I own a 1991 Ford Tempo beater with about 110,000 miles on it. I give the poor thing very little care and attention, but it just keeps running and running. Right now it could stand to use a new muffler and new front struts, but neither of those things keep it from rolling.
So here’s my quandry. As much as I love to drive and as much as the car’s age and many aesthetic flaws don’t bother me (car = transportation, not ego trip, in my book), I seldom actually get out on the road, and I can easily manage without a car at all (I live in NYC). The insurance is about $800 to 900/year and gas is expensive and money is tight, so I’m thinking about letting my old loyal buddy go.
But I need more information – and maybe a couple of opinions – before I decide what to do. Can you guys help me out? I’ve got a few questions.
Is what I’m paying for insurance reasonable? I tried the 15-minute Geico online rate test, and they came in at around the same price as my current insurer. Is there some other outfit I should try that, say, specializes in extra-reasonable rates for old, rarely driven beaters owned by drivers with excellent driving records?
Say I decide to try to sell the car, where’s a good place to post the ad, and where should I avoid? What sort of price do I ask for? I was browsing Craigslist, and it seemed like people were asking for a lot of money ($500 to a couple of thousands) for cars as old as mine. I thought I’d be lucky to get $100 or $200, but maybe I’m lowballing myself. What do you guys think?
I may just decide to throw in the towel and junk the car. Any advice for this route? There are plenty of places that advertise “top dollar for any car – any condition.” In ballpark figures, what would an outfit like that pay for my heap? I mean, are we talking $10 or $500?
I’m also considering the donation route. I don’t really need the tax deduction, so I’d be doing it purely for the good cause and to spare myself the aggravation of the above options. Are there pitfalls and scams attached to this route that I should be aware of?
Thanks all, in advance.