Sorry this post didn’t get up sooner, but I’ve been a little busy the past day or two. Well, more busy than usual.
In the grand tradition of God never opening a window without slamming a door shut, our newly relatively-stable financial selves now need to buy a car.
Tim and I had just agreed to budget $300 to a car fund each month, and then, Monday, we were hit in an accident.
The short form: We’re okay. Our car isn’t.
A woman was creeping out of a store parking lot, trying to make a left turn across a 6 lane street. Since the cars were stopped at the light, she crept past the three lanes of drivers headed west. Then she was so absorbed in looking to the right toward oncoming traffic, I guess, that she failed to see when Tim got into the left turn lane.
He veered to the left (thank goodness there were no other cars in the lane) and yet she still managed to hit us. Which is a feat when you consider that she had to be going under 15 mph. I am guessing she didn’t turn back to see in front of her until she was right on top of us.
The crumple zones did their darnedest, which means we were shaken but, as far as we can tell, not seriously injured. I was sore that night but two doses of Excedrin meant I woke up fine. (Hey, potential sponsor?) And, yes, we are keeping an eye on things because we know problems don’t always set in right away.
So, now we have a four door car with only two working doors. Both on the left side. Also, Tim said it was pulling to the right noticeably, if not horribly, as we drove home.
Once we got home, we decided not to drive it at all, in case there was damage to the underside that we couldn’t see. So we’ve been stuck at home, with limited options about groceries (yet another reason to stock up, kiddies) and limited options in general. Like, you know, missing good friends’ impromptu going away party — when they are moving to Maine.
Looking into the less immediate future, we’re also in trouble because the car is likely to be written off as totaled. The adjuster came out from the woman’s insurance. He was very friendly and polite and answered a lot questions I lobbed his way. But he’s estimating that the repairs will run around $2,200. And a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier with 101,000 miles isn’t worth much more than that.
Alternately, there’s not a whole lot of reliable (for more than, say, a year or two) cars you can get for $2,500-3000. So it’s worrying. The adjuster will call with his numbers in the morning.
Meanwhile, my insurance doesn’t have collision. I read a few articles about insurance and, by and large, they seemed to agree that getting collision on an older car wasn’t worth the money. I guess I just love to break the odds.
That said, I called them to see if I could potentially get a second opinion quote. The agent said that it was possible, but I would have to request one, so that I should just call if I wasn’t happy with the estimate we got.
So I really have no idea what we’ll do. While I do try not to put anything past insurance companies, I think it will be pretty hard to argue that this accident wasn’t the other driver’s fault. So we’ll get something from the company. Just not enough, probably.
Since we can’t go without a car for too long, I went ahead and booked a car for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday at Enterprise. They have a $9.99/day weekend special. So we’ll spend the weekend stocking up on supplies and, I guess, looking at some car lots and cursing under our breath.
I’m actually completely out of my element there. I’ve never bought a car. I’ve never been along with someone buying a car. So this will be trial by fire if we have to negotiate. On the other hand, the archetypal nagging, money-conscious wife role will be pretty easy to slip into and play good cop/bad cop with any salesmen.
Or I’ll find a lamp with a genie inside and magically make it so the car is fixable. Yeah, I better go start reading up on decent used cars.
I’ll write more as the saga continues.