August 11, 2009
Most of the day Sunday Sibylle and I searched for the errant Jimmy title in vain. In order to use the Jimmy for the CARS program we need to show proof of insurance for the past 12 months, produce registration for the past two years (current plus previous is fine), and have a free and clear title. The first two were easy, but finding the title after several moves was impossible.
Living only an hour's drive from the state capital we could have driven over there Monday to get a duplicate title issued, however, in a recurring clerical error the registration shows an out-of-date lien on the vehicle. The bank in question is an hour's drive in the opposite direction from Topeka. Jumping through the bureaucratic hoops necessary to contact the bank, travel there to get a lien release, and then travel to Topeka to wait in line for a title was possible, but we weren't sure it was worth it.
The CARS program stipulates that the dealer give you an estimate of the cars salvage or scrap value, and that you get that money in addition to the CARS allowance. Our dealer said their arrangement with the salvage yard included no exchange of money. In fact, the way it was described to us, the dealer would end up paying a fee to have the car transported to the yard and destroyed. It bothered both of us that no effort to salvage anything from the Jimmy was being made. While it qualifies for the CARS program, it is in no way a bad car. Imagine a elderly organ donor whose organs aren't harvested simply because there's too much paperwork. Simply destroying the Jimmy didn't sit well with us. So we decided to get the new car with just the Lexus in trade. We'll hang on to the Jimmy, for now, as a utility second car.
After reaching the decision to not participate in the CARS program we visited the dealer to see if the trade-in allowance for the Lexus would still be good. It was, and, after a hour or so of waiting for financing paperwork to be completed, we drove off the lot in our new 2010 Honda Insight EX.
We are both thrilled with the Insight. I'm sure our impressions will continue to evolve and deepen over time but here are some initial thoughts and reactions.