Hybrid car - worth it?

My take is that modern management has become so incompetent at understanding and rating employees that they’ve “outsourced” it to us. Also, ime almost all “surveys” are hidden attempts to get contact info to sell to third parties (email, etc.).

My standard answer when contacted by my dealership or hassled by a restaurant manager is: “My normal consulting charge is $65.00 per hour, with a two hour minimum – paid in advance. I’ll begin doing your job for you once I have your check in hand.”

Twice I’ve wandered around the garage trying to track a strange noise, to discover it’s my wife’s hybrid humming and gurgling to itself. I swear it notices when I get close to it and starts the strange noises. It will do this sometimes even after being parked for hours. Not only are these noises unusual, they’re amazingly hard to pinpoint.

It’s fascinating to me how they’ll tell you what a quality vehicle this is and then later try to sell you an extended warranty because they can be so damned expensive to fix if something minor goes wrong…

We aren’t at a point where we need to buy a new vehicle but I hear good things about going through Costco. I like love the idea of not dealing with salesmen.


I did submit requests through Costco, and through one of our credit unions. Interestingly, one dealer said “Here’s our Costco price - and here’s our internet price” (and the internet price was lower). The credit union price was the same as Costco.

So: we’ve done the buying service thing before but this time around, it wasn’t helpful. Bummer! (Costco saves us money on other things - e.g. rental cars are cheaper through Costco than through our employers’ corporate accounts).

Tesla buying experience has its pros and cons. You have to wait for your car (about 3 weeks in our case) but you design it the way you want it, and when you go pick it up, they show you how it use it*, and they take your check. Nothing further to buy or sell.

*A little. Mostly referring you to the manual or youtube videos for more info

Have you considered solar? Can I send Dan over to talk to you about solar? Can we bring up your house on Google Maps so we can get an estimate for solar?

Ha. That didn’t happen to us. I would have been interested in hearing about that.

Got the car paid for yesterday - had to dash down to the credit union then up to the dealership. So that’s done, and I feel OK about driving it now (not that we do - nowhere to go with the shutdowns).

Next step is to get rid of the old Civic. Got a message in to the school district to see if they want it; otherwise we’ll check into some of the more reputable donors - and be prepared to tell them to pound sand if they try to get us to leave the purchaser part of the title blank (common scam, and we’ve had friends be bitten by parking tickets for cars they’d gotten rid of).

And the ongoing quest to get all these dealerships to QUIT EMAILING ME. I swear, looking for info online is worse than swimming in the ocean while tossing out buckets full of chum. I already changed my voicemail the other day to say “Only leave one message, multiple messages will not help you get hold of me and may result in your being listed as spammers”. I suspect we’ll be getting messages like this until the heat death of the universe.

Regardless of whether you fill buyer names in on the title, it’s the new owner failing to register the car that might cause problems for you later.

In most states for at least 20 years now there has been a form you file with the state license bureau that says "Hey State: here’s your official notice that I sold / donated / scrapped / disposed of this car; any future tickets are not my problem.

If your state has such a form you should always file it regardless of any other paperwork you may do and no matter what the car’s destiny may be.

If you do this online, there will be confirmation/filing numbers associated with the action. Save copies of everything and these numbers. Long after selling my car, I got a notice from the city dunning me for towing/storage/fines for it. How my name was still associated with it was a mystery. I had to send some numbers (forget exactly which) from the docs to prove I’d previously filed the “Nope, not mine anymore” forms. Once they got this, they were happy and everything stopped.

Welp, we have an appointment to donate it to the school district, early Thursday morning. They seem to have their act together but I think I’ll print off a homemade bill-of-sale in case they don’t have appropriate forms. They’ll give us a receipt - then I can file online to let the DMV know it isn’t ours any more.

So in about 36 hours, an era will have ended. Is it odd that I’m now feeling a bit sentimental about the thing?

The school will use it as a teaching model for auto-shop students, or possibly even have them fix it up and resell it. In either case, not our problem for much longer. I can imagine some of the students looking at it and saying “what is that third pedal for???” (no, not really - one would hope that an auto shop student would know about manual transmissions…)

Aaaand we are now down to a 2-car household again. Took the Civic over to the school district’s intake office for such things (another part of the county). They are really on top of the process - knew exactly what all paperwork to do, had a receipt printed up with all our info, etc. In and out in less than half an hour including pulling the plates off the thing. He told us to make sure to print off valuation information as of today for tax purposes, as of course the value can change from day to day.

I’ll scan the documents so we have electronic copies. I’ve already notified the DMV and the county, and cancelled the plates online (if they were good for a few more months I could have gotten a partial refund on the registration fee but that would require an in-person visit - with a long lead time). I’ll have to cancel the insurance tomorrow.

I am glad we chose to donate to the school. Far too many of the other charities will deliberately fail to do the title changes. The school district is actually registered as a car dealer, since they will resell cars that are fixable.