Everything is for sale for the right price. Typically not the wife and never the children though...
Automotive PhilosophyEnter into the Zen garden of my opinions. Nothing here is rooted in numbers or common sentiment. The arguments made are supported by witchcraft, stereotypes, and those topics that can be best described as ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’, all topped off with a light demi-glace sauce of 'automotive-mental-illness'.  

Let’s talk about the dark Craigslist art of trading. I have never traded a vehicle but I am not against it. When two people can agree on a value (either +/- cash on top or straight trade) it can make the whole buying and selling process simpler. That is, if you are both looking for the same thing.

I currently have my 1970 Chevrolet Camaro for sale... or trade. I would like to sell and get a newer diesel truck because well... I am ridiculous.

Seriously, I have taken for granted the ability to transport my family of four over anything larger than a four inch ditch. I have two vehicles that fit my family. None can go off road. If tomorrow my aunt were to invite us to her cabin in the woods, we’d have to BORROW my former diesel from my dad just to get there.

Why not just borrow? Because if you need to borrow anything more than once; it is a requirement to purchase the object yourself.


Now, if I were to trade my Camaro for a diesel, or even an SUV that meets my fancy there are several issues:

1. Taxes - An automobile is one of the few things that is TAXED every single time it is SOLD. Think I’m wrong? Try to register a new purchase with your local DMV without paying taxes. It won’t happen. The government will get it’s money. When I say ‘new purchase’ I mean anything new to you, not new in general.


2. Bartering/Trading - This is same as a new purchase! It is subject to bullet point number one, tax - Don’t believe me? Here is the IRS link for some information. When you trade a vehicle it is the same thing as selling and buying at the same time. Because you are ‘buying’ something it is subject to tax at the Market Value of the vehicle. Or more simply put if you do a straight trade for $10,000 worth of vehicles, you are required to pay tax on the same amount. This should be the same federally but state to state I am not quite sure... I am in the People’s Republic of California and we find regulation and tax in everything.

3. Finding someone willing to trade - This sounds easy. It isn’t. I have never found a bigger group of picky (including me) people that believe their vehicles are worth a shit ton of money.


I will of course avoid any of the ‘gift’ process because I won’t be defrauding the government of my hard earned money as I am not receiving a ‘gift’. Also, I won’t be writing down the sales amount to something comical for the same reason. The implications of getting caught for tax evasion are far worse than just paying the damn tax.

So if Trading is the same thing as buying a vehicle in any other manner why do it?!


If I can find what I want... If everything goes smoothly with paperwork, etc... I’d argue that TRADING is easier. Sure you’re buying and selling at the same time but isn’t that quicker than waiting to find something that fits your exact desires?

The only thing it effectively eliminates that most of us enjoy is the hunt. What is the hunt? It is hunting for exactly what you want, instead of what was available for trade.


I enjoy the hunt, but in this case, selling a classic car for a lot of money has been difficult. It has been for sale for a while with mostly tire kickers or spam bots asking for information. I’ve learned that not many people have a fist full of money. The vast majority of people finance their vehicles. Financing something over 40 years old isn’t easy or cheap (or so I’ve been told).

In Conclusion:

I have someone interested in a trade. It is for a newer truck that can traverse a ditch much larger than 4", with the whole family on board (maybe more), and in comfort, whilst towing the moon... this isn’t the first time someone has been “interested” so we will see how it goes.


I simply don’t have time for the hunt and if I can get what I need rather than what I exactly WANT, I think I’ll be happy. Maybe? Or am I missing something?

Going to leave me in the same way?