It's not as if I bought from the first dealer I visited. Kelley is only one of many factors to consider when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.
-The dealer (O'Connell Motors) has been in business for several decades in a small town (and yes, Framingham is a small town.) I don't know anybody over there, but car sales is a cutthroat business, and this family has apparently done it for some time. You can't undervalue that. The free market has spoken well about these guys.
-I've owned Toyotas since 2002, and my father has driven them since 1987. I know what they do well (run) and what they don't do well (handle like shopping carts in the rain and have weak undercarriages.) The two Toyotas I've owned previously I only got rid of because the mileage was too high for the cost of repairs, not because they didn't go.
-Not that I was desperate to buy one today (the old Corolla still runs), but I didn't feel like spending another week driving a car that crunches when I brake. There's a premium for that, and according to some of you, I paid that premium today by spending more than the listed KBB value.
I combed Craigslist, Autotrader and Cars.com in search of a Toyota for under $4,000. I have to pay 15% self-employment tax, and I still owe the feds a bunch of money for 2010. There's a limit to what I'll spend on something that doesn't make money. Maybe I could have had a Corolla with 20,000 fewer miles for $5,000. But that's not what I wish to spend on a car with my current net income. I need to be in stocks, not nice cars.
I could have fixed up the one I have now to keep for myself, but why? It's just not a good play at 178K. And forget trying to sell it myself. I only asked about a trade to see what the owner/dealer would say...$150 is well below the value I would have taken for the trade. He even said to me "best I can do is sell it wholesale." Yeah? Well, the best I can do is claim it on my taxes after I give it to an auto repair school in the area.
I'm happy with my purchase. Not many frills, but it gets around. I look forward to many years of dates and trips to Saratoga and Burlington with her. And I'm happy to be giving the old one to the next generation of mechanics for study instead of dumping it with a dealer for $150.
"and yes, an autistic kid is right." - MCA
"I didn't threaten your sister. It would be the time of her life. fucking unicorns would come out of the sky and start singing and shit." - B Luc to Basket