Totalled car to new used car, trials and tribulations


Hello all,

I have been having the most frustrating, everything that can go wrong will, experience with this whole car thing.  It has brought me to my brink of absolutely losing my mind.  My emotions have run rampant on me, and anyone close to me. 

It all started when I picked up my boyfriend after work (he had recently lost his truck in an accident, and I was the only one with transportation at the moment).  It was raining off and on all day, and we were headed back to my place to watch a movie.  As I went through an intersection the light turned yellow and an off-road jeep decided to turn left to beat the light…into my car.  Thank goodness my little VW was a very safe car, I sustained air bag burns and major bruising on my right arm and leg.  My boyfriend took most of the hit to his chest, but had trouble remembering simple information.  I decided to ride with him to the hospital, the kind police officers said they would bring my information to me there. 

My boyfriend was taken for tests and I made the proper calls to work (not coming in tomorrow!) and my mother to come pick us up.  He was cleared with the tests, but they told me to stay awake with him, because he might have sustained a minor concussion (he has had a few too many already). 

The next day I called my insurance, since I had to wait for the police report to be ready (1 week!!) to get the other drivers’ information.  I gave them all the information I had and emailed pictures I had taken of the crash.  I used the bulk of my vacation time to take the rest of the week off (mind you I had planned it to be my first vacation with this job, 4-day weekend). 

Over the next couple of days I talked to multiple insurance agents (they have a different agent for everything you do!?), cleaned out my car and said goodbye to “Frankie”.  Frankie was my VW Golf, it was my second car, and it lasted me 13 years and a little over 195,000 miles.  I then scheduled a rental car for the next week since I knew it would take at least that long to have all this paperwork go through.   

The car had been paid off for 10 years, but was in my father’s name since he put the down payment up for me.  I took over payments afterward, and never really thought getting the title would be a problem.  He had been through a lot during those 10 years, he was laid off from his job around Christmas time the year before 9-11.  He then struggled for a few years looking for a new job, living off his savings.  It then got to the point that he took up a few part time jobs to try and bring in some money.  I had to drop out of college, and go back to work full-time to try and help my father (and younger brother) keep a roof over their heads and phone on.  This ended up draining my savings, my younger brother moved in with a friend, and my father went homeless.  I didn’t hear from him for just over two years.  Then finally I got a phone call that he got a good job offer, and was moving to Louisiana.  I went and met up with him (and cried a lot), he told me about all he had been through during those two years.  I didn’t know it then, but during that time the bank held my car title and put a lean against it.  My father was able to get back on his feet and he paid off what he needed to, to start over again.

  I called him to tell him I needed the title for the car to get my settlement from the insurance after the accident. He found the form we needed online to get it, printed it, filled out what he could and overnighted it to me to fill out the rest. I did that and went to the DMV to get my title, to which the lady at the reception desk told me I needed power of attorney to get the title. I got that form, and overnighted it to my father, he filled it out and overnighted it back to me. I go back to the DMV with all the paperwork I needed and then some. This time I got through to the counter, when the woman behind the counter told me there was still a lean on my car and I need a letter from the bank to clear it. Now, I’m flipping back and forth emotionally between rage and depression. I tell my father what happened and he said their system is not up to date. It changed banks a few times before it was taken care of so they don’t even have the right bank on file, so we can’t get a letter from them. Perfect. My insurance agent keeps calling (the one handling the totaling of the car anyway) asking about the title, I have to tell her again that maybe I’ll be able to get it next week.

In the meantime I scrambled together some money, and borrowed the rest from my mother (which she doesn’t really have to lend). All together I figured out that I could get a $7,000 used car with a little financing. I thought that was enough to get a decent car that could handle my daily 180 mile commute. I’m past thinking I need a fancy car, this shouldn’t be too hard. Ha! I’m sure it doesn’t help that I live in the area that Hurricane Sandy hit dead on, there were/are still a lot of people who lost their cars not to mention everything/anything else in that monster storm. All I have been finding in my price range though are rust covered cars that drive horrible and have 120,000+ miles on them! That’s what I get for $7,000 that I don’t even really have!? I know it’s been 13 years since I’ve thought about buying a new car, but holy guacamole! Did you know that they will now finance you for 6 years to afford a car??? This is absurd, how is a normal blue-collar working person supposed to afford that? No, I’m not financing for 6 years, half way through that I’d probably owe more in interest than what the car would be deemed worth.

I did find one car, a 2008 Hyundai Sonata, with 76,410 miles on it. I took it for a test drive, and oh man did it drive nice, perfect for my long commutes. The price? $10,995, ouch, a little out of my price range. I haggled with the salesman for awhile, then had to walk away. I spent the whole next day looking at cars as well, 13 used dealerships, and only 2 possibilities in my price range. I did not test drive them yet either. Ah, depression, hello old friend. Looks like I’m going to have to spend all of my money on a P.O.S. car, cross my fingers, and make sure my AAA is up to date.

Monday, I was at work when I received a call from a weird number. It was the used car salesman who had the Sonata that I liked, he said he may be able to finance it at the monthly payment I can afford. He needed some more information from me, so I faxed over what he needed.

In the meantime, I also have two of the other used car salesman looking at auctions for me this week for a good commuter car in my price range.

Sigh, and now I’m at work, having trouble thinking about anything besides that I HAVE to get a car this week. I feel like Murphy’s law had directed all of it’s energy on me lately, and it’s wearing me down.


Survive Reality, Live the dream


2 thoughts on “Totalled car to new used car, trials and tribulations

  1. Lance says:

    I’m so sorry. But you and friend who is a boy are okay, right?

    that’s what’s important

    • Yes, very true. I’ve been letting the stress of everything is getting to me. I found a way to get a car, and bought it yesterday night after work. So that part is over with. Now I just need to worry about getting the title for the old car so I can get the money for it and pay back my parents…slowly chipping away

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