So after a week of thinking about and weighing all our options since we still didn’t know what was going to happen with the Honda Pilot, we decided if we could find a solid reasonably new car which got great gas mileage, AND we could get it for 0 down and about $280 a month, we would buy a ‘new to us’ car.
Yes, it goes against the DR grain of getting in debt (which I really had to struggle with) but I decided we couldn’t afford to be without a reliable car, couldn’t afford to “rent” one ($750 a month), and at worse case, couldn’t afford to buy something paying cash for it and just be buying someone else’s problems.
We went back to Toyota. In theory we could get a Prius C with no money down and payments not too high (seriously, I actually heard the DR tape in my head about how people don’t think about if they can afford the whole thing they just think about affording the payment!). We ran into a problem because: TA-DA! We already have a car loan !! Even though we only owe about $4900 on it, they still wouldn’t approve a “second” car loan.
We went next door back to Kia, who is frankly, buying customers. We found a good used car which only had 16,000 miles on it and is supposed to get 25-35 miles per gallon. They asked what it would take to make a deal: I said 0 down and $280 a month.
After much hemming and hawing (1500 down, 386/month; 2000 down, 356/month, 3000 down 326/month), we finally arrived at 0 down, 289 a month. We felt good about that number because EVEN IF I have to park the Honda for a year until it is paid off if it turns out Geico won’t pay to have it fixed, the Kia payment+gas is still less than what I was spending in gas in the Honda Pilot each month. So in my mind, the cost is just like driving the Honda Pilot to and from work.
We also bought a bumper to bumper 6 year warranty for $1500.
It turns out this was probably a good move, and one made from strength of “as far as we know, we don’t HAVE TO do anything” versus weakness. I just got a call from the transmission guy. There are parts of the vehicle which were a direct result of the accident, and there are parts which happened worse because of the accident but were already on their way. So if we’re lucky, GEICO will agree to pick up 85%, but we’ll still have to come up with about $1500 to fix it.
If they would just pay off what we owe on the Honda Pilot, I’d be ok with them just totaling it out.