

    Actually I’ve “owned” 5 but the fifth was just to run around New Zealand with. Hilarious, it was much cheaper to outright purchase the vehicle than rent. All you need is a “WOF” ( warrant of fitness) and “Rego”, insurance optional! The 1983 Ford Laser was “flogged” ( stolen) in Christchurch and we ended up as page 2 news in The Christchurch press on Feb 10, 1998. I’m leaning over a parking meter and my girlfriend has a scowl on her face. We used the article to sell our used car just before we booked to Australia.

    • Hi LP,

      I got into an argument with my mom a few years ago about spending and debt. She was complaining about things being tight. I pointed out that her Lexus – bought new – cost her a huge sum of money, both to buy it and to keep it (i.e., taxes and insurance). I then pointed out my truck, bought used for less than one fourth the cost of her Lexus, which I was able to pay cash for on account of that – thus saving me both the monthly payment and interest but also the opportunity cost of the money she lost on her five-year loan. I tallied up the cost of insurance and property taxes on her Lexus old truck and pointed out to her that while I drive an old truck, I can afford to deal with things such as an unexpected repair bill because I am not bleeding myself white with ongoing payments on depreciating appliances like cars!

      • It is funny how people need to ‘have nice things’. Image is everything to some.

        Everyone else but one I know is in debt at least $100k. Some still have $600k left on their mortgage. But thye drive max 3 yo (luxury) cars, have very impressive McMansions and wear nothing that has a loose thread, ever.

        Myself I drive cheap old vehicles, have a not perfect looking house, wear somewhat worn clothes I bought years ago……. I look ‘poor’. But I have more cash money than most of these people have debt.

        They work 2500+hrs a year . A big year for me is 600hrs.

        But they all think I am the crazy one.

        • Same here, Anon! I hardly work, and don’t have much in “income” (Nothing for the IRS plantation to steal)……but I own everything I own free and clear, sleep very well, and once had to make a $4K loan to a friend of mine who is worth millions! (There should be a headline: “Pauper Lends Millionaire Money”) (And good thing I put it in writing and had him sign it…he thought he had only borrowed $3K!)

      • EP,

        As they say..”a picture is worth a thousand words”

        .therefore I would suggest to all your readers to gain access to Microsoft excel. There is a pre-programed amortization spreadsheet in one of the tabs at the bottom of the blank spreadsheet…just plug in your loan amount , duration and interest rate AND Bingo right in front on your eyes you will truly see what you are paying for any loan type item.

        The true motivating factor for you folks that think all that banker stuff is “High Finance”…play with the spreadsheet and see what you are really paying for that friendly salesman smile and new car smell.” 0 down for 72 months for that new fangled F150..”MY Ass”

      • I keep advised my kids to just buy as much vehicle(s) as they NEED and NO MORE.

        Much financial trouble comes from the refusal to distinguish between NEEDS versus WANTS.

  5. I think the used car business is no longer about actually selling “cars”. Its more about selling the “extras” mostly finance, warranty, service packs, etc etc…. the margin on the used car business is extremely thin nowadays. The only places you may find some is in performance cars…

    • An auto “dealership” (aka “stealership”) is more a finance company with cars and trucks as the “raison d’etre” to sell financing. When the dealer’s finance manager boasts “we work with ALL the banks and Credit Unions”, what he means is they’re a SALES agent, period.

      Now, I’m not condemning the use of financing to purchase a new or late model used car; it’s unfortunate that all too many don’t even have cash on hand to cover a month’s expenses in case of dire emergency, let alone put “cash on the barrelhead” for a car, which is almost always a severely depreciating asset. Yet, it’s EQUIPMENT, and in the end, nothing more, it’s entire purpose being to facilitate transportation upon the roads. To me, a car should be seen as a long-term investment, to be faithfully maintained to maximize its useful life. That’s why I’ve only bought new for the past 20 or so years as my main ride, the idea is pay the damn thing off ASAP and then just keep it going; at least I know the only “nut” that’s ever been behind the wheel is yours truly.

      In the days of yore, keeping a vehicle going for 15~20 years was viable, simply b/c everything was mechanical or simple electrical; either the “shade tree” mechanic could do most of the work or most garages could handle it. While there is a tremendous upside to all the computerization of modern vehicles, the downside is that it’s all PROPRIETARY; and manufacturers have every reason to ensure that a car becomes, in time, a “throwaway”. Never mind that garages have little incentive to do other than rip you for everything they can sell, simply b/c the days where you took your car in every six months are long over; they don’t have that steady stream of preventive maintenance as the “bread and butter” anymore. In a lot of cases, the INFORMATION necessary to solve what ails your ride has become “unobtanium”, as the manufacturers have no incentive to release such info. That doesn’t mean that preventive maintenance isn’t worthwhile; it most certainly is, it’s just that you run the risk that your otherwise perfectly usable ride suddenly goes “brain dead” and there’s no practical way to “resurrect” it.

      Hence why a discussion of finding a decent old VW Beetle or a 1960s-era Plymouth Valiant is always worthwhile. Economical to drive, not out of place on today’s roads, and parts are still readily available and CHEAP. Such an “old school” daily driver is likely the best way to have a ride you can keep running “For-Ev-Ehr”.

      • I just found out that I can’t buy a shop manual for my 2018 Honda CRV, not through Helm, Chilton or Haynes. I can go to the Honda site and rent one by the day or longer, I think monthly or yearly. Their reasoning is that it costs too much to print manuals. But they could sell a CD format but they won’t.

        • You’re confirming exactly what I’ve suspected…car makers are going to overt lengths to (1) keep maintenance information “in house”, so their “stealerships” have exclusive use and (2) discourage third-party repair and/or owner self-maintenance. FWIW, Honda could post a maintenance manual ONLINE for cheap, and that’s what they’re BEING, “Cheap”!

    • Don’t forget the rising costs to fix a used car too. Fixing an older 60’s car was a lot easier than todays modern cars.

  6. ” It is why the cost of used cars is so high – and why more and more Americans can’t afford to buy (rather than finance) them. ”

    The Great Reset – you will own nothing and be happy. Total Recall Johnny Cab coming your way soon.

  7. “Which demonstrates the axiom that people who can’t pay usually pay more than people who can pay”

    This hits home for me. When I had to take loans, I knew I was paying lots more, so I doubled down on getting to the point I could not do loans. My friend who’s a dealer mentored me and after about 3 vehicle cycles I was debt free and paid cash for the next car. I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now, and it is refreshing.

  8. I see a great business opportunity in your story Eric. A company that anyone selling a nice used car can contact that can help a buyer of their used car get a loan. The seller gets the car certified by a professional auto service center, provides that information to the agency that finds a lender for the buyer. The buyer can get an extended warranty along with the loan which is pretty much everything a car dealership can do but for a used car buyer. This also helps sellers who have good, clean used cars to sell.

    • Already exist…..called a bank or credit union. IF a person can qualify at a dealership for a used car loan, most should be able to qualify at a regular banking place. The car could still be inspected at a mechanic, and if my telemarketing device (former called a telephone) is any indication, extended warranties are available for about anything with wheels.

    • Blinker was a site via app only that allowed people to list and purchase cars. Blinker arranged the escrow of funds, lending and ensuring title was legit. They shut down and are now doing a revamp and now one can list their car and the buyer can arrange financing but the actual parternership is with autotrader. I can’t download their app anymore so maybe they are still revamping.

    • Ha! I actually did that once, Mark [Sans the warranty thing- Most extended warranties are scams anyway, and will nopt pay out]. I was selling my old car-carrier for $10K, and this guy comes to look at it. The guy was a complete dirtbag, and he knew nothing about tow trucks….he liked the truck, but was trying to figure out how to pay for it. I took him to this place that finances older commercial vehicles (An acquaintance of mine had used them once to finance his truck- that’s how I knew of them)…and his girlfriend (another man’s wife) got approved for the loan..and VIOLA![sic].

      After the dirtbag had the truck for c. 1.5 yrs. it turned into a POS- he did zero maintenance…funked the interior up with nicotine stains and just let it go to hell. They defaulted on the loan, and truck went to auction and only sold for like $4K in it’s downtrodden condition. (What a shame! It had been a beautiful truck!).

      But it’s a great way to hasten a sale! The dude didn’t even try to talk me down!

  9. It’s the cost of newer used trucks that keeps me from ditching my old ’98 Tahoe. I figure that I have saved around $45,000 in car payments since I paid off the SUV 15 years ago. Over those years, I’ve averaged less than $1000 per year in repairs, so I figure I’m ahead +$30,000. Same is true for the wife’s Jetta, which we paid off about 4 years ago, saving us another $12,000. When I look at my bank account, those savings on transportation have had a HUGE impact on our financial stability.

    The fact that my two vehicles are relatively simple (ok, not nearly as simple as the ’62 Chevy II I tore apart and put back together back in the late 70’s) means they are fixable at a reasonable cost, which means they have an indefinitely long life.

    I got out of hock once, and I never want to go back. But the rest of the country has gone on a credit-buying spree which has driven prices thru the roof. Until the world comes back to its’ senses, I think I’ll just sit tight and keep fixing the old beater and wait for the day when bank credit is not so attractive, but my cash is.

    • I hear ya. Still driving my 2003 Silverado, I don’t think I’ve spent a 1,000 on repairs (not including oil/tires) over the entire period I’ve owned it…..and I fully expect to get another 5-10 years out of it.

      Wife has a 2011 Subaru Outback about to turn 75k miles. We’re both retired and don’t put 6-7k miles on the vehicles combined per year.

      And you’re right about financial stability. We built our own house in 1985 for cash (sunk a fair amount in remodeling in the last few years, but also cash), so between no mortgage and no car payments (financed the truck, paid cash for the Subaru) for a long time, it does pile up in savings.

    • What will DOOM that excellent product from “Generous Mother” is that, unless you live in a rural area that’s outside the EPA “attainment” zones, is that eventually the catalytic converter will fail, or, and be prepared for this, STOLEN. Yes, there’s a significant amount of catalytic converter THEFTS, the vehicles of choice being Hondas and/or Toyota pickups and 4Runners. If either unfortunate thing happens, be prepared for a hefty replacement bill, as you can’t simply BUY one yourself, and, interestingly enough, FEDERAL law prohibits wrecking yards from selling them to consumers. What’s ironic is that by no means are they hazardous to handle unless you’re stupid enough to take a torch and cut one open, and replacement is no more difficult than any part of an exhaust system. Or, and this is the worst, especially since the “Rona” started, they’re “Unobtanium”.

      I’d say that if you can get a spare “cat”, DO IT NOW to keep that Tahoe alive. Just as with firearms, you may have to dig a hole on your property with a hidden cover to store it.

  10. Great article as always.

    I’d like to point out one other thing, that isn’t always obvious. Yes it would cost $20,000 in 1965 dollars to buy the Malibu, but only IF it still cost as much to make that same car. Would it really cost as much today, with modern technology, to make that same car, assuming that’s what people wanted? All things being equal, advances in production should drive down costs of production. I’d bet they could produce that same car for half of what it cost back then, that’s if you could build the car without the government on your back. Factory emissions compliance costs a lot too, it’s not cheap to be a “green” factory and then you have unions and other issues.

    All things considered, we not only lost out to the inflation that we can see, we lost out the deflation we didn’t have as well. There is no way on Earth that cars shouldn’t be far more affordable today, with all our advances in production, than they were in the 60’s. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Brad – and for bringing up a fact I ought to have mentioned in re the likelihood of being able to produce the ’65 Malibu for less – and better. With improved manufacturing techniques, a car like that ’65 could be made to today’s standards of panel fitment and paint quality, etc.

      Imagining what we’ve lost is a hard thing to think about.

      • It’s by design gentlemen. Crony capitalism or corporatism ,or just big biz getting in bed w Gov. They have to keep changing the rules so the costs of production don’t continue to decline.
        The analogy I always use with my peers is ‘what if we could still make the 1997 chevy pickup? It would be half the cost today’

        • If someone would make 1996 f350s brand new, I would buy another. Would not touch anything made after about 2002. Definitely would buy nothing with more than 5 speed or DI.

          Manual hubs, a big lever that goes ‘clunk’ when I engage it. Pushing buttons is for elevators.

          • Ditto, Anon! They’d probably sell for less than what ya’d have to pay for a halfway decent used one now…those trucks go for BIG money. (It’s hard to give the late-model ones away!)

  11. I am pressed to find much wrong with your lead picture car. Sure it could use some tidying up with the body panels and such, but it has good rubber on it and will likely last for a long time if the engine isn’t blown from local racing.
    How much is that doggie in the window?

    • I wonder if I can get that car if working with JB Byrider.
      Oh, and what size helmet comes with it? I have a somewhat big head so if it is a lady car it likely will not fit.
      You can be sure with this car that you will be allowed more than a full parking space at the grocer.

        • Hi Erie,

          I my ’76 has its original 8-track and a “modern” AM/FM tuner with a tape deck I installed back in the ’90s. My ’02 Nissan has an aftermarket Bluetoof stereo I installed last year that can “stream” music from an iPod and has an AM/FM tuner… it’s a huge improvement over the original Nissan unit and it only cost me about $150.

  12. And more people are going to soon be one of those “poor people” who can’t afford to pay cash, for much of anything except what the HAVE to have, and not much of that either. It’s my firm belief that this result is the primary purpose of the Plandemic. In late 2019 the economy was headed off the rails, unbeknownst to most of us. The bank cartel and its oligarchic and government partners put their heads together to figure out how to maintain their lifestyles of the rich and famous during the failure. So one of the oligarchs, Bill Gates, put together project 201 in late 2019 to see if that would work. It did. and so it was actually implemented in early 2020. The primary purpose being to extract what wealth remains among the 99.9% and deliver it to the 0.1%. Just abut done now, as the 0.1% buy up distressed assets of the 99.9% at bargain basement prices. The “great reset” intended to keep it that way.
    I have always abhorred debt, and if I found I needed to participate, paid it off as quickly as possible. The bank cartel has encouraged us to finance our lifestyle with debt, and as a people we jumped right into it. Sage advice from my recently deceased father when I was a young man, “If you live above your means, you never have money. If you live beneath your means, you always do. And don’t do business with people who trade horses”. I think that last part was probably the result of a particularly bad experience he had. Guess what. We have been financing living above our means with debt for quite some time, and the note is being called in now. Those of us who didn’t finance our lifestyle with debt are in much better position than those that did. Nobody holds a note against me except for the state, which presumes to own me, lock stock and barrel, and wrote the note without me agreeing to the terms.

  13. ‘Before the government got into the car-decreeing bidness, basic cars were commonly available.’

    We’ve gone from seat belts becoming mandatory in 1968 to Emperor Newsom declaring last year that only ZEVs can be sold in California by 2035.

    As turns out, that and other New Age flakery (mandatory solar panels on new houses; no new natural gas connections; wind-driven blackouts; etc) upset some folks. Now it’s … PAYBACK TIME:

    ‘Late Wednesday night, the group organizing the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom announced it had collected over 2 million signatures. The total number collected thus far is 2,060,000, according to the campaign’s senior advisor Randy Economy.

    ‘According to a California Patriot Coalition press release, 1,871,573 signatures have been pre-verified internally through an outside third party vendor. The signatures will now go to registrar of voter offices in each of California’s 58 counties for verification there.

    ‘Organizers have until March 17 to gather signatures. Election officials have until April 29 to verify them. If more than 1,497,000 are valid, the recall election proceeds.’

    Yessss … handsome Gavin playing his new, tragic leading role of Turd on the Run!

    Newsom’s victims have various reasons for ditching him, including his handling of the Covid debacle.

    But for us IC bitter clingers, it’s his egregious ZEV mandate that requires ‘NEWSOM DELENDA EST,’ as actual Roman emperors used to say before tossing the condemned to the lions. GRRRRR!

  14. Bought my first car in 1966, it was a 62 Ford Galaxy, with 390 motor and 3 speed manual tranny, AM radio was the only option. Paid $350 for it from a neighbor who had it in his driveway with a for sale sign. Imagine that, a four year old car for that kind of money. Granted, it was already rusted out and a piece of shit, but still.

  15. To give you an idea of how unresourceful Amerikans are, I have been able to shop for used cars that I had to finance. You just give the VIN and the mileage of the car you are buying from an individual to a bank and they will finance it. All you have to do is come up with the check. You can also refinance it if you need to. The better idea is to get a signature loan from a bank and buy the car with the cash you get. Then, the bank does not have the title to the car. I don’t understand why people keep the dealers in the loop at all. I also don’t understand why people wear masks and take vaccines. We are doomed

    • It’s sad. I sold a little tractor a while back for $4200- and the guy had to go and get a loan to pay for THAT. A 30 year-old tractor, no less. I couldn’t imagine having to make payments…on a 30 year-old tractor, no less. (He had to get the wife’s approval too- Yeah….we’re gonna have a revolution in this country, ya know!)

    • If you do go through a dealer, usually the mere threat of using outside financing will make a dealer reduce points on their internal financing or take money off the cost of the vehicle. They would rather keep you inhouse because they make more money off the financing than they do the car.

  16. The flip side to this is: I always have my eye open for a good older vehicle- especially trucks- and I have cash…..and yet, even on the rare occasion I see something remotely worth buying, and it doesn’t turn out to be junk, the cash seems to carry no clout anymore. The seller’s almost always asking dealer full-retail top-dollar price…and offering immediate cash on the spot at a reasonable [not a steal or great deal price..just a fair price ] doesn’t seem to tempt them.

    I’ve pretty much given up even looking anymore. It’s a waste of time. But you KNOW that there are very unnatural forces working on the market when it is neither a buyer’s nor a seller’s market; When you try and sell something at a price that should guarantee a fast sale…and get no interest…but you can’t buy anything for a price even approaching sanity with a pocket full of cash.
    I’ve seen people trying to sell pieces of junk around here, and they’ve literally had the vehicle sitting out on their lawn in some cases for YEARS. (Naybe they think if they wait long enough it’ll become an anti-Q).

    “Yes, it’s rusted and smashed and blowing smoke…but it’s only got “60K original miles on it’ so it’s worth like a lot of money or something”.

    • Around here, older $3000 now. Anything in fair/good condition is >$5000.

      Oddly I see the same cars come up for sale by the same owners 3 weeks later. Stuff isn’t selling but nobody wants to lower their price.

        • Yup. Some of the rationalizations in the ads are funny too.

          “I have put a ton of money into this and just want it back”

          It is not a f’n bank! It is a clapped out 2001 Taurus with 200,000 miles, perforated rust, exhaust smoke, multiple oil leaks and an odd smell. What you put into it is irrelevant.

          • Anon, why you shopping for old taruses? Step up to quality with something that wasnt a pos to begin with.

            The issue is flippers. They used covid stimulus money to buy that investment torass for $1200 and then they drove it a bit and got tired of it & now they want $3000 for it.

            • Just an example of what I see listed online, not what I am seeking.

              Though there is nothing particularly wrong with a (good)Taurus IMO. Me, if it was cheap and seemed maintained, I would have an Aztek, PT Cruiser or other undesirable car. A to B transport that is fairly reliable is all I care about most of the time. I like daily drivers that I would not get too upset about if I lost them. And who would steal an Aztek or PT?

              My nice cars are for special occasions and weekend fun.

            • Anonymous,

              My B-I-L is a mechanic for a Honda dealership. On a few occasions he will get older cars in that people blew an engine or need more work than the person wants to put in. He usually offers that person $500 or $1000 depending on the age and milage, does the work himself at cost then turns around and sells them slightly under KBB value.

          • “Just needs a tune-up” (Then why didn’t you spend $50 and do it, so you could sell the car, or keep it and not have that $35K one sitting there in your driveway?)

            “Has new hoses, thermostat, radiator and water-pump” [So I guess it’s the head gasket…..]

            “A few minor dents” [Like James Dean’s Porsche]

            Heat works great”[It’s a Pinto with a target painted on the rear]

            • “xxxxxxx is broken but it is an easy fix.” – so fix it.

              “Near new tires” – 60% tread at best

              “Never let ME down” – spouses/kids car.

              “AC blows cold” – probably for a day or two until the home recharge leaks out again.

              Anything that has a list of recently replaced sensors? Chasing an intermittent problem that still is not fixed, but might not happen on the test drive.

              Someone could write a book.

            • I always liked “It ran when I parked it.” LMAO

              We used to run a used car lot (pre-2000). Once the old man was feeling trollish and put “LOW MILES” on a fishing boat we had on the lot. Hah

              Some of the best deals I’ve gotten were cars that had minor shit wrong with them that the seller had no idea how to fix. People usually sweat a little if you give the vehicle a thorough inspection then will drop the asking price when you list off all the crap that needs fixing. I got a car lot to drop from $2400 to $800 on a theft recovery. They were probably hoping I wouldn’t notice.

  17. My last three cars were purchased used. I simply arranged a car note with my credit union,
    arranged to meet the seller at the credit union, and over lunch time worked out the sale.
    I have also done the sale the same way. It’s a little tedious, but the credit union notarizes the Bill of Sale, they issue a lien on title which they file and they then issue a cashiers check to the seller. Usually the branch manager offers us coffee while we wait. During that time, I go out to the car, remove the plates and send the buyer to the DMV website which will issue a 30 day temp plate via electronic copy, which the Credit Union is usually kind enough to print out.

    I’ve also sold two vehicles that way as well. That usually means meeting the buyer at their bank branch.

    Not as easy as cash but perfectly reasonable.

    • Credit Unions are helpful in many other ways which is why I have been banking with Credit Unions since 1970s. Like free wire transfers, preapproved car loans for dealers which help you save money, and they sell extended warranties that are usually better and cheaper than the ones dealers sell. Just a few benefits I’m aware of.

  18. You put anything on the various used car websites, you get dozens of trade offers. Some offers are ridiculous and some are ok. My husband put his Mustang on there. It had lots of modifications and racing stuff, but it was also really old and needed TLC, which he just wasn’t wanting to do anymore once he got a Harley. It was a shame to see it rotting away in the driveway and I encouraged him to at least check out the market. So he got an offer on a for sale site for an F150, even trade. My thought was, take the truck. If you want cash, the truck will be easier to sell than the Cobra, which would draw a narrower interest group. And it will get the love and attention it deserves from a young guy who really wants the car. That was five years ago and we still have that truck. I drive it when it snows and when I go kayaking and its just nice to have the spare vehicle. So it was a good deal for us.
    On the other hand, my brother posted a pretty nice sport bike, about 10 years old with low miles. Someone offered him a 10 year old nonrunning ATV and five bales of hay.

  19. Eric,

    My bank advertises getting a car loan with them, so you can shop as if you had cash. I never did that. Can that be done with used cars, or is it only for new? If you could do that with a used car via a private sale, it would work.

    That said, I’ve never bought from private parties. The used cars they had for sale didn’t impress me, for one thing. Another is that I don’t know how it’s been taken care of. Yeah, you’ll pay more for a used car at a dealer, but they only keep the best cars and they go over those before putting ’em out on the lot.

    As for why it’s harder for people to stretch for used car, I’d mostly blame the gov’t for that; their regulations, policies, and profligate spending hurt the economy, and along with that, peoples’ ability to pay for any car, new or used. I’d also blame folks for living beyond their means. I’ve always lived at or below my means. I paid cash for every car I’ve owned. They haven’t always been the nicest or newest, but they were MINE! I owned ’em free and clear. I don’t have the fanciest house in the world, but it’s mine and the bills are easy to live with.

    Before COVID and weaponized hypochondria (and masking!), I used to ride the bus now and then. There were a couple of restaurants downtown. They also had neat things to do downtown during the summer. Since parking was a PITA, I’d ride the bus in. Why not? I get in a walk and some exercise going to the stop near my place; not worry about finding parking; plus, it dropped me off right there!

    One thing I noticed when riding the bus is that poor people don’t handle money very well; there’s a reason they’re poor. What do I mean? They’d pay full fare instead of getting a 10 ride ticket, day pass, or the weekly/monthly pass. Since I don’t ride often, I got 10 trip tickets because they save 20% over the full fare for one ride. I don’t know of ANY investment paying CLOSE to 20%! They may exist, but they’re too exotic and/or risky for me. Why not save 20% right off the bat? That’s free money! That’s money you save, money you get to keep! Even so, most of the poor folks riding the bus would pay full fare vs. taking advantage of the 20% or greater savings available to them. Whose fault is that?

    • Hi Mark,

      I always buy from private parties because I find that cash talks, a lot – especially with private sellers. I bring enough to conduct the sale and the offer has – so far – always resulted in a sale. Your mileage may vary!

    • “there’s a reason they’re poor.”

      It may be non PC, but I always tell my kids: poor people make poor decisions – and we trace that back to people they know who have money troubles and why.

      That, and plenty of discussions about depreciation, interest, taxes, etc seem to have sunk in. They work & save for what they want & do well discerning between needs & wants.

      • That is EXCELLENT, Dan!

        As someone who grew-up poor, and has spent some time around poor people, I can attest to the veracity of what you say. I am so sick of “the poor” being lauded as if somehow their condition is just the result of some random happenstance that just magically came upon them out of thin air.

        Funny thing is, too, there really are no truly poor people in this country. Those at the very bottom even get free food…and are usually obese. And even the government definition of “poor” is retarded. Technically, income-wise I guess I’m around or below “the poverty line”- but I live like a king, because I spend my money wisely, and make good decisions.

        And I think poverty and prosperity are more of a mental state than a economic determination. When I was a kid, we really were financially poor, but I’d give anything to go back and be able to relive those days…it was WONDERFUL- because we did not act like poor people. In fact, the very middle class kids around me always used to think that we were richer than their famblies, because we were very clean and had good taste and high moral standards.

        Years ago, I was driving past a house with my nephew, and he sees all of this crap in the front yard dirty and or broken toys, and who knows what else) and dirt where grass should be, and filthy siding, etc. etc.-and my nephew says “Wow, look at those poor people”.

        I explained to him that those people weren’t poor. They had a perfectly good house to live in, in a nice place, and apparently owned lots of stuff (if what was on display just on the lawn alone was any indication)…they were just slobs, who don’t take care of their stuff, and who apparently feel that they can afford a gaggle of kids, or that it is O-K to have others pay to support those kids. (Oh, I forgot to mention the satellite TV dish- rather new-looking… I’d would bet serious money too that the parents spend a lot of money on drugs and alcohol too)

        • Nunzio,

          Your reply made me smile, remembering my own growing up.
          We were not poor, maybe lower middle class but I didn’t feel less well off than others.

          The only new car we ever had was an 82 Escort wagon, because that’s what we could afford. We went camping for vacations.

          Never went without anything for lack of money, my parents worked within the limits of what they had, didn’t waste & stayed out of debt. I saved up my money to buy a Nintendo because that’s what you did if you wanted something.

          We didn’t have what the “rich” kids had, but they were rich, so I expected they would have little mansions and new sports cars. No one else was trying to compete with that since we realized that world wasn’t for normies.

          Contrast that with today where (I think at least) that everyone wants what everyone else has, no matter the cost or reality of their situation. The worst is some relatives, who have less resources due to their own decisions to keep low paying jobs, then complain about not owning a house, while abusing alcohol & drugs, new premium cell phones, multiple cars, xbox’s, big TVs, premium cable, & no $$ in the bank.

          Once was out with a co-worker for some drinks after work. He was complaining about not having a lot of money. I asked him why it was people spending money in bars who complained about not having money.
          “Damn, you’re right. That hurts” was his response.
          He ended up going to jail for multiple DUIs & fleeing the scene of an accident.

    • Dealers put the absolute minimum into used cars. They keep what they can sell at a decent profit. It doesn’t mean anything for the quality of the car, especially if it’s sold as is. Even if they are sold certified, it doesn’t mean much. (Unless it’s the manufacturers’ CPO program. Then it varies.) As is you are better buying from a private party. Also, yes you can finance a private sale as mentioned above by others.

      • Beyond what the manufacturer offers as transferable on a late model used vehicle, most “warranties” are utterly worthless. The best “guarantee” is that YOU pay a mechanic to inspect a prospective vehicle, or else your knowledge suffices to weed out a “clunker”.

        One thing that does help, especially in CA, is that for a legal transfer, the vehicle must pass the smog inspection, even if otherwise it wouldn’t be required with the original owner. My 2020 Fusion will not require a smog inspection until I renew the title in October of ’25, IF I’m still kicking and STILL in the formerly “Golden” State (else, it’ll depend on what the state, always of frenzy, I’ll be in). If a car is “throwing a code”, it doesn’t pass, period. Usually if you ask to see the smog inspection report from a dealer, they’ll be happy to provide it. Look in particular for the hydrocarbons (HC) as a portion of the allowable limit. This can be caused by leaky fuel injectors (not to the outside, you’d smell the fuel leak, but through the injector, creating a rich condition), weak O2 sensor (but not bad enough to throw a code), failing catalytic converter, or poor compression. Me, I reject anything above 20% of the HC limit on anything less than 100K miles, and 50% for above that reading. The old standby of checking the tailpipe for oil or looking for blue smoke under load (have a friend follow you as you test drive the vehicle) won’t necessarily work due to more effective combustion controls AND the catalytic converter(s), intended to remove HCs. Another means to weed out a tired engine, besides the test drive, is to get the last claimed oil change date and mileage, and look at the dipstick. If it’s jet black and/or has coolant or a strong gasoline odor, walk. A fresh oil change is also suspicious, as is an unduly viscous feel to the oil, indicating an oil thickener like Lucas or Rislone has been added to the crankcase to temporarily mask a tired engine.

      • Hi Mattacks,

        Ah, but they’ll make them look good! Dealers are expert at detailing. A thorough cleaning, inside and out; some wax and new car smell. People tend to buy what looks good and not notice what is bad.

  20. Eric – there’s yet another serious issue with doing a private sale – DON’T. The problem is LIABILITY.

    Most state DMVs, Cali(porn)ia included, do have a “notice of transfer” form you can send to the DMV once you’ve concluded a sale. The trouble is, even if you keep a notarized copy of same, the vehicle will still be LEGALLY yours until the new “owner” actually registers it. In a lot of cases, folks DO have the cash, they just can’t REPORT it, for fear not only of taxes, but also welfare, child support enforcement, and so on. And a lot of these “ghetto” types will lose benefits if they have a car. They’ll happily drive about w/o registering the ride you THOUGHT you’d legally sold; and if they cause an accident, so what? What will the judge, put them in jail? The last thing these judges want is more of these “ghetto” types clogging up the jails over these annoying situations, and, in fact, all they want is MONEY…and if they can find a way to latch on to YOURS, well, sucks to be you…

    I’d say the only way to “safely” conduct a private auto transaction is if you know the buyer as a trustworthy person and you can do the sale either at a DMV office or a licensed contractor like AAA. That way, you KNOW the car’s legal title has transferred. Whatever relatively few bucks you MIGHT realize by a private party sale is not worth the hassle and risk, especially in these days of ineffectual local and state governments and an ever-increasing “ghetto” subculture that has no regards for legal and/or moral niceties…save they’re a pretense to get YOUR stuff. “Cash on the barrelhead” is a quaint notion anymore, one of thrifty, moral, and conscientious WHITE people, and, I’m sorry to say, a helluva lot of “white” people are just as “ghetto” in their conduct as any dusky denizens of today’s metro areas.

    • Doug, not sure what state you live in, but in Florida, once a seller signs the title over to another as sold, THAT legally releases the seller of ALL liability for THAT vehicle … it’s stated right on the back of the title !

      • You mean, besides the state of “confusion” (i.e., Cali(p)ornia)?

        Walter, you’re PRESUMING that the new “owner” will actually and dutifully proceed to the DMV within the typical 5 days after the sale to record the sale and register the vehicle. Yes, you MIGHT keep a notarized copy of the signed title, but I’d not be sure that’ll hold up even in a Sunshine State court. If the scofflaw simply tears the signed title up b/c he never intended to title the vehicle in his name (b/c he or his “baby momma” want to keep collecting AFDC and/or food stamps and other welfare goodies, or child support enforcement or some other court that he owes money to will seize the vehicle anyway, or he doesn’t want to “hassle” with insurance, i.e. PAY for it), what recourse would you have to prove a bona fide transaction took place?

        Me, I’d conduct the sale only at the DMV itself or a AAA office, else, it’s “no go”. Of course, IF I buy a new or nearly-new ride, it’s with the intent to drive the damn thing until the wheels fall off. Once a vehicle’s value drops below about $3K, it makes just as much sense to DONATE it and take the tax deduction as to incur the risks of a private sale. Sorry, Walt, we have way too much of a “low life” or “ghetto” subculture out there to fret over a relative few extra bucks to get rid of the old sled.

        • Hi Doug,

          I’ve never had this problem – thankfully – but agree it’s possible. One way to prevent it is to document the sale photographically as well as physically (e.g., signed title and picture taken of it) and then immediately notify the DMV of the sale. Which you affirm by returning the plates, establishing verifiable proof the vehicle has changed hands.

          • ” Which you affirm by returning the plates, establishing verifiable proof the vehicle has changed hands” – onw procedure that the Commonwealth of VA has over the People’s Republik of Cali(p)ornia. Out here in the once-Golden State, the plates go with the vehicle, they don’t stay with the owner (in some states, you keep the same ID tags, and transfer them from vehicle to vehicle). There are times I swear that it’s all INTENTED to facilitate the existence of the “ghetto” or “vato” subcultures, that is, the State has already de facto “surrendered” to the scofflaws, figuring they’ll just get their monies out of productive WHITE people. Part of the reason that when my career is done, I’m outta here.

      • In Missouri, there is a detachable form included on your title which the seller fills out and sends to the State when the car is sold, thus recording the sale on your behalf.. In several replies to your comment, folks have said that in their State the plates go with the car. A thing that could find itself listed as an example in the definition of absurd, if it was done by any other than the State. Did you not purchase those plates? Are they not yours? They certainly aren’t part of the original equipment.

    • Here in PA, we have to go to a Notary to process the title; we can’t just hand it over in return for the cash like we did in NJ. So, the title is legally transferred at the time of sale, and it’s been legally recognized here.

      That said, I was never keen on private sales. You get phone calls all hours of the day and night; you get un-serious buyers wasting time; plus, you don’t KNOW who’s coming over! I don’t want strangers knowing where I live.

      • At least the Notary (many banks provide Notary services to depositors free or at nominal cost) thing helps to document that the transfer happened.

        Agreed about the down side of conducting a private sale. Hence why to consider a consignment outfit, or, as is done here in suburban Sacramento, a local JC offers a weekend auto “flea market”. Part of this was done by Placer County to combat those idiots that leave a ride on the street frontage of a strip mall parking lot; sure, they ticketed and towed them, but in a lot of cases, the “seller” never claimed “their” property, and the tow operators griped after getting stuck with the derelicts. Plus, getting a “burner” phone and a temporary additional line on your plan might help to fend off the scam artists and weirdos.

        Me, it’s just one thing I no longer fuck with. Most of my old rides I’ve either junked or given to one of my kids.

        • Doug,

          The flea market is a great idea! I don’t know who does consignment. When I got my Focus, I didn’t trade in my old Altima; given its age and mileage, I’d have gotten practically nothing for it on trade. My GF at the time, a Latina who speaks Spanish, offered to help me sell it; she told me that Latin people would appreciate an older Honda, Toyota, or Nissan. Long story short, she only took two calls, neither of which were serious. I ended up donating the car to the US Humane Society to help homeless pets and animals.

          Prior to that, I traded my cars in, but by the time I got rid of them, they weren’t worth much anyway. I normally keep a car until the wheels are falling off…

    • Since this is a libertarian forum and I know you’re a regular here, let’s step back a minute regarding your warning/complaint about these types of transactions and the motives of the people who purportedly engage in them.

      I know your anecdotal warning is meant to offend my white, middle class conditioning/sensibilities with appeals to appeals to what I describe as a latent “Archie Bunkerism” but I will admit I often marvel at the libertarian or even “anarcho” way some of these “illegals” or, to use your words, “ghetto” types ACT. They may not have the intellectual skills to explicate the evils of the big S state in a blog comment forum but they live it. No title, no registration, no plates(!) but they still drive fearlessly while shielding their other assets from the predations of the state (even while getting money from it via welfare or under some kind of punitive court order). Even more ironic is your contention that even if they break the law, they won’t go to jail!

      Regarding the people you’re actually dealing with in a private transaction, it seems to me that, if you and your counterparty agree to terms and you are paid in cash in full, their obligation to you is settled. That they ignore or flout subsequent government rules, the validity of which is on a spectrum from ridiculous to debatable, is not a aggression against you. Should the government “come after” you, it is the gov’t committing aggression against you for doing nothing wrong. That’s on the people in gov’t.

      Yet, you also seem to see the gov’t as a guarantor of your transactional “safety.” The notion of “safety” when conducting financial transactions is interesting. Must we contract at a gov’t building to be “safe”? They set up something like this at the police station for people to buy stuff from others a while back via Craigslist. I’ve done tens of transactions via Craigslist over the years and through using basic common sense and intuition never felt “unsafe.”

      One of the main issues I wonder about with respect to the debate between minimal and zero gov’t is the titling and registration of assets. It seems to me that, in this real world scenario, these folks you mention understand that when they pay you, they own the car. They don’t need a paper from the gov’t. As the seller, you know you’ve sold since you have the cash. All the ancillary issues are either governmental or cultural in nature.

      • Hatt,

        I may be misunderstanding what you’re saying… ignore the following if I am….

        But, the complaint is that since the state forces us to title and register vehicles, and that these vehicles contain identifiers [VIN numbers, etc.] which connect the vehicle to us until such time as the state acknowledges otherwise, the complaint is not that we are seeking the state to protect us…but rather that the state is putting us in a position of jeopardy, both with itself, and to potential victims of whoever bought your car and who kept it in your name.

        The new owner fails to transfer the title and or plates [Here in KY. the plates go with the car (!!!) which makes it even worse!] and they use the car as the get-away vehicle in bank robbery or plow into a school bus….the fuzz and or the lawyers are showing up at your house, because as per the state, YOU are still the registered owner…and now YOU muct prove that you sold the car to someone else, if you survive the shoot-first-ask-questions-later, etc.

        So it’s not about seeking the state to protect us, but rather about seeking protection from policies imposed on us by the state, which expose us to various liabilities, because of the thoughtlessness and stupidity of the state’s laws.

        I really hate selling any vehicle here in KY because of this [Ironically, in NY it wasn’t much of a problem, because you’d keep the plates and either transfer them or turn them in, which would serve as proof of a change of ownership of the vehicle they came from]. Here, the only to protect oneself, is to go with the buyer to the county clerk’s office and transfer the vehicle…which in practice is nearly impossible, because it has to be done M-F 9-4, and the buyer has to have his new insurance ID card etc.- And if the guy is from another county or out of state (Which describes everyone I’ve sold a vehicle to since I’ve lived here) it’s just about impossible (Well…I like selling to out-of-staters…then we can keep the plates.)

        tl;dr; We are seeking protection FROM the state-created problem…not asking the state to protect us from natural conditions.

        • Couldn’t the exact scenario you describe happen if your car is stolen and you haven’t reported it yet and the thief commits a crime? That’s not impossible either. Yes, in both cases you might need to document/prove what happened and why it was not you who did the crime, the registrant, but rather the buyer/thief.

          in this case, I was trying to explore was this notion of using a wild, one in a million hypothetical, to justify fear (of bad faith actors in private transactions) and the seeking of “safety” from the gov’t from the bad faith actors (via safe transaction space in gov’t building) and their actions. Reminds me of a lot of things these days. Like a lot of those things, it seems to me that the the answer in private sales, like a lot of other things in life, is not to be fearful but to simply use reasonable due diligence and precautions.

          • Well, no, Hatt- ’cause when you’re car is stolen, you KNOW it is being used without your consent, and report it, and the overlords at least make provision for that- and as soon as you know it’s stolen, you are on alert and can take action.
            When you sell your car, you are doing something in good faith, and expecting that the purchaser will do what is expected too- and really have no way of knowing whether he will or will not.
            One of my neighbors sold a car years ago, and it turns out that the buyer had been driving it around for several years without transferring documents….and would likely still be if he hadn’t gotten pulled over at some point.
            And it’s NOT extremely rare for people to do this in any state where it is possible. Quite the contrary- it is VERY common. Even in the more persnickety states, like NY and NJ, the illegals do it so often that it’s the norm; and in the freer states, almost everyone does it, whether they have ill intent or not.
            Hell, here in KY, you can technically do it for 30 days perfectly legally- and in practice, get away with it till the current plates expire.
            I’ve sold a lot of cars in my life (Mostly in NY)…..and you’d really be surprised uf you knew the true extent of what goes on- ‘specially with older, cheaper cars. Friend of mine used to employ this crackhead….. In 20 years, this guy NEVER had a car legally titled/registered.
            Or here’s one ya might be familiar with, as many NJers used to do it: Buy a few-hundred-dollar car to commute to NYC in- Never title/register it. Park anywhere so as to avoid paying for expensive parking. Let the car accumulate a few thousand dollars in tickets till it finally gets impounded…then rinse and repeat. (Registered former owner then ends up in court and with a trashed credit rating, and has to miss work and maybe even pay a lawyer, because it all comes back to him. ).
            And what’s the state’s solution to combat the problem IT created? They then turn around and increase the tyranny, fees, papers, and vetting of every single honest car owner……..and still, if you sell any hoopty in the NY metro area for $1K or less, it’s almost guaranteed that it will used by a crackhead, illegal or commuter, in the fashion described above.

            • If you read my comment more carefully, you would’ve noticed that I specifically mentioned “you haven’t reported it.” Hell if someone pays you for a car, doesn’t register it and gets in trouble, after it gets sorted you could just say it was stolen and you want it back. Turnabout is fair play.

              You and I must run in very different circles. I’ll take your word on your anecdotes. Counterparty risk is real.

              • The problem, which is similar to how Cali(p)ornia rolls, is that there might be mechanisms to more strictly enforce this sort of thing, but the PTB, Dummycrats, absolutely don’t want to avail themselves of them. Likely reason(s) are that to do so would only hurt ‘their’ constituency, and all that ends up happening is the jails get fuller; the welfare rolls get longer, and the state’s coffers get more empty. To them, it’s a matter of where can they get tax monies from. Of course, the “cash cows” are getting fed up with being “milked”, and they’re fleeing the “barn”.

                • From what I understand Cali is in the black to the tune of billions from stock market tech stock cap gains taxes and just got 42 billion in the latest stimmie bill reimbursements. This car registration issue may seem to be a bugaboo for you but it isn’t material to the coffers of the PTB out there.

          • With cheap cars, the default is to not register them. It costs hundreds of dollars, and then you have to insure it which also costs hundreds. And for some minimum wage worker, or welfare recipients they simply cant pay for hundreds of dollars of paperwork on top of student loans, rent, marijuana, entertainment, and child support or whatever. Plus many of them have a victim mentality that its your fault the car is shitty and totally not worth the $1000, so you deserve to pay toll fees & parking tickets for ripping them off. Which they also dont have to pay, so they save money at the same time as eliminating liability, so its the most logical thing.

            So the state uses anarcho tyranny, where business and private party sellers are the enforcers and paypigs of their licensing schemes, while encouraging everyone to rip you off. It puts poor against middle class and keeps everyone untrustworthy and dishonest. Also benefits big business. We trade in cars and used car lots pick them up for $X and sell for 5X thus generating moar taxes and compliance.

            • To second John Kable above, plates transferring with the car is a recipe for fraud. However, buyers do have incentives to claim ownership. That being said, this grand unified theory of the sowing of class conflict by the gov’t via rampant car non-registration schemes that you label “anarcho-tyranny” (BTW, William Buckley coined that term in criticism of Murray Rothbard’s theory of anarcho-capitalism) seems far fetched to me. I would need to see some hard data in support of it to believe it.

            • Well-said, Anon!
              Not to mention that a lot of the people buying those cheap cars are alcoholics/drug addicts who don’t even have a license and therefore can’t transfer a car into their own name even if they wanted to- which they don’t, ’cause they’re just looking for disposable vehicles which they won’t put another dime into- much less hundreds of dollars in state fees, because they just want something they can walk away from the next they get stopped/arrested and the car gets impounded- or something they can abandon with no ties to them before the fuzz arrives.
              And the irony is, the fuzz are a lot more likely to pull YOU over if you’re driving an old clunker, because they are profiling, and betting that a grown man driving a crappy old car will likely yield a DWI or drug score. But that is supposed to be O-K, as long as it’s not “racial profiling”- or so they have the public convinced, which I guess is easy to do amongst a populace which does not care about liberty.
              All of this BS supposedly “to protect us”- so now every innocent person who may have gone through life without ever having been victimized by a miscreant, has to give way more to the state than if he had been victimized, and gets to lose much liberty….and far from being safer, is instead exposed to greater danger, created by the State Of New Rube Goldberg.

    • Yeah, wa is like that too. I sold my junker recently. I drive my customer to the dol, showed him problems/solutions on the way, had him register the car, then I drove us home and changed the plates. I got hardly any money but better than being on the hook for tolls, accidents or impounds. And he got a functional car for $350 out the door. I dont mind helping out people as long as I can avoid future problems.


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