Here’s how our house used to look, before I had the ugly fake brick cladding removed. Here’s how the car used to look, before I broke it.
Yes. I totalled the car on Sunday night. Just a stupid accident… a moment’s inattention while going around a tiny roundabout, glancing at some carrot seed that tipped over as the car was moving to the left, then all of a sudden there’s a parked car in a very dark spot under a tree in the way. I swerved, but hit it with my left headlight. My bonnet crumpled like a crumply thing. No one was hurt, but my car was a write off.
(Those carrot seeds better germinate. Bloody expensive little crop…)
The guy who owned the car was really horrible about it. Carried on and on about it, which at first I could understand, but after 15 minutes of it I had to ask him to back off. How many times can I admit that it was totally my fault and apologise? He called the police to have me breathalised; (oh, he was determined to teach me a lesson!) and the police were singularly unimpressed to be called out to breathalise someone who was under the limit. They informed him that police aren’t usually called out for car accidents where no one was hurt. He shut up after that. Funnily enough, even though he was declaring that I was “driving around half-pissed” he was more than happy to get into my car with me driving to go and get my license.
That’s when we found out that my car couldn’t be driven. Tom1 raced over with my license, as it happened only two streets away.
It’s sad, because my car was the first thing I bought when I started working again. I’d had 4 years of being a SAHM with the boys, living hand to mouth while Tony played every stupid child support shenanigan under the sun. I was driving a very old Torago that was as aerodynamic as a loaf of bread, whose radio would go off the station every time I turned left and whose sunroof leaked. When I began doing CRT (Emergency teaching) I borrowed 18K and bought a three year old car. It was shiny, beautiful and a symbol that we were on our way. It’s been so reliable over the last 8 years and the plan was to keep it for as long as I could. Poor car!
My insurance company is giving me nearly 6K, which isn’t bad considering it was 11 years old. At firsat I thought I would do as I did before… get a “near-new” vehicle and have it for a long time.
Then I started to think.
I worked my proverbial off to pay 22K (or was it 24? Can’t remember) off the mortgage principal last year. If I bought a 20K car again, it’d negate all that hard work. And I REALLY want to be debt free. I was happy enough to keep driving my 11 year old car, so why not continue to do so? So this is the plan:
Whatever my insurance company gives me is my budget. I don’t mind kicking in a little extra for a RWC, rego and insurance because I’d be paying for those things anyway. I’m looking for another large station wagon, as I have musos for sons who like to cart guitars and keyboards everywhere. Besides, station wagons are handy. I’m looking at or around a 2000 car, though a year or two younger (or even older if it has low mileage) is ok. I don’t care what colour it is.
One of my friends from work rang me yesterday after she saw my “Car totalled” status on FB. Turns out her husband has a business where he buys cars and boats from the auction houses and resells them. He offers a 12 month warranty, but for me he said he’d offer a 2 or 3 year warranty, so long as I agree to have it serviced by a reputable mechanic every 6 months. He’s looking today at what will be sold next week and he’ll give me a call if there’s anything likely.
I think it’s a good way to go. I think I’m more likely to get a good car this way… after all the last thing Dierdre wants is to hear me come into the staffroom of a morning and say, “I had to walk to work. AGAIN.”