Doublespeak. It’s a component of human behavior that makes intimate relationships so maddening, modern politics so entertaining, and corporate board meetings so predictable. It’s also often a vital part of unloading an old, unwanted car.
In almost no situation is word play as prevalent, or as amusing, as in the case of a cash-strapped, space-limited, or domestically subjugated car owner desperate to unload some decrepit hulk that’s either been completely driven into the ground, beaten within an inch of its life, or is simply way past its prime. These folks get real inventive when they’re motivated to sell. They aren’t necessarily lying, but the way they’re able to twist the truth around would make any politician or mainstream media personality proud.
So here it is- in no particular order of alphabetical organization, truthfulness, or irony, the most commonly used phrases by used car sellers, with the translations written in italics. Here we go:
My wife / husband / girlfriend / boyfriend / mom / dad / roommate / landlord / HOA / neighbor / boss is tired of looking at this worthless hulk, and if I don’t dump it right now, I’LL be gotten rid of along with it.
“ILLNESS FORCES SALE”
I’m sick. Sick of this damn car!
“DIVORCE FORCES SALE”
My darling wife has decided that she wants more out of life than I’m able to give her, and she wants her half of our paid-for Jeep Grand Cherokee to pay for all of her cosmetic surgery, as well as a whole new wardrobe.
“THIS ONE WON’T LAST”
Self-explanatory- means EXACTLY what it says.
How it starts, corners, and stops is a completely different story.
“RAN WHEN PARKED”
I knew this POS wasn’t going to stay running much longer, so I parked it.
“GOES LIKE THE WIND”
This car BLOWS!!!
“RUNS LIKE A DREAM”
A really BAD dream.
“A GREAT BUY”
A good cry.
“PROJECT CAR / FIXER-UPPER / MECHANIC’S SPECIAL”
Say goodbye to your savings, your social life, and a good portion of your hair.
“THE DEAL OF A LIFETIME”
Take this pig out on the road and you might not live through it.
“NEEDS A GOOD HOME”
PLEASE get it out of here!!!
“RARE MODEL / HARD TO FIND”
Most of these turds got carted off to the scrap heap a long time ago.
I could have financed a brand new Hyundai with the money I’ve dumped into this pile.
“GREAT FAMILY TRANSPORTATION”
Years of spilled food and drink, hyperactive kids, sick animals, afterschool sports, house and garden projects, and teenage drivers have completely trashed this thing.
With this car, you’ll be walking or taking the bus so often that you’ll hardly ever put gas in it.
“HAVE FULL SERVICE HISTORY”
The repair history of this thing could rival a James Steinbeck novel.
“YOU’LL LOVE IT”
You’ll hate it- eventually.
“MUST SELL- BABY ON THE WAY”
Wifey just HAS to have that fancy new CUV to keep up with all the other soccer moms.
“ONLY AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME”
If this heap doesn’t sell by Sunday, off to the junkyard it goes!
So there you have it- the most commonly used cliches in the used car business. If any fellow posters have any other gems, feel free to share!