Meet the new boss

January 18th, 2015 | Tags: , ,

I received the news on Friday about my car’s condition. It was determined to be a total loss–the axle damage sent problems all the way up into the transmission. (That’s about what I figured. But it’s still a minor shock to have confirmed such a drastic event from so small a span of time. Seriously, from the lady stopping in front of me, to the swerve and crash and the engine shuddering to a halt, to me getting out of the car and making sure I was ok was something like 15 seconds, tops.)

Allstate is paying out $10,575.42 for the car, but I still had $12,610 to go on the loan. This is where a little thing called gap insurance comes into play. It’s something I simply factored in when I got the loan: you pay a small premium as part of your loan payments, and if your car is totaled, the insurance covers the difference between the amount you still owe on the loan and the amount the insurance pays for the car. I had altogether forgotten it was a thing–I don’t even know if I even did more than think “Yes, that makes sense to get” when I got the car–so when the Allstate guy asked me if I had it I was a little concerned. (I can’t exactly trust past-self from doing right by future-self. I try.) But, I confirmed that it was part of my loan. So, yay.

On the other hand, this basically leaves me at square one as far as having a car goes. Allstate’s rental coverage lasts through Wednesday the 21st (the first day of the new semester for my students), which means I cannot piss around on finding another vehicle. As things go, I am less interested now in getting another major loan, given that I have a vastly different outlook on the next six months than I did even six months ago. So I’m not getting another new car–the fact that I had any heartache at all about owing $12k after a year and a half of regular payments is warning enough for me.

As best I can tell, the easiest way to get a used car in very short order is through something like Carmax, and they seem to sell cars for no less than about $10k.  I’ve put a placeholder on a 2012 Accent GS (same car as my old one, just a year older) at $13k. I must say, I loved the way that car drove. But at this point, I’m looking for something I can reasonably pay off before summer. I definitely want a hatchback still–beyond just being a fashion statement, it behaved the way I want. So I’m looking at a Nissan Versa SL, which looks to be about $8,000 for the [2008] or [2009], ~70k miles on either car. I’ve put in the inquiries, and I’ll be test-driving the 2009 tomorrow.

I don’t have a lot of time to really get comfortable with the decision, but from scouring the various car listings sites it looks like the Versa is my only viable option in the local area for hatchbacks under $8k. It seems like a good car, and a worthy successor to my Accent. And, anyway, it’s not like I didn’t get the Accent in the same hurried timeframe. (Though that was because of a spiteful will rather than genuine loss of use.) So, here we go!

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