Last month I had received a typical mailing from the local car dealership where I get my vehicle serviced. Along with coupons for oil changes and tire rotations, there was an entry form to mail in for a drawing of a new 2009 Toyota Prius. The Toyota Prius MSRP was $24,670 according to the fine print in the official rules. I’m not usually one to enter into these things, but I decided to submit an entry (it’s free, so why not). Then I thought, what would I do if I actually won a car? Keep it or sell it?

I’m not certain on the local and federal taxes involved with winning a car, but I would imagine they would be around 30%. At full MSRP, that is around $7,500 in taxes. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there were some additional fees. Nonetheless, winning a Toyota Prius and paying under $8,000 isn’t that bad of a deal for such a popular car with great gas mileage. Problem is, my wife and I each have a car right now, so I would almost lean towards selling the new car to pay off our existing cars.

Back in 2004, Oprah gave away 276 Pontiac G-Six (yuck) models to her entire audience. It was estimated that the taxes would be around $7,000. Much to the chagrin of the audience, they did have some choices: keep the car and pay the taxes, sell the car and pay the taxes or forfeit the car. I remember hearing about how some audience members were actually angry that they won something, because they had to pay for it. CNN reported that the audience had to pay the taxes on the car, while MSNBC had reported that Pontiac was going to pay the taxes. Getting a car free and clear is even better if true!

Of course I don’t expect to win (I’m not that lucky). So imagine you get a call that you won a car, what would you do (assuming it is real and not a scam)? Keep it or sell it? Or does it all depend on the car? Best thing about it being a Prius is that it might be fairly easy to turnaround and sell it.  If you’ve been in a similar situation, winning a car or something with a high value, I’d love to hear from you!

I can dream can’t I?

Stupidly Yours,