Selling a car from 2,400 miles away
July 16, 2015 11:51 AM   Subscribe

My friend lives in California. Her car is in New York. She would like to sell this car. Assuming no trusted intermediaries are available in New York, and travel to New York is not an option right now, how might she go about doing this?

(Also assume that the make/model/condition of the car would present no additional difficulties.)
posted by prize bull octorok to Work & Money (5 answers total)

Presumably someone this person knows is near the car's location? If so, why not have that person handle the sale, title transfer, collection of payment, et cetera, and then send the money to California?

Your friend could appoint someone (in writing) to have a Limited Power of Attorney (this person does not need to be an attorney, despite the name, it just means she authorizes this person to act on her behalf in a transaction) for the sole purpose of selling the car. The attorney-in-fact (person she authorizes via the limited Power of Attorney) then has the ability to sign the title and bill of sale on her behalf, and to handle money related to the transaction.

posted by tckma at 12:07 PM on July 16, 2015

The state where I live (Maryland) even has a standard form to grant power of attorney for a vehicle sale. So check with the New York or California DMV (or the state in which the vehicle is titled) to see if they also have a form for that purpose.
posted by tckma at 12:13 PM on July 16, 2015

Assuming no trusted intermediaries are available in New York

Rats. I somehow missed this bit.

Would it be possible/economically feasible to have the car shipped or driven to California, or to some place closer to New York where a trusted intermediary is present?
posted by tckma at 12:15 PM on July 16, 2015

Can she work with a vendor like CarMax? She could speak with someone at a CarMax to see if they'd be willing to do the transaction without her having to be there and then could arrange to have the car towed there. It would still be tricky, but could possibly work.
posted by quince at 1:14 PM on July 16, 2015

I've never done it myself, and know little about it, but if I were in this situation, I'd look into arranging a consignment sale.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:27 PM on July 16, 2015

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