Ode to Sparkles
Her bright lights lit our travels and our smiles.
We’ll ne’er forget her smooth ride and black wheels.
May your slumber be peaceful and your oil clean.
Goodbye, sweet aveo, our beautiful, wonderful machine!
Review: AutoNation Direct – Sell Your Car
Just before the stop sign that permanently checked our car into extinction, we had just been loving our aqua Aveo. The bright little car had drawn appreciative looks and smiles as it scooted down to the shops and to work. The car had never given us grief, even though others seemed determined to crash into us at every opportunity. What was it about our bright, shiny color that attracted other cars to it like flies? We remember the horror of the slowly reversing SUV in the grocery parking lot that dented our door, or cringe with phantom pain as the man smashed his door open into ours at a burger joint (they kindly paid for our meal, but it didn’t erase the small dent). There were the scary icy spiels and the distracted teenagers ignoring stop signs. Through it all, the trooper kept chugging.
Still, it got us where we needed with nary a squeak and we loved our car. It was only the second car we had bought and it had a lot of memories. We went on summer trips to renaissance fairs, attractions and to see family. We traveled to nearby cities and carted our pets, flowers and groceries. People would stop us and say “That sure is a nice car! I love that color!” as we got out.
And I can’t tell you how hard it was to let her go. :(
This happened in April and it wasn’t until a week ago that we finally got up the nerve to sell it. It sat for four months as we struggled with what to do. Do we keep it and fix it for a cool $5k? Do we trade it in for another car and risk two car loans? Do we sell it and deal with the hassle of a sale?
So, I looked around online for the answer (as you do) and found that various car sites will buy your car. AutoTrader will hook you up with a dealer for an estimate and AutoNation Direct will give you an offer upfront. We tried both, but while we tried to get our car to the dealer for AutoTrader, it didn’t work out. The sandpaper-y sound from the brakes and the mysterious thumping (along with only running on 2 cylinders) seemed a bit iffy to take up the highway. We decided to play it safe and take the AutoNation Direct’s offer of…
Are you ready for this?
Wow, right? To us, the car was worth much more than that. I had hoped for at least a $1000. :roll: Sure, it had been in a few accidents ( they knocked off $200 for the bad report), but it was in beautiful shape! Sure, the engine needed replacing (and here’s where they knocked off the rest), but that wasn’t so bad. Course, we couldn’t afford the cost of a new engine, but that didn’t mean it was worth just $300. Poor thing. :oops:
While the offer arrived quickly (got it the night we submitted our info), the actual process of getting rid of the car was laborious.
Here’s the basic breakdown of working with AutoNation Direct to sell your car:
- Fill out their form with all of your details and the car’s nitty-gritty.
- Wait to receive offer, once received, accept or decline it. They called us the next day and the day after asking us our decision. It was like we couldn’t get them to stop calling us. This did give the impression they were on top of things (especially since the offer expires after 10 days).
- Accept their offer by calling their number. Then, if you happen to live in a large city but unfortunate enough not to live anywhere near their dealers, you wait. And wait. We waited for the guy to ask his boss (who was in a meeting) about what to do. We called back the next day when no call came and then waited to hear from the dealer that was finally assigned to us (they had no clue what we were talking about and called AutoNation Direct who said they had given it to the wrong people). Then we waited for the call from the correct dealer that we were promised would happen within 24hrs. No call until 48 hours later to confirm that, yes, we did want to still sell it. Then we waited again for the call on the day they were to pick up the car and drop off our check.
- Finally, you hand over your title, take your check and say a sad goodbye to your wonderful, beautiful car.
And after all that delay, they had the gall to knock off $4! We were so tired of it by that point that we didn’t argue. Just took the loss and moved on.
In all, while AutoNation Direct does take your car and they do give you a check, the actual process was tedious. Would we do it again? Not sure. I suppose we might, but I think next time we’ll remember how it all went and we might go a different route. We wish we had traded it in when we bought the new one, but that’s all over now. I don’t know if the process is smoother if you happen to live next door to them. I don’t know if you get more money if your car lacks major repairs. Maybe our experience was hampered by living in a big city that they didn’t actively support.
I’d give the process a 3/5. It got the job done, so no complaints there, but if you have other routes, maybe look into them first before you go with AutoNation Direct. They aren’t bad, but they weren’t something to gush over, either.