Sunday, July 24, 2016

Selling the Car Adventure

One of our last and most stressful adventures was to sell the BMW - a great car, but with high mileage for the area as I used it to commute to Abu Dhabi every day. And with BMWs coming out your ears in UAE, there is a lot of inventory to choose from.

We started with the community page, thinking those living in our area would understand the high mileage as they all commute as well. We also posted it on Dubizzle, which is a local version of Craigslist. A few nibbles and then one guy who offered 10,000 aed less (about $2700). Seemed like a real low ball to me, but Brian cautioned me to hold off as he wasn't sure we'd get many offers at all. So, we invited him to come look at the car, thinking Brian could use his past car sales experience to talk up the price.

Meanwhile, we have a drive train error pop up on the computer console. And not all the time, just every once in a while - the WORST kind of errors as they are almost impossible to diagnose. We took it to the mechanics, left it for 3 days, they replaced some gizmo and we thought all was well. This is now about 10 days prior to departure.

You know what happened, right? We got the error again! So, back to the shop and they think it has something to do with the 'dirty petrol' that UAE has suffered from over the past few months. ?? gums up the works apparently and can cause all kinds of weird issues. Bottom line: they can't find anything and without taking things apart and starting to replace random expensive pieces, there isn't much they can do. Not really an option 5 days prior to departure.

We decide to visit one of those "buy any car in 30 minutes" places to see what kind of a price they would give us. It's hassle free and we wouldn't feel bad about leaving them with a drive train issue. We pulled in - waited almost 2 hours (no truth in advertising) and they quoted a price 25,000 aed (about $6800) less than what we were asking! We still had 5 days - we weren't that desperate.

Brian provides full disclosure to our interested buyer (his low ball price looking pretty attractive now), and he agrees to take the risk at a further reduced price. Apparently, he works in a garage so feels like he can tinker if needed.

Great! 3 days to departure and things are looking up. Now we just have to transfer the title at the RTA (Transport Authority - think DMV) and collect the cash and finish packing.

Oh wait - he needs bank financing so a trip to an Abu Dhabi garage (in Mussaffah, which my UAE friends will understand!) is required to get the car inspected and provide a certification of some kind to the bank. The day before we're scheduled to leave and Brian has to drive to Abu Dhabi (we're now in temp housing in Dubai) while I take care of getting the cats ready for travel. While he's there, the guy explains that the bank could take a few days to approve the loan. WE DON'T HAVE A FEW DAYS! They agree to chat in the morning to see how long the bank needs for this.

Next morning, we find a different "buy your car quick" place and hope for the best - we need a back up plan if this guy's financing doesn't come through on time. This time, we had a much better experience and agreed on a price that was only $200 less than the guy who needs the financing approval. Great - done. 1:00 on departure day - cutting things a bit close, don't ya think? :)

And now we can relax . . . wait, no we can't, now we need to transport 9 suitcases and 2 cats on 3 different airlines from 2 different cities and hope we all end up in London!

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