Thursday, June 08, 2006

Is It "Hit and Run" if the Other Driver Doesn't Realize They've Been Hit?

I am never ever selling a car privately ever again. It's a toss up whether it's more stressful to own the car or to try and pawn it off on someone else. When you want so badly to get rid of something, it's the lack of interest that really brings you down.

Last weekend Matt and I went to San Francisco to visit Matt's great aunt and to catch an A's game in Oakland while we were there (I have pictures from the game, but unfortunately my mom took them and hasn't yet figured out how to operate the camera with her new computer, so hopefully I'll add those pictures to this post next week pending the outcome of My Mom vs. The New Computer). On our way home we stopped in Sacramento to pick up our spiffy "new" 1990 Honda Civic, which is in excellent condition considering it's 16-years old, and which, humiliatingly enough, I bottomed out backing out of Matt's parents' driveway as they stood at the bottom of the driveway waving goodbye. Hey, thanks for the car. So much for the "I'll take good care of it" promise...

I started running an ad for my car last Saturday in the local paper, and we left it parked in a busy parking lot with a "For Sale" sign and my cell number taped in the back window while we were out of town last weekend. This combination produced a phone call Sunday evening - you can't even imagine how thrilled I was to get a message from a potential buyer. Apparently when you're selling a car, the first call is always this exciting. Unfortunately it didn't produce much. I returned the girl's call to discover much to my dismay that she couldn't have been more than 16, lived in a town over four hours away, and didn't want to get financed through a bank, but would like to make payments to me. Yeah. Right.

I don't really know what I was expecting in selling the car - the two "reliable" sources I know who'd sold their cars privately made it sound like they'd snapped their fingers and found a buyer, so I was extremely discouraged, nevermind I've only been actively trying to sell the car for about a week. Tuesday I cleaned the hell out of my car - scrubbed it to the nitty gritty, literally. The car hasn't been this clean since we bought it. I emptied everything personal out of it and snapped some modelesque photos ("Yeah, baby, that pose right there. BEAUTIFUL!") which I posted on on Wednesday. As my luck would have it, the ad had not been posted even 3 hours on when I left my office for my lunch break and proceeded to rear-end an enormous van with no brake lights. I swear to God this stuff only happens to me.

We were right in front of a 7-11 when said "accident" took place, so I expected the man driving the van to pull over into the parking lot so we could to the customary exchange of insurance information, phone numbers, contract to surrender first born child, etc etc. Except, the man didn't pull over. This surprised me a little - the last time I got rear-ended, I was so upset I didn't even wait for a parking lot and just got out of my car there in the street. I started flashing my lights at the guy, waving my arms out the window like a maniac to signal the guy to pull over at his earliest convenience, and otherwise making a wonderful fool of myself. We passed a shopping center - huge parking lot - and the guy just kept on going. I stopped following him when he got on the freeway because obviously there's no good place to pull over there. If it had meant that much to him, he would've pulled over immediately, and I honestly started wondering if he'd even noticed the wrath of my Jetta at a whopping 5 mph. The worst it did to his van was smudge the bumper a little with the paint off my cheap plastic bumper.

Luckily, my car didn't fair too badly either, though I did lose the VW emblem that sits in my grill. There's now a big, gaping symmetrical circle in the middle of my grill where once the silver VW initials reined in terror. I returned to the scene of the crime in hopes of finding that damn little emblem - when you're selling a kind of crappy car, you have to bank a lot on the looks of the it, and that big gaping hole is about attractive as an open wound. I had to call the parts department of the dealership and order a new one which surprisingly was not too terribly expensive and could probably mean the difference between a sale. The downside was that the part had to be shipped and wouldn't arrive till Friday, at the earliest; I figured this wouldn't been an issue since the calls haven't exactly been pouring in. Out of fear of damaging the Jetta even further while waiting for the emblem, I even took the Honda to work today, I was that confident I wouldn't get any calls on it.

As you've probably well guessed by this point, I received not one, not two, but THREE calls from potential buyers today. Honestly, I get one call all week and I get in a wreck and it's like my car is suddenly a hot commodity. One girl was ready to look at the car today, so I was a little sour that in all my infinite wisdom I decided to take the Honda to work today. I'd be willing to show the car without its trademark in the grill - I mean, I've ordered the thing and that has to count for something, right? I have two people coming to look at it tomorrow, so I'm crossing my fingers that something comes of this - it would be a dream come true if I were able to sell the car within a week ('cause, you know, then I wouldn't have to pay insurance on it this month).

I guess there's a couple morals to this story, the first being that if you're selling a car, you probably shouldn't drive it if you can help it - it's just tempting fate. The second moral I can't exactly remember - something about irony and life being a bitch - and the third moral is that if you are going to sell a car, is a lot better than your local rag. Apparently more people browse the internet than read the paper. Go figure.


Blogger Courtney said...

Haha. Man you and that car come out with some great stories. I hope you sell it soon and I am glad that nothing too terribly bad came out of the accident. Good luck. My fingers are crossed.

6/08/2006 9:29 PM

Blogger Nikki said...

You know, I'm beginning to think that car has a bit of a spoiled princess attitude..."you want to sell me? I'll show you...*crash!*" Thinking good thoughts for a sale very soon! Good luck!

Oh...and my mom has the same ongoing Mom vs. Computer battle...and she just got a Mac after ALWAYS having a PC before. I'm afraid...

6/09/2006 8:11 AM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh wow. That car must be the devil. lol. That is so funny. Not to you, of course, but it made me giggle. Thanks. ;)

6/09/2006 3:12 PM

Blogger Blaez said...

did you rear end the guy on 6/6/06? Cuz, that'd make perfect since doing it on an "evil" day with an "evil" car!

6/09/2006 4:36 PM

Anonymous Laura said...

Your troubles alone have single handedly convinced me to never own a Jetta- no matter how cute they are! Good luck selling it.

6/10/2006 9:53 PM


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