Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We Sold the Car

(by Pat)

We sold the car tonight. I wasn't even sure we'd have anyone to look at it until dinnertime. I'd responded to a bunch of e-mails earlier today (all from was a bust), which was good, then one of the potential buyers called while we were eating dinner and said they'd be over around 7. He said if they were interested, he'd close the deal in cash tonight.

A little after seven, a married couple and their 11-year-old son showed up to take a look at the car. Turns out they have three boys, all hockey players, and their old minivan has died, so they need a replacement. The husband took our car for a short test drive, and then the wife took her turn (she was shy about it, even though she's the one who will be driving it). My son bounced out of the house and quickly made friends with the visiting son, and they rode together in the back seat, as we tooled around the neighborhood.

Apparently it passed the test, and they offered $3,200, citing tires that need replacing soon (valid point) and the original battery that might need replacing in the near future. We weren't in this purely to maximize our return, so we didn't plan to bargain too hard. Plus, now that we'd made the mental commitment to going without a car, the vehicle seemed like a heavy weight holding us back from taking the step. So we took the offer and finalized the deal. (Signed the title, bill of sale, scraped off parking stickers, took out toll transponder, removed license plates.)

And that was it. They drove off into the drizzle, and suddenly we no longer owned a car. It felt pretty weird, a little bit of nervous butterflies. At a recent screening of the movie "Fresh", the director remarked that a Pakistani friend of hers said, "Americans are wonderful, so brave. The only thing they fear is inconvenience." Well, I guess we're facing inconvenience right in the face, and we'll see how it works out. Up until now, the whole car-free idea has been pretty theoretical. If you have it, you can say that you're not going to use it, but you always know it's there (and you end up using it). That's no longer an option anymore.

We celebrated with ice cream. Of course, we couldn't pop in the car to get it, so I had to ride my bike. Which was great.

Oh, and we also celebrated by going online and purchasing bicycling rain gear. The rest of the money we need to save for now (if the car fails the emissions test when they register it, they can return the car. Though that's unlikely, since it was just in the shop. But still...) but we've got a long list of transportation stuff we want (bike repair classes).

Tomorrow is a new day. And one without a car.

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