WOO!! I’m keeping it! Literally just deposited the check seconds before starting this post (thanks USAA for deposit by phone!), and the whole car crash dilemma is now officially behind us :)
For everyone new to the story, here’s a recap:
- I crashed my car into a girl’s car (her fault)
- And Progressive (her insurance) considered my car a “total loss.” Forcing me to decide whether to keep it and pocket $2,100, or ditch it altogether and walk away with $3,500 instead. Something I was REALLY torn about because I really do enjoy riding my car (a ’93 Cadillac Deville)
I went back and forth with the decision – reading each and every one of your opinions and advice – and at the end of the day it felt MUCH much better holding on to it than it did having more money and being car-less. Something I’m not quite ready to experience just yet after being without it for 4 days as a mechanic checked it out determined the costs (I felt so naked!).
That was really the remaining variables to be figured out – Could the car be back to being safe again? And at what cost?
Well I happily learned that, yes, it sure can! (It ended up being truly cosmetic) And no, not for a super high amount either. At $830 it would get her back to looking as close to brand new as possible (at least with safety and being street legal again, haha…), so I paid the man quickly and began taking celebratory rides around our new place as soon as I had it in my possession again :) I felt like it made my decision much much easier in the end.
Here were some other interesting nuggets I found out too!
- The accident only caused $400 of what needed to be fixed. Which means I would have had to pony up $430 moving into the state right out of my pocket! ACK!
- The mechanic fixed my AC!!! He said he didn’t really do much other than jiggle a few things (that’s what she said?) but that’s fine with me – it’s now pumping out cold ass air again! First time in two years – freakin’ awesome.
- My title will NOT be getting a “totaled” designation! Which means I can sell it or trade it in at any point later whenever the time may come :) Turns out the rep who helped me hadn’t boned up on his knowledge there all the way so it was quite a surprise to come into :)
- My settlement check only came out to $2,000 – instead of $2,100. That same rep above seemed to not be good with numbers either. He forgot to exclude some fees that didn’t relate since I chose to keep the car instead of give it to them… $100 is a $100, but not a big enough mistake for me to change my mind.
So when all was said and done, I came away from the accident with a few scratches (on the car, not me!) and $1,170 extra dough in my pockets. And with a much more appreciation for my car too, I’ll tell you what. That saying of letting things go and seeing how you feel? Man how there’s some truth to that. As soon as the possibility of losing this car entered the picture I started realizing how good I had it with her all these years, and how much I really wanted to keep her going forward. Not so much only a sentimental feeling either, but more of a “this car gets you from point a to point b, and in style!” type way. Along with having no car payments to boot ;)
Here were some of the points y’all brought up, by the way, for *not* keeping the ride. Which as I mentioned I did take into consideration and appreciate, but as you’ll see from my thoughts they weren’t enough to really sway me against keeping it:
- It’s a gas guzzler. 100% accurate (AND you have to put *premium* gas in it!), but since I drive it maybe once a week – and for only a few miles – it’s not really that much of a variable.
- It’s bad for the environment. Very true too, as most cars are, but probably LESS so in my hands than someone else driving it on a daily basis. Or sitting in a junk yard somewhere :)
- You don’t need a car. Also pretty much true! I don’t really *need* one, but I definitely *want* one. At least for the immediate future. The thing I am putting on pause, however, is the desire to upgrade to a nice SUV like I really want to do. I think I’ll just have to wait for our finances to settle in a bit more though, and then see how things are going in this great new state we’re living in. The nice thing about the caddy is it sure can hold a lot of stuff in the back of that trunk! Mobsters don’t ride around in them for nothing you know ;)
Now eventually I’ll of course have to move on to bigger and better rides as time goes on – she ain’t that young anymore! – but for right now I’m completely happy. We get to explore a whole new city together, and I now have over a thousand extra dollars in my pockets to help pay for the house renovations we got into last month. Not too bad of an outcome if I do say so myself.
It’s not $3,500, but it does feel “right.” And that’s what I’ll always go with at the end of the day. Feelings can be just as important as the numbers in my book, and I’d rather be happy on both sides of the equation than only one. So here’s to happy endings!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!