By on May 2, 2016

2015 Volkswagen GTI, Image: © 2016 Steve Lynch/The Truth About Cars

The automotive media slobbered over the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen GTI sporty hatchback ever since its introduction two years ago. I put 13,500 miles on mine over the past year and I agree that it is one of the great all-around fun cars available today.

I just went through the process of selling it, and that is when the real fun began. I sold the GTI last week for a number of reasons. First and foremost, its resale value is excellent, in part because VW still is not building enough of them — perhaps they are distracted by other issues? — and by the litany of “Best Car” awards bestowed on the little hot hatch.

I am also concerned about the future of the company in America, so I figured selling now would be a hedge against future lost value. Replacing the GTI is a white 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 with the optional Sport Package (my first personal car without a stick shift in years — sigh, I must be getting old.)

Aside from an occasional annoying glitch from the entertainment system while playing my iPod (it shows the wrong song name), the VW performed flawlessly. At 13,500 miles, there are no squeaks or rattles and the engine seems to grow stronger as the miles add up. I have had bad experiences in the past with turbocharged motors, but the 210 horsepower mill is very smooth and I have gotten used to its slight turbo lag.

In a previous update, I noted the GTI’s thin paint was susceptible to paint chips here in rocky Arizon. This still holds true, as evidenced by the 10 or so chips on the hood and front fascia.

The Audi-like cockpit was extremely comfortable and the funky Tartan plaid seats always made me smile. The ride was firm but not annoying, a small trade-off for what must be one of the best cornering front-wheel-drive cars available today.

The manual transmission GTI is EPA rated at 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. I averaged 30.6 mpg over the course of the year on a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving, the latter typically at five to 10 mph over the speed limit. The lowest mileage I saw was 24 mpg during a blast up the twisty turns on Tucson’s Mt. Lemmon. Where else can you find this type of economy combined with a 0–60 mph time of 5.75 seconds?

The GTI is a great combination of performance and practicality and I will miss it.

IMG_1254

My experience selling the car was interesting. I posted the GTI at a firm price of just under $20,000 on craigslist and Autotrader, undercutting all the dealers pricing them at $21,000 to $22,000. I figured that after their negotiating games the realistic retail price was right at $20,000. For a car with an original MSRP of $25,605, the GTI is proving to have great resale value.

(As an aside, I know there is one Autotrader semi-executive who frequents TTAC, and to that person I say: please train your phone reps about time zones; I did not appreciate the 6:35 AM wake-up call to verify my ad.)

A number of GTI devotees called, desperately hoping that my car had the optional Performance Package with its 10 additional horses, bigger brakes and performance differential. One reported there were zero new white GTIs with the upgrade in stock at any Volkswagen dealer between Denver and Los Angeles. I would have loved that package, but as I noted in my original story of buying my GTI, getting the exact option package and color you want from VW is nearly impossible unless you custom order your vehicle. Come on, Volkswagen, is it really that difficult to give the volks what they want?

Most of the other prospects who called or texted me were the usual gang of suspects. Some sample questions:

“Can you hold the car until I fly in from Chicago this weekend to look at it?” Nope.

“Can you deliver the car to Utah at that price?” Nope.

“Will you take $15,000 cash?” Nope. “But it is cash on the hood!”  I only take cash, I am not a dealer, dimbulb.

“Is your car an automatic?” Nope, read the ad.

“Is your car a 4-door?” Nope, read the ad.

I was also bombed with inquiries representing a new angle in the automotive world: companies that will “help you'” sell your vehicle.

With millions of private transactions occurring annually, these parasites want to get their hands on some of that cash. They call or text and pretend to be legitimate buyers, asking all the right questions for a few minutes before they reveal their true identity. The most deceptive and annoying of these inquiries were from a firm named beepi.com. I was too busy haranguing or hanging up on these firms to listen to any of their spiels, but I learned that beepi charges a commission of up to nine percent of the profit on the sale price of the car.

IMG_1037

One scam new to me is the “fake VIN report” ruse. I received several texts from a location 800 miles away with variations of this message: “This is Susan. I want to buy your car today, I have cash.”

After responding, the “customer” then says she needs me to run a VIN history report and referred me to this site — a probable scam website designed to steal people’s credit card numbers.

A gentleman in his mid-20s came to look at the GTI. He was a dream buyer — newly arrived from Europe to work here for three years, great job, very intelligent, only drove stick shifts, loved GTIs, currently in a rental car, paying cash and did not abuse the car during the test drive. Add the fact that there were only four white, two-door, six-speed “S” model GTIs listed nationwide on Autotrader and this one was ten minutes from his house, meant that when he called later to say he was going to buy it, I did not feel the need to ask for a non-refundable deposit to lock him down.

I had momentarily forgotten the First Commandment of Car Selling: if a deal happens quickly and easily, you have no deal.

He texted me the next day to say he changed his mind, as he claimed my price was too high. He said that automotive site Edmunds.com calculated that the retail value on my GTI was $18,000, a figure which was lower that the wholesale price offered by my local CarMax store to buy my car. In other words, Edmunds was at least $2,000 light. Perhaps they throw out lowball figures so customers switch off private party sales and use their car buying service instead.

I told him to have Edmunds locate and sell him a GTI at that price, which of course they cannot. I guess I learned that European Millennials are like their counterparts in America: whatever information they find by surfing the internet on their phones is the absolute truth.

He probably changed his mind for another reason he did not want to reveal, which means I also forgot The Second Commandment of Car Selling: buyers are liars.

I sold and delivered the car the next day to another party. It was a lot more fun to own the GTI than to sell it!

[Images: © 2016 Steve Lynch/The Truth About Cars]

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194 Comments on “2015 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Final Update (And Fun With Car Buying Scammers)...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Why’d you sell after only a year? You seemed to really like this car.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Wow. I know the fear is high with VW owners of late, but selling after one year with only 13,500 on it? I must be in the wrong line of work. I guess the owner can do whatever he wants (as he did), but if he loved the car that much, and had no real issues with it, was it worth losing almost $6k right away? I’d think that the relative “stink” on VW for diesels wouldn’t be migrating to the GTi.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        As someone paying almost a second mortgage to have two kids in daycare, this just kills me. I couldn’t swallow the depreciation hit that occurs in the first year, even for something that holds its value like a Tacoma. But since his replacement is a ~$40K+ German luxury sedan, I’m guessing that $6K doesn’t nail his budget like it would mine.

        Nice humblebrag, Steve!

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Lynch

          From my comment below:

          I did not want to bring up the other reason I am swapping cars as it would sound like bragging and the same haters would come out of their holes and call me names for doing it but here goes: as a Mercedes-Benz retiree I get two super-cheap one year lease cars per year. Thus the C300 will join the GLE350 I wrote about last week in our garage. I will not reveal the financial details but suffice it to say each and every one of you, no matter what your dumb stereotypes are of Benz cars and Benz owners, if presented this opportunity, would have two Mercedes-Benz cars in your garage. Every single one of you.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I read your comment below after I posted, but don’t be so sensitive that you interpret my comment as coming from a “hater”. It is not a criticism of you or your decision, just the recognition that people at opposite ends of their careers & child-rearing have different financial realities.

            I said “it kills me” not because I fault your decision, but because as someone with an interest in a lot of different cars I’d love to be able to rotate between them annually but simply cannot. Thanks for the GTI updates, this is a car I’m interested in.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Lynch

          Fetch, the true haters are further down.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            First-year depreciation is always steep. I avoid it like the plague. Steve’s almost-new car is the kind of car I prefer to buy.

            Too bad this article ignores the economic friction of car purchases, which is considerable. In my state, where registration fees have been multiplied to pay for road work, first-year plates for a $40,000 car are almost $1000. The sales tax on your GTI purchase would typically run about $1000, and that money, which Steve probably paid again at double the price when he bought the Merc, is never recoverable. Seems like it gets harder and harder to find and economic argument for trading up.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, he did detail that in the story.

      • 0 avatar
        ijbrekke

        It sounds like: A) He is concerned that value will plummet in the near future, and B) I’d guess he fell in love with a new Mercedes in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      …and Steve EPA combined fuel economy numbers…in a turbo-4 car!?

      That 30 mpg 50/50 driving is what my Verano 2.0T 6MT averages too. But Ohio winters and summers are different than in Arizona.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Lynch

      I put “no texts” in caps and still got tons of texts.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    Autotrader (and moreover Craigslist) are awful ways to sell anything but a total beater. I tried selling my Mother-in-Law’s medium-mileage Highlander on both and got probably 25 idiotic responses between the two. None of these individuals had any interest whatsoever in buying at a reasonable price, they’re all looking for a “steal” or are running a scam. Nobody reads the freakin’ ads, very true.

    One gentlemen wanted me to take $2,000 off the price because the Highlander had 4WD and he didn’t need 4WD. 2WD was good enough for him. Oh, okay. Sure.

    Another refused to pay in cash and said he would only pay with a personal check. Sounds like a plan!

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      We sold my wife’s 2011 Scion tC on Craigslist with no issue. Had two very legitimate offers within one day of listing, sold it on the second day. Autotrader came up with exactly zero leads. While most of the cars I see on CL are of the beater variety, I will say it worked well for me selling a decent, non-beater vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      ijbrekke

      Selling anything on Craigslist is a great way to quickly develop your bullshit meter.

      • 0 avatar
        Piston Slap Yo Mama

        My bullshit meter was often pegged at 11 while searching for a replacement daily driver recently on the List of Craig. During the lengthy search (which ultimately netted a grandmother owned garage queen Subaru Legacy wagon) I developed a weird and unhealthy fascination with photos of fingers obscuring license plates:
        http://dabidoh.tumblr.com/

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Two words on your CL ad can end much of the BS you’d encounter selling a car there. You ready?

        “No texts.”

        Beyond that, let all the calls go to voice mail, because the serious ones are going to leave a message. Then you can screen from there.

        • 0 avatar
          Japanese Buick

          I don’t get why “no texts” is a good thing. I go the opposite, texts only and the number I provided is a google voice number and I use their app to manage the texts. I find with texts I don’t have to slog through accents, and people get to the point rather than BS as much as they do on the phone. Plus the text streams help me keep the prospects organized and I know who said what before easily without taking notes (handy for people who try to take multiple bites at the apple).

          Sold two cars this way, only took a few hours, and I was very happy with the results. But that said they were both sub $5K beaters so there is that.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Tried selling a lightly-used Mini on Craigslist, all I got were trolls from the “we’ll help sell your car” scams. YMMV of course.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Total beater is a stretch, but I’ve found personally anything over $5k or so is a tough sell privately. Higher than that, and people generally need to get some sort of financing, and if they could get financing they’d be looking at a dealer, not on Craigslist, unless it’s some sort of rare car.

      I was selling an RSX with around 100k on it for $9k several years back, and it took me almost 3 months to move it. I had 3 buyers fall through because they couldn’t secure financing in the process. On the other hand, I sold a 10 year old Civic with ~150k on it for $3500 and it moved in under 18 hours for cash.

      I don’t think I’d even attempt it for a car worth more than $15k.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Yeah, I’ve had pretty good luck with using CL to unload my cars. But I wouldn’t use it for anything greater than $7500.

        For me, I am the opposite – I actually tell people to TXT or email only. Phone calls are harder to filter.

        Cash only. Daytime deal in public place. Both parties sign liability releases. It’s all good.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          For buying/selling outside the “family”, I prefer to do the deal at a bank. Either a branch of mine, or the sellers. I never want to deal with cash per se, but even bank checks can be scammed. But tough to scam when they get the check from the bank right in front of you. Banks generally have a notary as well, for those occasions that require that, and it isn’t a terrible idea to have any private sale bill of sale notarized anyway.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    So-you buy a car for $26k, then sell it after ONE YEAR for $20k, and think that is a good deal? Wow. Now you’re going to waste yet more money for another brand new European “prestige” brand so you can impress your shallow friends. I guess you have more money than brains.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “So-you buy a car for $26k,”

      Where did he say he paid sticker?

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>So-you buy a car for $26k, then sell it after ONE YEAR for $20k, and think that is a good deal? <<

      I looked at that too. That’s not so hot resale value.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Where did he say he paid sticker?

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        What’s the problem? He gave his reason for selling so soon, the short version being, he’s getting out while the getting is good. The cash return compared to LIST PRICE may not look good, but it’s better than you’ll get for a year-old Malibu. He mentioned the parent company is in a bit of trouble – there are some news articles about that somewhere. The writer feels the best time to avoid the ramifications is *now*. That sounds like a good reason to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Coopdeville

        @Thornmark: That’s average depreciation according to Edmunds. What would hold its value better after 1 year, outside of supercars and a Toyota Tacoma?

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          http://www.kbb.com/volkswagen/golf-gti/2015/s-hatchback-coupe-2d/?vehicleid=400377&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=13500&options=6530814%7ctrue&condition=excellent&pricetype=private-party

          2015 GTI – $19530

          2015 Accord EX – 21,181

          http://www.kbb.com/honda/accord/2015/ex-sedan-4d/?intent=trade-in-sell&vehicleid=402150&mileage=13500&category=sedan&pricetype=private-party&condition=excellent

          Same year, same mileage and same condition and both cars had about the same 2015 msrp.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            The Honda had better pay me to be bored over that time frame.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Well, maybe it won’t. You compared a manual 2-door GTI to an automatic Accord. Add the DSG and rear doors and both the MSRP and predicted private party values are about as close as you can get.

            2016 GTI 4-door S w/ DSG MSRP = $27500
            A used 2015 example has a KBB of $21500

            2016 Honda Accord EX w/ CVT MSRP = $27200
            A used 2015 example has a KBB of $21100

            http://www.kbb.com/volkswagen/golf-gti/2015/s-hatchback-sedan-4d/?vehicleid=400376&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=13500&category=hatchback&condition=excellent&options=5934363|true&pricetype=private-party

            http://www.kbb.com/honda/accord/2015/ex-sedan-4d/?category=sedan&intent=trade-in-sell&pricetype=private-party&condition=excellent&persistedcondition=excellent&quizconditions=&options=&path=&vehicleid=402150&mileage=13500

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            If you make the Accord a manual it’s still worth $800 more than the GTI, $20,422 for the Accord and $19,622 for the GTI.

            http://www.kbb.com/volkswagen/golf-gti/2015/s-hatchback-coupe-2d/?vehicleid=400377&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=13500&options=6530814%7ctrue&condition=excellent&pricetype=private-party&&r=111700542551015580#survey

            http://www.kbb.com/honda/accord/2015/ex-sedan-4d/?vehicleid=402150&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=13500&category=sedan&options=6038664%7ctrue&condition=excellent&pricetype=private-party

            If you make them both automatics the Accord is worth $21,327 and GTI is worth $20,239, a difference of over $1000 in favor of Honda:
            http://www.kbb.com/honda/accord/2015/ex-sedan-4d/?vehicleid=402150&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=13500&category=sedan&options=6532107%7ctrue&condition=excellent&pricetype=private-party

            http://www.kbb.com/volkswagen/golf-gti/2015/s-hatchback-coupe-2d/?vehicleid=400377&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=13500&category=hatchback&condition=excellent&options=5934368%7ctrue%7c6530814%7ctrue&pricetype=private-party

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You are still comparing a 2-door GTI to the Accord. This matters because the 2-door GTI has a lower MSRP than 4-door and the Accord. Therefore the resale is lower.

            This is not complicated.

            See what happens when I take your link and make the GTI a 4-door?:

            http://www.kbb.com/volkswagen/golf-gti/2015/s-hatchback-sedan-4d/?intent=trade-in-sell&vehicleid=400376&mileage=13500&pricetype=private-party&condition=excellent

            WOW!!

    • 0 avatar

      Bikephil,

      Everybody hates you.

      H+K,

      Bark

      • 0 avatar
        FreezingD

        I LOVE people like Steve. How else am I supposed to find 1 or 2 year old cars with very low miles for a good price without people like Steve who buy new cars and quickly get bored with them? I bought my current ride from a guy who put a glorious total of 1715 miles on it before he decided that it was actually another car really suited his fancy!

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Yeah, I got my XC70 with 9kmi on it and about $5k off sticker (and as far as I can tell, Volvo doesn’t give anyone incentives on one ever).

          I don’t know if it was a dealer loaner or just someone who decided they needed a 2015.5 with the WiFi or what, and I don’t care…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            XC70 value is about to drop once word gets around there’s no replacement model for next year, right?

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “I guess you have more money than brains.”

      And apparently more money than you, who seems to have more jealousy than money. Some people make enough that they can freely spend what seems to you and me like a shocking amount on vehicles and still be just peachy on their emergency savings and retirement planning. I can’t, and that’s OK. Perhaps you can’t either, so just accept it.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      What’s the problem here? A person should be able to buy or sell a vehicle, or any other consumer good, as they see fit, with the only caveat being as long as they can afford the purchase price. There’s no room for personal insults – it’s a free country and we all have freedom of choice to buy whatever we want. The last I checked a person doesn’t have to justify or explain themselves to purchase a consumer good that doesn’t meet with your approval.

      I get that some here may not agree with Mr. Lynch’s purchase, but that is no good reason for belittlement, invective or personal insults due to his choice in the matter.

      Grow up. The “Best and Brightest” my ass.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Wow. Way to stroke it out of the park on so many levels of insulting.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      I’m not sure how so many people glossed over the fact that this article doesn’t mention what he paid for the car. Part of the reason I pulled the trigger on a GTI at the end of last year is that when I looked, used models with 1 year/15K miles on the clock were available from the usual places like CarMax for several hundred dollars *more* than I was going to pay brand new. Yes there is stuff like TTL to consider into the equation, but if you look at what gently used Mk7 GTIs are going for and you could get a new one for $5K off MSRP, you quickly realize that yes it is a “good deal”. The dealer I bought from had a 4 door S manual I could have picked up for $22,100. Selling that for ~$20K a year later would be about as “financially responsible” as you could get for quickly flipping a new car.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Lynch

        I have heard that is the case in certain parts of the country but on the West Coast, availability of new GTIs is very poor thus smaller discounts on new ones.

        • 0 avatar
          johnny_5.0

          There was only one dealer within a vicinity I was willing to drive to that was offering huge discounts like that. If emails were to be believed, they were narrowly retaining their state sales volume lead, and these were the final days of 2015. That could have been a load of crap, but the local dealers were only advertising something like $1,500 off MSRP. It was well worth the two hour drive!

          • 0 avatar
            Steve Lynch

            Ah, the last days of the year when the incentives are the highest thus the best discounts. If only we could all buy cars then!

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    If you sell on Craigslist, you don’t want to list your phone number in standard numerical format. You should spell out a digit in words to keep bots from skimming ads for phone numbers.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Craigslist has a number hiding mechanism you can use.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      And on top of that, use a burner app. You can buy a phone number for 30 days for like $5, and it includes texting. Once your business is done, you can burn it.

    • 0 avatar
      DAC17

      Craigslist is a good place to sell crap valued below, say $200. For cars, not so much. Do yourself a favor and don’t list cars there. Mostly scum looking there.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        I usually buy my crap cars off a free circular found in the local laundromat. The last one was a Chrysler Newport salvaged from a junkyard.

        The 361 V8 and push button torqueflite worked flawlessly, the body had about 100 dents, plus rust, plus the paint was half gone, and the front and rear sofas were worn out, but the car lasted 5 years until I could afford something better.

        When the salvage guy arrived with a flatbed, I told him to just turn the key to start it (no need to step on the gas) and drive it up the ramp. But that was 1960s OLD Chrysler, when it was still known as a solid engineering outfit. Those of you who think Chrysler always made junk and no luxury cars (Jackie Kennedy rode to JFK’s funeral in her ’62 Imperial) are showing an ignorance of history.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          My older Bro has a 64 880 vert with the 361 and pushbutton tranny.

          his H.S was a 64 Newport with same drivetrain.

          He loves those old unibody mopars.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I use a picture with my phone number. If it’s a serious buyer, they read the ad (which tells them where my number is), and they look at the pictures, then they will have my number and get in touch.

      Selling a car on Craigslist is pure hell. But that’s the real price for a free service.

    • 0 avatar
      greaseyknight

      Google Voice, you can get a phone number with texting that is linked to a gmail account. The calls and texts are forwarded to you, once the car is sold you can turn off the forwarding. Very handy for providing to provide to the places that require a phone number who sell the number.

  • avatar

    But what is your BEST PRICE??*

    *-Must be said with a heavy accent.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Preferably Russian?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Please tell me, is there service paper? Will hold car is okay while friend is get a loan from cheque?

    • 0 avatar

      My friend, I make you good deal

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      And I reply, “I’m not going to negotiate against myself. My best price is the one I advertised, but you’re welcome to make me an offer.”

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      I offloaded an excellent condition Camry on CL, and got the BEST PRICE question. The guy was quick to show me the KBB printout and how my car was inferior due to some minor chips on the hood.

      Boy did it feel good when the guy called back after playing the bluffing game and me telling him I sold it at the price I advertised 2 hours after he left.

      But yeah, I live in an area with many fresh-off-the-boat migrants from cultures where it is the norm to price things initially 50% higher, then buyer quotes 10% of the list price, then you agree at the halfway point. I don’t play that game.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    These days, buying a car with an automatic doesn’t mean you’re getting old, it means you’ve acknowledged how good self shifting transmissions have become.

    Anyone who sells a car himself finds out how it is that dealers make money at it, it’s a certain amount of work. My experience is that for a relatively high priced car it’s better to trade in, but for an old cheapie, you can come out ahead selling it yourself.

    About that 6:30 call from AutoTrader, that’s more likely a problem with their dialer software than with an agent.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    The hassle of selling my old car was one of the main reasons I decided to end my practice of only buying and never leasing when I picked up my own GTI a year ago. With the hours I work, spending precious weekends getting my car detailed, listing it, dealing with idiots and scammers and then dealing with paperwork just isn’t worth the money – and yet selling privately is the only way to avoid getting ripped off so badly by dealers that leasing becomes the more economical option.

    I learned two things from helping my clients through the market crash back in ’08: (i) time is more important than money, at least in the ballpark the GTI plays in, and (ii) limiting downside is more important to me than maximizing my upside.

    In the meantime, boy do I ever love the car. I’ve ended up with C300s from Sixt a couple of times recently, and always looked forward to turning them in and getting back to my GTI.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Then there’s the strategy of buying a solid car that’s already depreciated, and selling it to the scrap yard or for parts when it’s finally time to let it go.
      My Volvo (which I purchased at 7% of original list price, from a Craigslist listing) has given me 44,000 miles of service so far, with normal maintenance and fewer repairs than I could have reasonably expected. The cost per mile is lower than the even most economical new car. The original owners had taken very good care of it, and that tradition is continuing.
      Are the neighbors impressed? Who cares, it’s not their car, and I don’t care about what they drive, either!

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        True enough. The leasing strategy is obviously intended for drivers who strongly prefer new cars (and are willing to swallow the steep part of the depreciation curve to do so).

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Too bad to hear about the paint quality. I thought was one of the things that Germans were supposed to be good at. I wonder if the other colors are any better. I test drove a white GTI, and the orange peel was pretty bad.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      My Night Blue Metallic car still looks good after a year on the Massachusetts coast, with all the salt (road and air) that implies. Possible the paint may have been tested in and optimized for colder climes than the Arizona sun?

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      My 2010 Sportwagen has some pretty thick and tough paint, especially for being a cheap car. I hope that hasn’t changed on the newer VWs.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I was “retired” from the OEM coatings manufacturer that provides paint for VW worldwide. Thinner and thinner was the goal of the auto manufacturer for paint, which is a fairly high dollar item. Golfs/GTI’s, Jetta’s, etc., are shot thinner with a lesser formula than higher end vehicles. Probably more so with USDM vehicles which are somewhat less vehicle overall than those manufactured/sold in der vaterland.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I wondered if it might have something to do with the North American cars now being produced in Mexico. I’ve read elsewhere of several cost cutting efforts that weren’t present in the MKVI Golf/GTI that came from Germany, vs the Mexican MKVII.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      I don’t have many chips yet, but the paint definitely seems “soft” in addition to being thin. It doesn’t take much to mark it up, but mine is black so it’s obviously easiest to spot. If I had more (any!) free time I’d have taken the Porter Cable to a few spots already.

    • 0 avatar
      KevinC

      My GF’s ’15 TDI in Tungsten Silver (a stunning color btw), also out of Puebla like the GTI, has an incredible paint job, one of the better factory jobs I’ve ever seen. Virtually zero orange peel, great luster, and doesn’t appear to be thin or easily susceptible to chipping anywhere. I’ve read tales in the distant past of headaches painting cars at Puebla due to the altitude there (7400 ft).

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I have good luck on CL but unfortunately, many buyers on there think your ad equals desperate-to-sell and want to start the haggling at 50 percent off your asking price. Better to ask more and take some off. People think they are getting a better deal anyways.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I like the ones who expect you to negotiate against yourself. “What’s the lowest you’ll take?”

      I dunno, what’s the most you’ll pay?

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Haha, that’s exactly how I answer that question, in so many words. This thread is giving me flashbacks to my last craigslist sale.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like the calls where they go.

        “So how low are you willing to go on this?”

        I reply, “Why don’t you come look at it, and see if you’re interested?”

        “Are you willing to take less?”

        “If you would like to come and view the car, perhaps you’ll find the asking price reasonable.”

        And my favorite.
        “I can find those any time for $xxxx less than what you’re asking.”

        “Then you should go do it.”

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          “I can find those any time for $xxxx less than what you’re asking.”

          A close relative to “Blue Book private party value has it pegged at $xxxx.”

          Well if you can find a private party selling it at that price, go give them a call.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            All the while I was thinking “Yeah, because there are a wide variety of 12 year-old GS430 models available in pristine condition for you to shop.”

            Not.

          • 0 avatar
            Halftruth

            I always have to preface with “I am not desperate to sell.” That usually weeds them out.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m good at selling cars to women, so it behooves me if there’s a woman involved in the process.

            0 women looked at the GS.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Lynch

          And when they argue too much, particularly over dumb stuff, say:

          “I don’t think this is the right car for you.”

          Then watch them backpedal…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Haha, one guy.

            “Well, does it have all the options?”

            “Yes, including navigation – the dealer installed spoiler, no.”

            *Whiny* “Aww, I really wanted one with the spoiler, I like the look.”

            “Ok.”

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Buddy of mine who flipped a fair number of cars used to just start raising the price.

  • avatar
    caljn

    I am inches from pulling the trigger on a 6 spd Golf R but fear I will grow weary of “rowing my own” in mere weeks as a daily driver in LA.
    Is this why you sold in one year?

    • 0 avatar
      KevinC

      Did you test drive one with DSG? That gearbox is incredible.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I drove a Passat Sportwagen TDI with the DSG. it was as much of a lurchy piece of S**t as anyone else’s DCT.

        • 0 avatar
          blppt

          Yeah, the diesels dont seem to handle the DSG too well for whatever reason…my mother’s TDIs (she’s had 3) have never been as smooth with the DSG as the GTIs/CC my father and I have.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            The DSG in my ’09 GTI isn’t always smooth, Just today I felt a little unwanted forward thrust while it downshifted under braking to a stop. When that happens, I move the selector out of Sport to Drive. It’s a feature, not a bug. In Sport, the DSG is trying to keep you ready for instant acceleration after you clip that apex. In Drive, it’s more relaxed, but it will never feel as smooth as a torque converter automatic.

            VW’s DSG is a real achievement. Nothing, or no one, shifts faster. It’s durable, if you keep up with fluid changes. Check the Ford forums for accounts of what an unreliable twin-clutch automanual is like. My VW specialist has never had to replace a clutch in one. And it’s efficient, with none of an automatic transmission’s power losses, which is why it’s used in the TDI.

            Every automaker offers a safe choice of a traditional automatic transmission, sooth and lazy. But hey, Jim, don’t go throwing poop around because VW had the guts to offer us something different. Choice is good, right?

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            @ Wheat, My father had an ’08 GTI with the DSG before his current ’15. I cant remember extensive experience with it (he had 2 cars since then, a boat-like Camry Solara V6 coupe and a Fusion Sport 3.5 AWD with no steering feel whatsoever), but I do remember it was a good deal smoother than the ’08 Jetta TDI DSG my mother had at the time.

            My CC’s DSG is not perfect, and it is definitely less-than-smooth until the engine/tranny warm up, but once they both do warm up, I really cant expect more knowing there’s no power-sapping liquid coupling between me and the wheels.

            But yeah, definitely dont base your test drive of a DSG solely on a short drive without the engine/tranny warming up—its noticably worse then.

            Edit: the Jetta must have been an ’09 since that was the first year of the 2.0TD/DSG combo. I guess it was a early buy, since i could swear she had it in ’08.

    • 0 avatar

      My predicament as well. My morning commute in Austin is about 11 miles and takes almost an hour, usually 15 minutes less in the evening. My average speed is 17 MPH, according to the car’s computer. My previous daily driver was a manual and it was tedious and exhausting. Yet whenever I ask this question I get called pussyboy or “not a real enthusiast” for even insinuating a manual isn’t the best option for a car that spends 90% of its driven life stuck in bumper to bumper gridlock, lurching along 25 feet for every tap of the throttle.

      At this point I just want a comfy seat, a good stereo, and cold AC. Everything else is frustratingly pointless.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        That’s blatant insanity.

        I couldn’t deal, man.

        I’m pi$$ed about a 18 mile, 40 minute commute, to the point where I may call some of the corporate recruiters back if they have a much closer, high paying gig available.

        CAN’T DEAL WITH RUSH HOUR & HEAVY TRAFFIC COMMUTES ANYMORE FFS!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Piston Slap Yo Mama

        i used to arrive at my already unpleasant jobs in Austin ready to murder coworkers because of that same gridlock. First time round it was up I35 to Round Rock to Dell in godawful traffic then later a commute down either Mopac or 360 to get to Broadwing Communications aka purgatory. I thought the raise in pay would offset the pain, but nooooo. A shortcut down Bee Caves Rd. in frustration netted a ticket for 8 over, so they can get bent with their fancy upscale BS neighborhood and highschool with a JumboTron display.
        Now they’re ‘solving’ the horrible traffic problem by building expensive toll roads on top of the existing roads, roads my tax-payer dollars originally funded. Austin was cool … but my 20 years there saw a massive influx of Californians escaping their economic meltdown and paradoxically making Austin exactly the same shit-stew that they were trying to escape.
        And yes – the Ferodo performance clutch in my RX7 in that traffic became a proverbial millstone. I bought a DD with an automatic and park the sports car for weekend fun.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So after playing roulette with VW you decided it wasn’t dangerous enough and would switch to MB?

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Good luck w the MB but I would think if you loved the GTi ( I IRC you would have preferred the 4 Door) It made more sense to keep it, but it is your money so what ever works for you. Was a trade in option not a option?

  • avatar
    Guy Valkyrie

    Exact same CL experience this week selling my wife’s Enclave. Only with a twist– after I posted the ad on CL in Ohio, I read a couple of online articles from one of my favorite authors.

    One of the articles was about Leemore, CA. After reading it, I used Google Maps to see where Leemore was. Never heard of it.

    Later that evening, I got the first text response from my CL ad. It was somebody from, you guessed it, Leemore, CA. With a legit cell # from that area.

    What are the odds?

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I recently sold a car as well. In my case, it was a Lexus LS430 with about 65k miles on it. I should also preface that I live in a fairly remote town in Northern Michigan so shipping the car from here is pretty pricey and I knew that would limit my audience a bit.

    I didn’t receive a single lead from Autotrader nor Cars.com even though I had it listed for thousands less than dealers on there selling cars with twice the miles. Then again, when I worked for a dealer we never got leads from Autotrader, either.

    I got a lot of watchers and bids on eBay. It got bid up a bit higher than what a local dealer offered me for the car, but not high enough for me to sell it. I also got a few serious (not BS) questions about the car and transportation arrangements.

    I ended up selling it to someone who saw it on Craigslist. A nice couple from about 30 miles away came up and bought it for nearly my asking price.

    I got many of the same scams from CL. A few thoughts:

    1- If you get a text about the car within 20 minutes of posting the ad, it’s a scammer. Of course, a phone number from out of state is another give away. Those guys must scrape the site all the time. I was surprised the listings here in Northern Michigan were being searched so quickly, but I guess people in Russia and Romania don’t know the difference, or figure people in remote areas are more likely to fall for it? They are just playing a numbers game and I assume their systems are all automated, anyway.

    2- I got the same “VIN” check scam. Seriously, these guys are getting creative, but I can’t imagine anyone falling for that. The scam is that they direct you to a site you’ve never heard of to run a Vehicle History Report… all you need is the VIN and a credit card. Um, right. Especially stupid since I put the CarFax report right in my CL posting. I followed along with the guy for a while to figure out what their scam was.

    3- The other scammers seemed to focus on offering to buy your car for the full price sight-unseen… but there was some sort of scam offered for the payment… or they will deliver a check when their agent comes to pick up the car. I never got far enough to figure what their angle was.

    At the end of the day, it took me about 2 weeks to sell the car and this was when the weather here was still poor. I got $3,500 more than a dealer offered me and the buyer still got a great deal. The scam emails and texts were annoying but not really time consuming. All in all, I still think selling it oneself is worth the hassle. I usually end up meeting nice people in the process and it’s a lot of cash to leave on the table for what amounts to a few hours of work.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Phone numbers from out-of-state are not an automatic sign of a scammer. People keep their cell phone numbers even if they move to another state.

      That said, I am aware of how it looks and my text usually includes something like “I know it is an MA #, but I really do live in CA.”

      • 0 avatar
        stevelovescars

        I agree, in fact, I have my California cell phone number. But when a text from a prospective CL buyer comes from an out of state number, less than 10 minutes after posting the ad, offering to buy it for full price sight-unseen, and offering to send a truck right over it’s a reasonable red flag to add to the list. But is certainly not a deal-breaker on its own.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I know what you’re talking about, and I agree. It’s the timing that’s the issue, not the phone number. There’s no possibility that a human would have come upon your ad that fast, and the message you get is always so generic, it could be for any vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        Likewise. I just recently got a MD phone number, but I had my old South Florida number for 10 years and 4 states prior to it.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    My 2015 is approaching the two year point soon with 21,000 miles so far. It’s been an absolutely perfect car with zero problems and is a complete driving pleasure. Steve, it seems like you took the hit now on depreciation out of fear of what? These cars are always going to be reasonably desirable. At my VW dealer, I almost never see a nice used one on their lot, though there’s never a shortage of other models.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I think he’s more afraid of a resale value crash, depending on the fallout of the TDI scandal. If (worst case of all) VW closes up shop in the US, that would drop the brand to Saturn resale values pretty quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I like how people act like “no problems in 13,000/20,000” miles is some sort of achievement.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I can only wistfully dream of 13,000 miles without any issues.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        People certainly seem to take the JD Power IQS seriously and that is only 3 months. That they put it together correctly out of the gate certainly means something. Some cars are crap right out of the box.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Like the Volvo 850, or the 500L.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Volvo 850s were fine when they were new. Certainly no worse than 240s were when new. They just didn’t age well.

            And of course, some bad when new cars don’t really get worse with age. My P38 Range Rover is probably no worse now than it was new for reliability. It’s fine, little stuff can have a mind of it’s own. But that is a LOT easier to take when you paid $5500 vs. the $80K+ somebody paid for it new.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Lynch

        I don’t. I can’t judge beyond 13,000 miles because…um…I only drove it 13,000 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        everybodyhatesscott

        I’ve told people the most I’ll pay before. It’s usually less than they want to sell it for. The trick to telling someone the most you’ll pay is you actually have to mean it and then walk away. Maybe they’ll come around, maybe they won’t.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    Craigslist is full of crazies. when I listed my SRT-4 the first time (specifying “no trades”) the first idiot texted me asking if I’d take a 2001 Audi A-something in trade.

    a bit later I got a text from some guy asking if I was the one selling the SRT, and when I responded affirmative all he did was send me pics of his built Eclipse. I was like, is this guy hitting on me or something?

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    Automatics are a lot better these days, although it would seem a sin not to have a stick in a GTI.

    But if I lived in a traffic-heavy city like Atlanta or Los Angeles, I do believe an automatic would help retain sanity a little longer. Maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      From what I read about the DSG in the GTI, that’s a big maybe. It has its defenders, but most of what I read about the car it that the manual is smoother and less annoying in traffic than the DSG.

      • 0 avatar
        NeilM

        “From what I read about the DSG in the GTI, that’s a big maybe. It has its defenders, but most of what I read about the car it that the manual is smoother and less annoying in traffic than the DSG.”

        No, no it’s not.

        After a lifetime of driving manual cars I can say that the DSG is very nice in traffic, and a blast when you’re leaning on it.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Have to differ with you on that one. I have driven a fair number of DSGs, and found them just as annoying as any other automatic. Sure you can use the paddles, but if you are going to do that, might as well have a clutch too and skip all the BS. If you are shifting all the time in traffic you are doing it wrong anyway.

  • avatar

    The reasons for selling are it still has decent resale value, and you are concerned about the future of Volkswagen in America? Are you afraid all the dealerships will close and you won’t be able to get it serviced Do you mistrust future reliability?

    I think the GTI has a good combination of roominess, speed, maneuverability, and fuel economy. Hopefully it will prove more reliable than the 4th gen Jettas I have been coveting for 17 years.

    Anytime someone talks to me about a great car they used to have, I can’t help wonder, if it was so great, why don’t you still have it? I tend to hang on to a car until it becomes unsafe to drive though. Sorry for the hard time, selling a great car in a year just seams so alien to me. Good luck on the next one!

  • avatar
    tylermattikow

    I’ve given up on Craiglist for selling. Too many schemers and dreamers. I have sold and bought a few cars on Ebay. While you do field some lowball offers and such before the auction ends, for the most part you get a decent price and the buyers come through. One thing I tend to find is that the most active buyers, those who ask the most questions and who view the car tend to not win. They don’t seem to understand the that serious bidders wait till the last minute.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “I am also concerned about the future of the company in America, so I figured selling now would be a hedge against future lost value. Replacing the GTI is a white 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 with the optional Sport Package”

    It seems that you’re trying to convince yourself that you had a logical reason for getting the Merc that you wanted.

    As far as I can tell, the only “logical” reason to own a luxury car is if it plays a role in your business, i.e. if it helps to convey an image that you need to convey for professional purposes. Otherwise, it’s just a fun purchase, not a necessary one.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I think too many people need to stop acting like they can demand that others somehow “justify” their purchases. “Because I wanted to and can afford it” is enough reason.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        I think the hair shirt brigade that is constantly pissing and moaning about luxury cars have put people on edge. I didn’t see where PCH asked Steve to defend the choice.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I’m the last guy to moan about luxury car brands, since I have one myself.

          At the same time, I wouldn’t go out of my way to argue that such cars are usually sensible choices. The author could have just said that he was dumping the VW without trying to convince everyone that he had logical reasons for doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Lynch

      I did not want to bring up the other reason I am swapping cars as it would sound like bragging and the same haters would come out of their holes and call me names for doing it but here goes: as a Mercedes-Benz retiree I get two super-cheap one year lease cars per year. Thus the C300 will join the GLE350 I wrote about last week in our garage. I will not reveal the financial details but suffice it to say each and every one of you, no matter what your dumb stereotypes are of Benz cars and Benz owners, if presented this opportunity, would have two Mercedes-Benz cars in your garage. Every single one of you.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I have a German luxury car. My point still stands.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          And you still stand there looking silly. Repeat to yourself, slowly now: It’s nobody’s business but his.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Er, it’s the author who attempted to defend his position in the first place.

            You might take a moment to notice that I was responding to a point that he made in the blog post. I didn’t care whether or not the choice was rational, he did.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Ah, come on, man.

          Ain’t no Mercedes so bad that a Dirt Cheap, Practically Free one-year lease is a bad idea, assuming compatible lease mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        tubacity

        Excellent. Would also like to work for Mercedes and eventually be a retiree and get very cheap leases. Which brings up a question. At least in the past, BMW and Mercedes have had cheap leases for regular people which I thought were subsidized. Is there a very large markup on sales price of these German brands so that BMW and Mercedes still make lots of money with cheap leases? Or is the reason more a total number of dollars answer such as lots of profit for the manufacturer on parts, leasing and finance or something else? All those parts are very expensive out of warranty and older German cars seem to require lots of expensive parts.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Lynch

          Nearly all low lease payments you see advertised, be at German cars or other, are subsidized. The markup from factory to dealer is a closely guarded secret but it is still profitable for the factory (and its captive finance arm) even after incentives. The bottom line is to move cars, without that there no parts, service, etc dollars.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    I have bought & sold several cars off of CL… It’s a mixed bag. It’s great for selling cheap vehicles, i.e. $6k or less. Beyond that, it can get tricky. Above $6k or so, people will typically finance, so they usually head to a dealership. I had an immaculate ’05 Mustang GT ‘vert with less than 30k miles on it that I tried to sell a few years ago. Not a single response in a month, and priced well below the dealers. I ended up trading it in when I leased my ’13 Ford Edge Limited. They matched the price I had received from CarMax ($13k). What cracked me up was when I drove by the dealership a week later & saw my Mustang with a $22k price tag on it. Good luck with that! It sat on the lot for a while. Not sure if they ever sold it or wholesaled it out. I’ve usually done well on my Mustangs. The last two that I’ve had cost me about $750 a year, when figuring the buying price, selling price, and years owned. Not bad… I can live with that. Of course, the key is to buy low & sell high. I owned my 427 cobra for 8 years, & sold it for $8.5k more than I paid for it… not a bad investment.

    • 0 avatar
      everybodyhatesscott

      Most people don’t have 20k in cash laying around so they head off to the dealers to finance.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Why do you need a dealer to finance a car? There are these things called banks and credit unions, and they often have better rates than the dealer does.

        • 0 avatar
          everybodyhatesscott

          You don’t, but it’s easier. Just like it’s easier to borrow money than wait till you have the cash to pay for the car.

        • 0 avatar
          duffman13

          I think most people don’t want to have to do the leg work to finance a private sale. I’ve done it before and while it’s not difficult, it’s also not as easy as walking into a dealer, signing some papers, and driving out with your new vehicle on temp tags. Plus you never have to set foot in a DMV during the process.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            “Plus you never have to set foot in a DMV during the process.”

            This alone can make buying from a dealer worth it.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Where I am, you are going to the DMV/City Hall, sometimes both, regardless of how you bought the car. Dealers sell cars, they have nothing to do with paying the tax and registering them. If you are lucky, you can both pay tax and register the car at your city hall, but not every town does it. If not, you go to city hall to pay the tax, then the DMV to do the registration. If you want vanity plates, you are going to both.

            As for the financing, if you are willing to do the work, you deserve to pay more.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s funny how rough it is to private sale a car, reminds me a lot of selling cars through a dealership. Maybe the real problem in the car buying process is the BUYERS.

  • avatar
    EAF

    I think Steve secretly misses his gorgeous S2000. I don’t blame you for dumping the GTI, Craigslist NY is littered with them. You should have bought a 4-door K24 Civic Si!!!!

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I want to buy your {car} for full asking price. I want to buy it for my uncle as a surprise. Unfortunately I work on an oil rig and I have no way to make it to you to look at it. If you promise that the condition is exactly a you stated, I will pay full price. I will have an associate meet with you to conduct the transaction. He will pick up the {car} and provide you with a certified check.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I always like the replies that ask if the “item” is still available. There are an amazing number of military out of state that want to buy their daughters old iPhones. They are even willing to pay extra to get it shipped!

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the buyer who shows up, wants to buy the car, and then says, “Will you take payments?”

    I’ve had this happen to me. Like I’m a bank or something. Come with cash or financing already prepared. I’m don’t want to be the one hunting you down when you decide you have a better use for your money than making your car payment. I really don’t know what’s going through those people’s heads.

    Did you try to get a loan? If your credit was so bad they wouldn’t give you a loan, why would you even ask a complete stranger to finance you?

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Just for the sake of science, I looked up the KBB estimate for my GTI, a 2009. It should be near the $9,000 for “excellent” cars, considering that it’s the last of the well-regarded Mk V cars with the improved TSI engine, unmodified and adult-driven.

    If so, my depreciation cost in owning this vehicle for three-plus years is higher than the author’s, at $8,000. But I’ve owned my car three times as long and driven three times as far. Add the two costly repairs (carbon cleaning and ABS computer brings my ownership cost to $10,000, and I’m still coming out ahead– but not so far ahead. It helps that I prefer many features of the Mk V, like bigger windows and headroom and the simple, but great-sounding audio system that puts my Tiguan’s screen-based unit to shame.

    If you want a Mercedes, get one. I’d like to try one myself. But if you’re ready to spend that kind of money, a difference of a couple thousand in future resale value isn’t a compelling reason for me to trade away a car I love. And I wouldn’t swap cars based on fears of VW’s future prospects. In the very worst case, if their factories closed forever (which I don’t forsee), VW would be the most numerous and robust ghost brand of all. It wouldn’t be like owning a Simca or an Opel or (in my case) an NSU, unknown brands in America.

    If no more GTIs were built, current ones would become collectors items. The GTI’s fan base is large and lengthy. After Corvette and Porsche, it must be the longest-running performance nameplate in mass production. Buy the last new one and put it in a barn for a decade or two– that would be an investment!

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Wheatidger,
      The folks at Ford would like to remind you about their little known car the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” I looked up the KBB estimate for my GTI, a 2009. It should be near the $9,000 for “excellent” cars, considering that it’s the last of the well-regarded Mk V cars with the improved TSI engine, unmodified and adult-driven.”

      that’s not going to make it “excellent condition” by KBB standards.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    You got rid of your GTI for a white C-Class??

    Lol

    Did your girlfriend give you an ultimatum?

    Does your purse puppy have his sweater on today? I bet he’s CUUUUTE….

    #handmotions #girlyvoice

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      I think Steve wanted white because where he lived, I am not sure why everyone feels it is OK to piss on his decision, unless he owes you money why care what he bought, the C300 has gotten great reviews, he gets a deal 99.9% of us will not get so why not.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    A few things ……….

    – The numbers you guys are throwing around seem absurd to an Australian living in Canada, they seem EPICALLY low. Almost free, for the love of god.

    – Many things puzzle me about the US, but the Craigslist thing is near the top of the tree (behind obsessive tipping and obsessing with credit scores). Just use e-mail and no phone and really, that many scammers? I just use Kijiji and never have an issue at all.

    – Is it just me or is depreciation of $4-$6k per year really not that bad?

    – Again just me or is Edmunds always suggesting crazy depreciation numbers? i dunno, the market just does not reflect their bias towards buying new in my opinion. Decent used cars are still quite expensive.

    Any clarity would be appreciated.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Agreed on Edmunds. Their numbers always look low to me.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      I use Kijiji regularly to sell a variety of things, low and high ticket items….and you still get the same scammers up here. Maybe not the same frequency as those in the US but it still happens. In fact, the last car that I had sold on Kijiji netted a few calls from seemingly prospective buyers that turned out to be car selling “services”.

      As far as the idiot factor….well, that’s just the cost of business selling anything online via ebay, CL, Kijiji or whatever….you just have more of them due to the greater exposure.

      I remember when Autotrader had the weekly magazine (remember that? Not that long ago…) and you’d still have idiot callers that you had to weed through.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    My ex-wife HAD to have a Mercedes. So we bought a GLK350.

    She also HAD to live in the most expensive part of town. HAD to put my daughter in the most expensive Montessori daycare around. And HAD to buy the most expensive clothes that her modest income could afford her.

    There’s a common denominator here. It started with that stupid Benz.

    Just… pointing that out, is all. And I’d comfortably bet you that the other Benz-buyers out there reflect those same characteristics.

    Good luck with your new “accessory”.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Woman realizes she should surround herself with the better things in life, and then throws you out? Shocking!

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Nice story.

      You missed the part where he’s a Mercedes-Benz retiree and gets a lease price so cheap that he doesn’t want to post it.

      Sounds like the problem was much more your marriage than a three-pointed car.

      • 0 avatar
        06V66speed

        You’re probably on to something. I’ll give you that.

        But if you decide to go with a car which emphasizes its “en vogue” factor above all other characteristics, then you’re going to catch a ‘lil criticism.

        Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Case in point.

        Like I said, I had a Benz. Sure, it was a nice car. It rode nice, felt like a bank-vault (very solid), I loved the 4MATIC AWD in bad weather, and the weather band radio was pretty sweet. I really, really dug the M272 3.5L. But I found the 7-speed slushbox to be a pig in stop-and-go trafiic.

        Then I came back to reality and realized that we’re all people that are mostly the same, *even if* your car has a three-pointed star on it (who knew??). Except the guy in the Camry, who spent far less cheddar, bought a car which can last much, much longer. Dare I say his Camry is better built?

        So, if you like handbags, and eating out at trendy restaurants not so much for the food, but *just* to be seen there… you probably like a Benz. That’s all I’m saying.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          “So, if you like handbags, and eating out at En Vogue Restaurants just to be seen there… you probably like a Benz. That’s all I’m saying.”

          And that’s why the CLA250 exists. A disposable fashion accessory, like a Coach purse from the outlet mall.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          So you liked handbags and were otherwise a different person when you had the Benz you yourself admit was a nice car to drive?

          I’m getting the impression that you’re more concerned about image than some of the people who buy Benzes. Some of them just buy one because they like the car.

          I’m not in the market for this kind of car (I drive an old Miata, and am somehow still attracted to women), but you can believe that I would be interested if I were offered a lease at a substantial percentage off of MSRP.

          It sounds like you paid full-pop for yours, so I’m not really sure what your issue with this article – or a complete stranger buying a Mercedes – is.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    A C300? **Do you hate your passengers ?** I sat in a C300 rental back seat last week and BANGED my head 2x as the driver hit the speed bumps at all of 10 mph. AWFUL backseat. So much interior CRAMP.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I had sat in one for an uber ride a few months ago and have to agree – it was brutal. This car had the panoramic roof, and I can’t imagine why anyone would equip a compact car with something that robs so much headroom. You would have to be no taller than 5’8″ to be comfortable back there. The previous generation without a panoramic roof is much kinder to back seat passengers.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Anyone who doesn’t like the passenger accommodations in any of my cars is welcome to arrange alternate transportation.

      But the lack of rear headroom thing is darned near universal in mid-sixe and smaller sedans these days, and in the few with decent headroom, the seat is on the floor so your knees are at chin level. Pointless swoopy-coupey styling.

      • 0 avatar
        Lack Thereof

        I wholeheartedly agree about the universality of rear seat headroom these days.

        I’m only 5’9, yet an alarming number of MIDSIZE cars, I can’t sit in the back seat without leaning forward. My head hits either the roof or the rear glass before reaching the headrest.

        Sorry, not buying anything that I wouldn’t feel comfortable stuffing a co-worker or boss in the back seat of on our way to lunch. If you’re going to do that with the back seat, just make it a 2-door and be honest about the design.

        • 0 avatar
          baggins

          My 2011 Accord Sedan doesnt have this problem. Nice old style profile. The 2008-2012 versions w/o sunroof are technically considered a large car by the EPA classification. The 2013 remodel of the Accord put it back into mid size in all versions.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          I couldn’t agree more. I even notice how the new Golf’s roof has been lowered by an inch, and I don’t like that at all. Yes, I know, less frontal area yields cheap, easy MPGs, but who cares, if the car won’t accomplish what it promises to do, such as hauling four passengers in comfort.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Steve – you should familiarize yourself with your phone’s priority/do not disturb settings (assuming you gave autotrader your cell #, not home #). I think Android added this for lolipop, and iOS has had something similar even longer. I block everyone outside of family and girlfriend when I expect to be sleeping. Great feature.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This ad just reminded me of how many people on CL are shopping for a $20,000 car when they only actually have $11,000.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Reading through these comment leaves me with a question: if not Craigslist (or Autotrader,) where else would one list their car for sale?

    Some people suggest eBay. However, personally I would NEVER buy a car on eBay, so I assume others would not, too. Apparently, common wisdom says otherwise.

    Why would anyone bid on a car on eBay when:

    — you have not test driven or inspected it
    — you know the car is overpriced because seller has to pay high eBay fees
    — it is more competitive, so less of a chance to haggle with the owner for a deal

    ??? What am I missing here?

    When I shop for a car, I pay no attention to eBay at all. I assume all cars sold on eBay are bad and that’s why they are on eBay.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You cited two conflicting points RE: Ebay.

      It will not be both of:
      1) Too highly priced and;
      2) Extremely competitive

      Those work against one another. You save money buying on Ebay because you’re shouldering the scary risk of buying a car sight unseen. The prices are lower because of all the competition. Joe Smith VW can’t jack up the price on a red Passat with whatever trim, because there are three other dealers with the same car – and the shipping difference between them isn’t a major expense. I’ve done it twice – and it’s worked both times just fine.

      Ebay also allows you access to cars which you’d normally not see/find. Rare things, trims, etc. all by sellers who are very ready and willing to work with you on shipping.

      One of the most gratifying and exciting things I think I can recall is seeing my car pull up on a flatbed. It’s like shipping yourself a nice present.

      ” I assume all cars sold on eBay are bad and that’s why they are on eBay.”

      That’s wrong, for a kickoff. Further, there are new cars presented there as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      My K20a engine-swapped Honda Insight was a cross-country eBay purchase. Someone else came out waaay behind on the build costs versus the check I wrote them. OTOH, I’ve unearthed an astonishing number of shortcuts and idiotic build decisions since buying it that make me lament the $20k Acura NSX I passed over for the ultimate sleeper – and ultimate depreciator. YMMV. I wish that I’d been able to do a pre-purchase inspection but my job and a blizzard made that impossible. Hot women and weird engine swaps are my constant undoing.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Are the fees really that high? I thought it was a fixed price, like $40-$50. I sold my Charger on there a decade ago, the costs were fixed, and last-minute bidding frenzy doubled the highest local offer I ever received on the car.

      No problems with the buyer either. He sent the money, it cleared, and a few weeks later a transport showed up for the car.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You now pay a final sales fee which is a % of the sale price – it adds up. Then PayPal takes ~2.3% of whatever money you receive there. As result, most sellers just want a $500 deposit via PayPal and the rest via wire/cash.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Hmm, I don’t recall all that. We didn’t do the exchange through Paypal, we contacted each other and he sent me a money order or bank check. But 2006 was a more innocent time.

          That’s egregious, those companies taking a percentage of the sale like that.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh their fees have become entirely more aggressive than the olden days. They also side now with the buyer 100% of the time.

            So someone bought a Rolex from you, and paid for it, then 6 months later decided (after dunking it in water) that it’s a “fake.”

            Calls their credit card company and complains. Credit card informs PayPal – PayPal (Ebay owned now, of course) instantly pulls the full amount you were paid from your -bank account- and puts it on hold until the investigation is complete. This starts dispute resolution process on Ebay.

            So buyer says “Fine I’ll send you this broken fake watch back.”

            Ebay says “Happy now? STFU seller, you’re getting your item back.”

            Buyer puts some rocks in a box and mails it, putting the tracking number up on the dispute resolution page.

            As soon as it’s delivered, Ebay considers the item resolved, and sends the full purchase amount back to the seller.

            Enjoy your new rocks.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Corey

            You seem to know too much about this process…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I done been screwed over by a buyer! Except mine refused to send the item (not a Rolex, ha) back, because “That would be against what I believe.”

            He literally said that in the comments system on there. So he clicked “No, I do not want to return the item.” or whatever (There’s a choice for Returning Item Not Acceptable, etc.) Still won the argument.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’ve probably sold 25-odd cars over the last 30 years. The overwhelming majority have sold to friends (or friends/family of friends) or fellow car club members – I usually have a line when I am ready to sell something. Three have gone to the boneyard after being parted out to support a second, better, example. A few have been sold on our local, paper, swap it or sell it book Uncle Henry’s (though they now have a website too). One went to CarMax, because they offered me silly money for it – my ’13 Abarth. One got sold via Craigslist with no issues for WAY more money than I would have taken for it (I let a friend sell that one on commission). I have not traded in a single car. I haven’t sold any cars on eBay, but I have bought 6-7.

      I think the secret is simple – have a reputation as an anal-retentive SOB when it comes to maintaining your cars. Price them fairly. Present them well. And my cars are usually quite interesting.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    I’m naturally suspicious, I always wonder why someone is selling a one year old car. I worry about buying somebody else’s lemon.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      There’s a chance I’ll sell my GTI in similarly short order. No issues with the car, other than that it’s inherently narrow since it is a compact car. It’s great to drive, but even with a comparatively skinny car seat in the middle location (Diono Radian RXT), it’s a little tight in the back seat, mostly on the passenger side. There’s leg room aplenty though. 4 adults is embarrassingly easy without a car seat compared to some “sport” sedans.

  • avatar
    SavageATL

    What is with you people? Apparently the only valid choice in a car is a 15 year old well depreciated base model Camry that you drive until it accumulates some interstellar mileage in some colour other than white. He bought a car and drove it and then he sold it. He’s not asking you for financial advice.

    I have bought a car off of ebay sight unseen. The Grand National turned out to be excellent, although the seller met me in a neighbouring state and I could look at it before I handed over the check; the Turbo Riviera was in much worse shape than I thought, but it was cheap. Meh.

    Yah Craigslist gives many fun opportunities to practice the word “No.”

    No, I will not go any lower. No I will not take payments, it says so in the ad. No, I will not ship the car to Boise Idaho, come get it here. In person only. No, I will not take Uncle Wiggly bucks. No, I do not care how badly you need it. No, I am not interested in giving the car to charity.

    What’s real fun is when, as the attorney, you get put in charge of selling something that needs to be divided in a divorce, and you have to coordinate among various parties. Then you have all the fun of Craigslist crazies and very little personal gain. Plus usually at least one party, either your client, opposing counsel, or the other litigant is loony.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Hey, there are acceptable new car choices!

      Criteria is pretty easy to meet, too:

      1) Rear wheel drive (or light AWD system, sending no more than 18% of power to front wheels)

      2) Diesel (turbocharging a diesel, unlike a petrol motor, is not only fine, but the only way to fly)

      3) Manual transmission with hydraulic foot operated clutch & 5 or 6 speed gear lever

      4) Durable yet supple whale peni foreskin leather interior trim* (or PeniTex per 30-mile fetch; see below)

      5) Mocha and/or dark’caramel brown exterior paint option

      6) 0-60 time of less than 7.5 seconds/top speed of 150 mph @ 48mpg

      7) Starting MSRP of $12,998 with fully equipped model maxing out @ $16,339, including destination

      8) Factory standard bumper-to-bumper warranty that is 12 years/120,000 miles

      9) Only station wagon or true hatchback configuration

      10) Actual center console mounted, non-electronic hand brake

      *Per 30-mile fetch: 30-mile fetch
      March 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am
      “DeadWeight,
      I see nothing unreasonable on your list. Except the seating surfaces. Would vinyl grained to imitate whale foreskins be sufficient? Named something catchy like V-fore or Peni-Tex? No?”

      **Tom Szechy
      March 19th, 2014 at 9:03 am
      “PeniTex sounds awesome!”

      ***FoulWX
      March 19th, 2014 at 9:57 am
      “Fore-tex”

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    I have sold quite a few cars over the years on CL. True you do get crazy calls from people that want a car for nothing and the usual calls about “can we sell the car for you”. I have thick skin and have always got what i wanted for my cars. Sold my 1991 Miata a few years ago for $7400.00 and my 1991 VW Cabriolet for $6800.00. Have also purchased cars from CL and was very pleased. Over the years i must have purchased about a dozen pro bicycles that i use for a few years and buy and sell again. Love my cars but a nice bicycle on a nice day is like driving a good sports car. For my wife and i usually buy 2-3 year old low mileage cars and drive them for 5 years and then sell them. Just brought my wife a new 2016 VW Golf with the TSI engine for a good price and it is worth every penny i paid for it. My wife will not even let me drive it! Every time i pick up the keys i am told use your own car!

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      Surprisingly, CL created more interest for my car than Autotrader and eBay combined. I feel like if I had a car that people were likely to be able to afford without financing, like your Miata and Cabrio, I would probably have had a better experience.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    Got a chuckle out of the European ‘buyer’ who said that Edmunds said the car was only worth 18 G’s. Made me remember the guy in a barbershop who was trying to sell me a camera (years ago, I was a freshman in high school with only enough money for a haircut! That came from my dad) and wouldn’t take ‘I don’t have any money’ for an answer. I surmised that he’d ‘found’ the camera (a reference to the tv show GOOD TIMES), but was too polite to mention it. He then told me that he’d ‘bought’ (ha) it from a discount store. I asked him where it was – and he exploded, “Why you wanna know? I’ma sell it to you cheaper than they would!” Yeah …

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    So you pay about $4,500 for the year of holding onto the car (5 yr note at 2%), and then your car is worth $5K less, so you are in a hole for about $7-9K, depending on how deep of a discount you got up front. And you only drove it 13K miles. For one year, which translates to losing $666/mo. Which you can spend on leasing a pretty damn nice car. I don’t see value in that.

    I sold a 325xi on Craigslist. Autotrader generated exactly zero responses. I agree that a CL buyer can’t spend more than $8K because then they are in the loan territory.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    Coincidentally, I sold my 03 Corvette Z06 today after 30 days of fielding texts and phone calls from car selling services, questions from people who weren’t reading the ad, nonsensical trade offers and lowballers.

    My highlights:
    – Offer for 5k cash & a custom Harley “valued at” 20k
    – MB dealership procurement rep calling & emailing me every other day asking I want to bring it in for an estimate. Didn’t want to give me a ballpark on the phone.
    – A used car selling service called Shift sent out an inspector before running a Carfax. Dispatched an inspector who probably drove an hour, then spent 20 minutes inspecting the car before saying “Sorry, we don’t take cars with this kind of accident in the history”
    – Discovered Autotrader’s instant cash offer isn’t any better than the MB dealership listed above
    – “My friend overseas…”

    Ended up selling the car to a friend of a friend. It’s less than I would have liked, but it’s a relief not having to deal with it anymore.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Without reading every post in this sprawling, multi-subject thread, it seems nobody’s mentioning my favorite way to buy and sell– though a brand-specific owner’s club or site. Twelve years ago, I helped a friend buy a used SAAB 9000 on a SAAB owner’s site, and I used the same site to sell my own 9000 a few years later. Both deals were simple and successful. When I sold my Beetle TDI, with 200k on the clock, a tdiclub member was happy to fly out from Oregon and give me a very nice price.

    Owner’s clubs have many benefits. They’re knowledgeable and motivated consumers because they’re interested in the car model enough to read about them on the site. You can tell something about them by reading their contributions to the site. Virtually every car model has such a site, though the Toyota Yaris fansite might not draw the attention of a GTI.

  • avatar
    Svoboda123

    Pretty deceptive to claim you’re dumping the car for brand image concerns when you are getting a special corp price. That Merc is simply NOT a drivers car. Even with the modest sport package. Meh.

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