The auto industry spends millions each year studying what motivates people to buy a car. Much less studied, perhaps not even studied at all is what motivates people to get rid of a car. After all, people don’t just fall in love. They also fall out of it. We have a list of likely suspects: new car fever, the warranty running out, problems, maybe even the suspicion of future problems. So, what motivated you when you got rid of a car? A few critical bits of info: model, model year, month/year sold, odometer when sold (or junked). Extra credit: month/year purchased, odometer when purchased. Lessees need not respond: you’re boring—the lease simply ran out. I’ll go first. I traded my 1996 Ford Contour SE V6 (purchased October 1997 with 23k miles) when the engine lost some compression in three cylinders thanks to an engineering defect. Replacing the engine would have cost more than the resulting increase in the car’s value. That was in November 2003, with 69,000 miles. We sold my wife’s 1998 Olds Intrigue (purchased in January 1999 with 14k miles) in July 2004 with odometer in the high 70s because she was bored with it, and we thought it might start having problems at some point—though it had had none for the previous 2-3 years.
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