Finances & Money

Final Malibu Sale Update: What a relief!

No, we don’t own a home in Malibu. Rather, we sold our 2005 Chevrolet Malibu this past weekend and are now down to 2 vehicles: a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am with 126,000 miles and a 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTS with about 17,000 miles. We actually did the transfer on Saturday, but I’ve been waiting to write the full details until we finished the process by turning in the plates and canceling the insurance on the car.

Dealing with the Buyer

The transaction was relatively smooth. We drove down to the buyer’s home in Fort Washington, MD (about 40 miles south). Our directions weren’t clear enough to find the right turn, so we had to do about 6 U-turns to find the right turn. I drove my truck and Stacie followed in the car. This was a new area for both of us, but it was mostly suburban, so we didn’t feel too nervous about safety.

We arrived at his home, signed the title and security interest filing (a Maryland thing), but didn’t hand it over yet. First, we had to get the Bill of Sale notarized, so I drove the 3 of us to the local Suntrust branch. We waited for 45 minutes for the bank manager, who is also the notary, to finish opening a new account. We were out of there in an hour total (ugh!), and headed back to the buyer’s home.

He handed over the cashier’s check for $10,500, and we signed over his paperwork. We took off the license plates, gave some parting instructions, then headed off to our bank, which was a nearby branch. By this time, it was about 11:30am on a Saturday. There was a sizable line at the bank, but it moved quickly. We got up to a teller, signed the check, showed our IDs, but then disaster struck. The buyer’s bank had made the check out to ALL THREE OF US! The buyer, Duane, had to be with us to verify his signature! Thank goodness Stacie pushed me to do the bank work before leaving the area!

I called Duane (who didn’t have a car he could drive as we took the plates), told him the situation and arranged to pick him up. I left Stacie at the bank to wait in line (good thing too), and went off to get Duane. I made a 15 minute round-trip, and got to the bank with 10 minutes before closing. However, the line was now out the door! Whoah, I didn’t think banks got that busy anymore, but I’ve only been in a bank 3 times in the past 4 years.

As I said, Stacie stayed back to wait in line, so we joined up with her with only 4 people ahead of her in line. There was some grumbling in the crowd, but no riot broke out. We got up to a teller, completed the transaction and headed out. Whew! We dropped Duane off yet again and left for a picnic on the Susquehanna River about 90 minutes away. By this time it was lunch time and neither of us had used the restroom since 8:30am, but we were on a mission. We got to the picnic about 3 hours late, but still had a great time.

Finalizing the Sale and Insurance Changes

I just verified that the check has cleared our bank. It only took 1 full business day to clear, as the bank doesn’t update the online accounts on Sundays and Mondays.

This morning, I turned in the license plates to the DMV. I got there 15 minutes early, which was good because about 3 minutes after I got up to the entrance, another 5 people lined up behind me. Apparently they were waiting in their cars, and were none too happy to have to get out and stand in line. Sorry, but you can’t verify the order of people while they’re sitting in the car. Luckily I brought a book to read (which I’ll be reviewing on this site next week). Once they opened, I was out of there in 11 minutes, then headed to work.

On the way to work, I called my insurance agent and canceled the insurance on the Malibu. She was already waiting for that call, but she had to play around with the new configuration to see what would save me the most money. I followed up with an email later and found out our new policy premium:

Old premium: $1,109.30 for 3 cars (no collision insurance on the Pontiac)
New premium: $818.96 for 2 cars (still no collision insurance on the Pontiac)

That means we’ll be saving $290.34 every 6 months, or $580.68 each year. Why aren’t we saving more of the premium as a percentage of the total? Because exactly a month after buying the Malibu, we had an accident up in PA. We had to get a rental car to come down to Maryland, and the car was out of commission for a month. I won’t get into the details, but I had a very good argument that I was only partially at fault, but the insurance company resisted and pinned it all on me. So, we should see a decent rate drop next April once the surcharge drops from our policy.

Oh, and I have a secret to tell you, but that’s for another time. It’s just a relief to have everything done. I might write up the full step-by-step process, but it would only be supplemental to the Maryland Vehicle Administration’s site. However, I could add about dealing with a buyer who is getting a loan to pay for the vehicle. Everyone I’ve asked for advice has dealt with a cash purchase.

Let me know if there’s anything you would like to know about the process, and I’ll try my best to get you an answer.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • Awesome. I bet it feels great to have that done. In Florida it is quite easy to sell a car, but then again, I have only bought and sold cars

  • Oh man Clever Dude, you are still using banks? Do they not have credit unions in MD? The bank I used to work for would try to create a line by understaffing, this makes the parking lot look busier all day, and more people will actually go there to do their banking figuring that if they are so busy, then they must be a good bank.

    That’s just one reason why I now work for a credit union. Credit unions are non-for-profit, so they don’t have to worry about stockholders getting a return or dividends. The result is that members of the credit union get better interest rates on everything, and better service because it’s easier at a smaller institution for the employees to learn names.

    The credit union where I work can’t do business accounts, which allows us to focus even more on the individual members.

  • Mark, I’ve been a member of a credit union for about 13 years now. However, they’re in PA, their billpay stinks, and they don’t offer much different than our regular bank except nicer tellers and shorter lines. However, I never go into a bank, so most of the benefits of a credit union are lost on me.

    However, I do have my truck loan through a credit union down here. They were the lowest rate in the whole county by far, so that was a good benefit.

  • I rarely go to banks too. It is easier not to. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with the car buying/selling process in Maryland. The process was very straight forward in every other state I have lived in (and Englad as well). It’s a gerat thing you found someone honest to deal with, and eager to get the deal done. Congrats on simplifying your life, closing out some debt, and saving money on other expenses. I bet it feels great! 🙂

  • […] some major topics recently such as having kids and buying a new car. As you may know, we recently sold our Chevy Malibu, and we’ve also been discussing adoption and biological birth pretty […]

  • […] Final Malibu Sale Update: What a relief! – We sold our Chevy Malibu because it was poor quality and didn’t have safety features we realized we should have. I chronicled our journey from posting to selling in the month of August […]

Leave a Comment