About a month and a half ago, while sitting at a stoplight, and just minding my own business and trying to exist, my beloved car got rear-ended by an SUV. I am not really sure how I got hit so hard from sitting at a complete stop.
See photos below:
Initially, from my very own, unprofessional assessment, I had figured that the car would be repairable. But, when I was able to bring my vehicle into the auto repair shop, the estimator's estimate was at least $4,000 from just observations. So I left my car at the shop, and a few days later, the same estimator informed me that upon further inspect - without even pulling out any parts to uncover the damages to the structures - he had already estimated the repairs to be around $6,500. Then he continued to inform me that, because my car was ten-years-old, he was not sure if the at-fault party's insurance would be willing to repair the damages, but, instead, would deem it a total loss.
The problem at the time was, I really loved my car, and she (Emma) has treated me very well within four years of ownership, and especially in this cold, dark, and unforgiving place I call home, Seattle.
A little less than three years ago, I had packed everything I could into my car and made my trek from Orlando, FL, to Seattle, WA, and she was a champ along the way. I was hoping to hold on to Emma for at least another ten years, and she was only at 112,000 miles when she was rear-ended. She never gave me any issues, and she was super mechanically sound.
So the verdict came back, and the estimator mentioned that, because my car was ten-years-old, and the repair costs could amount to over $10,000, the likelihood of the insurance company deeming my car a total loss was very likely. And I was very saddened by that revelation, because I loved my car. But as life dictates the moving on of many things, I had to accept that fact.
Last week, I received a settlement offer from the insurance company, and to be quite honest, I made out like a bandit! After almost four years of ownership, my car was paid out where I only lost about $6,000 in depreciation, and they offered me an amount much higher than I would have been able to sell privately on my own. But the next challenge was looking for an acceptable replacement, and that was a difficult task that has taken up most of my attention for the past week or so.
My criteria was that, I wanted to purchase a vehicle that was large enough in order for me to transport John's Kimchi's equipment and merchandises to and fro the Farmers markets. I needed a vehicle that was priced at under $5,000, and that was still reliable and would last me for at least three years. And so, without going into much details, I have located, negotiated, and have signed the papers on a vehicle that I will be paying cash for, all in the name of my business. Photos below:
I scheduled a test drive for that Pontiac Torrent this morning, and I got a good feel for it. And it seemed mechanically sound for a 2008 vehicle. To be honest, I have never even heard of this car before, but it was in my price range, and it would be a great work vehicle. Then I told my salesman I would not be able to do any paperwork, and I needed to take my dog to enroll in veterinary services, and that I would be back in about an hour and a half. He asked me if I wanted to take the car on a demo until I got back, and I said yes. During that time, I was able to establish a more intimate relationship with the car, and I noticed some issues I would not have noticed if I were not able to drive it for a few hours. So I went back and addressed the issues and to have them fixed, and then signed a bunch of paperwork and now I have a new work vehicle.
It is a nice feeling to no longer carry a car note, especially at this juncture of my business when I'm just merely trying to remain solvent. because, quite frankly, I am not in a position just quite yet to purchase a jet-propelled airplane to use as my daily driver.
Either way, thank you for playing.
Post script: I have decided to name my new work vehicle Donkey the Mule.
-The Kimchi Whisperer-