Hammer Time: My First (Auction) Car

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
hammer time my first auction car

10 years, 6 months, and 1 lifetime ago, I bought my first car at auction. It was a base 1986 Honda Civic hatchback. One owner. 166k miles and power nothing. Not even close. It did have A/C and a radio (thank God!). But it was little more than basic A to B, which was fine because I was in school at the time. I bought it for $525 at a public auction, which came to $630 including taxes and auction fees. It was a beautiful buy at a point in my life when I literally needed to save every nickel in my pocket. So what did I end up doing?

I sold it on eBay of course . . . to another student . . . from the same school. Incredible! I pocketed about $950 which took care of gas and groceries until graduation. But I’ve always thought to myself, “What would have happened if I had kept it and sold my then 5 year old Camry?” An extra $9000 in my pocket. Minimal ownership cost for perhaps the next 10 years? I’ve crunched the numbers and my annual costs would have run right around $1000 per annum for the next 10 years. Ahhh . . . the simple life. I can’t say that I miss it.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Alpha Class Alpha Class on May 25, 2009

    craigslist is your best bet nowadays, just make sure they've got a carfax in hand

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on May 25, 2009

    1) See if you get any response first. Call them. Leave the appropriate Ebay feedback. Contact them until you're finally able to have a substantive conversation about your issue. Offer them the opportunity to fix the tranny at a shop of your own choosing given your recent find. 2) Hire a lawyer. Explain to them your situation. Let them handle it from there.

  • BlueBrat BlueBrat on May 26, 2009

    Hell of a deal's are always hell of a deals.

  • R H R H on May 26, 2009

    I think issues like NN's are why people don't like buying used. Of my 3 vehicles, I've bought 2 new, 1 used. The used was 70% off kbb because my friend told me "I don't have any problems with it, but it's an older car and I don't want to lose our friendship if something happens. the 70% you save should pay for any problems." It had no major problems and hasn't had any in the past 3 years I've owned it. I'd be surprised if I couldn't sell it for the same $ I bought it for.