Monday, September 22, 2014

Totally totaled!

WELL. I am pretty sure I totaled my car on Friday night. I'm fine, but my car is not at all.... I rear-ended a pickup truck going something around 10-15mph (I had the brakes on hard but couldn't stop in time; the airbags didn't deploy though). I'm happy to say there was no phone distraction involved in the accident, but it was totally my inattention that caused it. Sigh.

My car didn't have a high value (probably $1500-2000 or so), and I didn't have collision insurance because of that, so I won't be getting a payout at all. It was ten years old and only had 65k miles and would have gone another decade though.. boo!

Right now it's at a randomly-selected garage, and I guess I'll have to call them to get an update. Then I have to dig out my title and notify the DMV of this unhappy turn of affairs.

Then, I have to figure out: what now?

I'm definitely not willing to take on a car payment. That means that whatever I buy has to be paid for out of my savings. I also don't want to deplete my savings account! Lastly, I don't really want to give up much of my current lifestyle. I looked at my savings balances and I'm up $5000 from this time last year - but none of that was earmarked for a car purchase! The extra money in the bank is all for house prepayment and for a deck. I don't want to give up either of those plans.

So, I'm thinking about not replacing the car at all for a while - I'll be out of town a fair amount the rest of this year, and I don't have to have a car to maintain my day-to-day life. A couple of friends have offered to lend me their cars as needed, and I can bike to lots of destinations.

I've been crunching the numbers: additional bicycle (more suited for winter riding) vs. getting a new-to-me car... they're pretty compelling!
I know I'll get another car, more likely sooner than later, but ... I might try doing without for a while too.


  1. If Zipcar or something similar is available in Portland, you could potentially use it to put off car buying for a while.

  2. Yes, we have Zipcar and also Car2Go. I'm going to have to spend a little time figuring out which is better in which instances.

    I also have my bike, of course, and two bus lines travel within blocks of my house, and I can always walk! I think I'll get by just fine (weather permitting). It'll be interesting to see if I make any changes to my life, or if I crack and buy a car really soon.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your car, but I'm very intrigued to see how you do going without one for a while ... I hate driving myself but view it as a necessary evil.

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