We all know the current state of the used car market. Prices are absurdly high, which makes it difficult for buyers to get a reasonable deal. But if you’re looking to sell a car, times don’t get much better than this — the market is desperate for anything with four wheels and a motor to get people to and fro. Apparently, even dealers are so desperate that they’ll buy lightly-modified entry level sports couples. Specifically, my (former) coupe.
I’ve been toying with the idea of selling my FR-S for a year or so now, and at a one point even had it listed on Facebook Marketplace. For months, it seemed like I was constantly showing the car to uninterested buyers, who all complained about the seating position (totally stock), the exhaust note (totally stock), or the harsh idle (admittedly that one may be on me).
So the car came off the market, and I moved out of Rochester and started working at Jalopnik. As the FR-S sat, used car prices climbed, and the itch to move on started up again. This time, no amount of cortisone would fix it — I was going to sell my car.
But living in New York City made things tough. I could really only take the train out to my car on weekends, so prospective buyers would have to line up to see the car on Saturdays and Sundays. So, I tried Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer, and it was possibly the easiest transaction of my life.
I filled out the car’s info online, and got an initial offer for more than I paid for the car when I purchased it 20,000 miles and many stickers ago.
“Sure,” I thought, “That sounds worth the train out to Connecticut.”
I showed up to the dealer on a busy day, but it still took maybe ten or fifteen minutes for them to check over the car. It was mostly as reported, though I had genuinely forgotten how low on tread the tires were, which docked me a few bucks. Twenty minutes later, I had my old plate back in my hands and the paperwork drawn up for my car.
Could I have gotten more for it on the private market? Absolutely, no question. But it would have taken weeks, and your average private buyer is more discerning in what they will or won’t take than a dealer. The opportunity cost of the Instant Cash Offer was more than worth it in time, and it enabled my sight unseen track car purchase that’ll carry me through the summer months. Expect to see more on that one soon.