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Death & Resignation

I'm trying my best not to turn my LJ page into a temporary wailing wall. Really, I am trying. However, the whole situation has me feeling like a little boy who has suffered his first skinned knee after falling off of a bike.

More than anything though, right now I feel cheated. I know life isn't "fair," but damnit... in my preliminary research for finding a decent used car, I've come to the inescapable conclusion that if I want something of quality that's not a new car, it will almost certainly be older and have more miles than the Neon. In addition, even after using every dollar from the insurance company, I'll still owe more on it than I did on the Neon before the accident Wednesday night.

Anger and deep sadness are mixing in with that cheated feeling to create a really foul mood. I've managed to stay on diet today, but could not for the life of me force myself to the gym.

However, I cannot really afford to delay on figuring out what I'm going to do, so here my options, and the pros and cons as I see them.

  1. Really crappy used car, costing $1,800 or less. Pros: No more car payments for the immediate future. Cons: Could be just 500 miles away from having the transmission fall off onto the highway during my commute, which would necessitate my having to propel the car ala Fred Flintstone.
  2. Decent used car, costing between $1,800 and $5,500. Pros: More certainty over car's condition, wouldn't feel like an refugee from Sanford and Son while driving it, payments would be done in a year and would be the same or less than the ones I was making on the Neon. Cons: See option #1.
  3. "Certified" used car, costing between $5,500 & $10,000. Pros: Most are in really nice condition and usually have some sort of limited waranty. Cons: Payments stretch longer than a year and/or higher than the ones made on the Neon.
  4. New car. Pros: Nothing to worry about for 5 years/50,000 miles. Cons: $,$,$,$,$,$. Not really an option -- just put it here to commemorate the fact that the Neon was a new car when I bought it, and that it was only four-years old and had just 47,000 miles on it.

There are other issues tied into this. One of things we were planning to do once the Neon was paid off was use the money for paying down other debts until Mrs. Moose's car was paid off. By then, we'd have eliminated enough debt to allow us to afford putting a second child in daycare. Either that or Tank would be starting kindergarten. Regardless, our plans to pay down our debt will most likely take a major hit.


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Dec. 16th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
Nothing to worry about for 5 years/50,000 miles


My struts cracked at 2 years. My a/c compressor failed at 3 years. New is not a guarantee of no worries.

My dad always said: "Get a used car, and then budget $100 a month for repairs. Most months you won't need it, but then, when you do, if you've set aside the car budget, you have what you need for repairs."
Dec. 16th, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC)
The "no worries" referred to the fact that if anything went wrong during that period, the cost of repair was on the manufacturer' head.

In fact, I did have some problems with the Neon, but in each case (the ones that didn't involve my smashing into a guardrail or support pillar in a parking garage) it was still under warranty.
Dec. 16th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Lucky man. The a/c compressor was right when the warantee ran out, and though the dealership eventually had to cough up for the struts, it took a VERY VERY LONG TIME to get them to admit that they should pay for it.
Dec. 16th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
The Boy and I were actually discussing car buying last night. One thing he said that I'd never thought about before, but that makes perfect sense, is that a car is one of the only "big" investments you make that DEPRECIATES rather than APPRECIATES in value. (For example, house payments and student loans, while a burden, actually add to your net worth.)

In light of that, a new car almost NEVER makes sense.

Besides the "certified" (by the manufacturer) option, what about the Carmax warantee option? Have you looked into that? I did, and it was worth a little extra money.

Also, does size matter? I know a neon is small, and I know you have Tank to consider, but how tiny a car can you deal with? Usually, it's the smaller the cheaper (Porches excluded, of course).
Dec. 16th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
There is actually one scenario where buying a new car makes sense: if you are a low-mileage driver (12,000 miles/year or less), buy a relatively inexpensive vehicle (such as a Neon) and own it until it runs into the ground. This was the plan I was operating under when I bought the car originally. According to my father (a mechanic), if I made sure I kept up with the regular maintenance, the car would've lasted me 10-12 years.

Of course, as I recently discovered, that plans also counts on the car not getting totally in an accident before its expected lifespan ends.
Dec. 16th, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
Dec. 16th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
Hence the reason I feel cheated.
Dec. 19th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
Obviously then you should.

It's like my uncle, who worked out, stopped smoking, no drinking, not even caffeine, very healthy, too care of himself...

then BOOM. Drop dead of a heart attack at 52. No rhyme or reason. So why do I then worry about keepng myself healthy to live longer, right?????

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