My car was totaled- now I have to buy a new car - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-04-2012, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Someone rear ended my 2005 Chevy Cobalt and now I have to buy another car.I have no idea what to buy and don't know where to start.I had no intention of buying a different car and I'm feeling really ticked off and overwhelmed that I have to do this. We usually buy a new car and keep it till it has something wrong that doesn't seem feasible to fix- that's usually around 15 years.Looking for suggestions on how to get this done.We will get about$7000 from my old car.A Chevy Cruze is  about$ 20,000.I'm not sure if this is the best car to buy.We could take money from our emergency fund to make up the balance but it is really making me angry that I am in this situation.I was happy with my car and don't want to spend money on a new one.I don't have a lot of time to find another car,there is no public transportation and my husband drives his van to work everyday.He would have little patientence(sp?)with sharing and I am nervous driving it anyhow because it is so big.I am concerned about buying a used car because I don't want to get something with problems.So I feel like I don't like any of my options but I need to do something.P.S.-I also don't know how to make paragraph indentations on the computer- Help!

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#2 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 08:43 AM
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First, I am so sorry this has happened.


If the other driver is at fault, their insurance should pay for your costs.  That includes a rental car while you are going through the process of replacing the car they destroyed.


I don't have any recommendations on specific cars.  I would encourage you to really consider what you need--- the same thing happened to us (rear-ended total, except we were on our way out of state for Christmas) and we made our decision too quickly and ended up saddled with something we really didn't want.



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#3 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 09:13 AM
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The way I see it is this :

first off it alway sucks when your car has more value to you than ins. You fully planned on driving your car for years to come and a used car from someone else may end up with problems or wasn't cared for the same way. Always stressful. However they look at it like you had a old car so they can't give you enough to replace brand new.


your options are to either buy a used car for 7ish and hope for the best. you might have luck going with a dealer or carmax and finding a good car with a warrenty. NEVER EVER buy used from a private person for that much....anything more than you can afford to really chalk up as a loss.


Or to buy a new car which means you'd probably need to kick in several thousands.


My parents were/are diehard toyota fans and have gotten excellent deals (probably because they swap a car every 6m for the last err....20 years? last I asked they had 6 cars for 3 licenced drivers and if I fly there to visit I'm not allowed to use a single one! *eyeroll*) on used cars from local dealer. 2-3-4K type cars. A step up from the 300 dollar dodge dart I drove ;)


I got burned on a 91 carrolla which evidently was a really bad year for them. Rife with issues. spent about 5-6K keeping the thing running for 2 years before finally giving up.


I bought a 99 sephia when the warrantys on kias were just 3yrs and drove it hard for 11 years. I did 2 tuneups and 2 brake jobs and replaced the fuel pump when it was like 6yrs old, and bought it ONE new battery. I changed the oil about every 5-6k miles (naughty!) and would put 3K miles on it one year because I was unemployed and then put 20+ the next year because I was driving all over the place.

The inside was still in great condition, paint looked great (despite washing it maybe 3-4 times the entire time I owned it. lol)....def worth more than blue book IMHO.

About the time it hit 10 all the rubber started going (sitting in texas weather for 10yrs...surprised it lasted that long!) so my windshield wiper hoses had to be replaced and belts were sketchy. My struts in the front were bad and would have run me about 600 or so, and it was wayyyy over due to a tuneup (and timing belt change which was supposed to happen at 60K and i was at 140K).

my engine started going bad (I think) but wasn't even worth it to consult a mechanic at that point since BB listed value as 200 bucks! lol.


I've since replaced with 2010 kia soul and 2012 soul (traded me out at 60 less per month...otherwise I wouldn't have done it)

I got super gas milage with my sephia (40+ mpg) which was a godsend when we were really broke and gas prices skyrocketed. my ex's car (neon) had to be filled 2-3x a week and he drove considerably less wheras I filled up once every 10 days or so.

the souls get less, but still pretty good MPG.... (ehh, 36ish hwy, but mine is stick so I do better than advertised)


I've had great luck with my kias and since the base prices are much lower than nearly every other mfgr i'd reccomend that over a used, but thats just me. I paid a little over 9 cash for my sephia, and 16 for my souls (financed tho, trying to rebuild credit after divorce)


If I were you i'd aim for 10K range and kick in a little or finance for a year for the extra....unless you find a great deal. who knows you might find a cute little car for under 7 and keep the diff!


Unfortunately kia was a super option several years ago when still breaking into the market so rios used to go for under 8K, but now they are 16+.....


Sounds like you are a chevy fan however, and the cruze seems like a neat car, I glanced at it because i was curious if any crossovers avail in stick came with ANY options. they are always base *eyeroll* it seems!

Not many options for a manual crossover type car!

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#4 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 09:25 AM
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oh, and as much as i've loved my kias and had great luck thus far....I neglected to notice (I didn't test drive, duh...been driving a soul for 2yrs!) that the 2012 model soul they removed the cruise from the stick versions for some reason. The 2010 was the ONLY car i'd ever owned with cruise or a cd player or power anything really ;)

I worked from home until just recently and now I work about 10m from my house which may not sound impressive but where I live it takes an hour to get anywhere....and i've always driven atleast an hour to work. so I don't do highway much or driving much for the last er....5+ years.


However, I do drive about once a year to chicago (16+ hours each way) and i've done it multiple times in the sephia...stick with no cruise, and i've done it twice now with my 2012. I am so used to driving without cruise I don't really use it all that much.....only when traffic is light and usually for an hour or so to stretch and let blood flow return to my legs/hips :P


I'm kinda irritated they did that (cruise standard on ALL the automatics! grr!) esp because I went with kia initially because I wanted a cheap/new/stick and kia was the one to go with back then. And was one of the few with a crossover when I bought the 2010.


I'm one of those drive til they die people too (unlike my parents) and only traded because i was at the point i'd need to do some maint on the soul and payments were quite a bit lower to goto the 2012.


So i'm thinking i'm going to swap out again to keep financing towards rebuilding credit as well as getting a crossover type car with cruise and keeping that for the next 6-10years.


I'm shopping around and it has to be stick with cruise, and my butt is cheap. Even if I won the lotto i wouldn't buy a super $$ car. cars get me from point A to B. I don't need status symbols!

I'm leaning towards a VW's actually REALLY reasonable for a VW...cheaper than a jetta I think!

and it has stick and cruise. But i've been looking at the larger mini cooper (about same size...5 door) as well.

I'm thinking next summer is when it's going to happen, unless I hit an amazing deal while maybe kia will redeem themselves and release the 2014 souls with stick and cruise again. I'm not the only die hard stick driver that favors kia because of this who was pissed they pulled cruise. :S

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#5 of 7 Old 10-05-2012, 05:02 PM
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So sorry about your accident; some Jeep driver once totaled my VW Rabbit by rear-ending it and I was hopping mad about it.  I loved that car.....

I think TiredX2 has a point, you might look into emergency transportation covered either by your own insurance or that of the guilty party.  This will buy you time.


And you might start your search at  I particularly like their TCO analysis ("True Cost to Own") where they tally up ALL the costs to own a car for five years, including insurance and such.  Really puts things in perspective, financially speaking.


As CAFE2025 is kicking in, which requires increasing fuel efficiency in new cars, you might be pleasantly surprised at the kind of mpg the new crop of cars is getting.  Unless you really enjoy that boyish kick-in-the-lumbar-region thing, choose a car with a smaller engine: it will be cheaper to buy and cheaper to run (gas reached $5.79 a gallon in California yesterday).  Try manual transmission (shaves $1000-2000 off the purchase cost).  Skip the "sporty" wheels with large rims: those are expensive, prone to getting dinged on potholes, and don't do as well in rain and snow as the regular-sized ones.  Tires should look like donuts, not onion rings.


Good luck, I hope you find something that suits you sooner rather than later.


[Paragraph indents:  just hit return twice]

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#6 of 7 Old 10-25-2012, 09:10 AM
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#7 of 7 Old 10-25-2012, 09:22 AM
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What a pain!


If you do decide to get a used vehicle, make sure you have it checked out by a trusted mechanic. You might still buy the car if it has problems, but you can negotiate the price down by the estimated cost of repairs (if your mechanic doesn't tell yo to run screaming).


I second Edmunds - their site is fairly easy to navigate, and they have a ton of information.


I would sit down with a list of exactly what you require in a car (# seats, options), and what you don't need. You might discover that there is a new car out there that suits your needs, and would be worth kicking in more than $7K to get exactly what you want, that you will drive for 15 years.


I have had good luck with used vehicles - in fact, my sons are still driving my 1996 Jeep that I bought in 1998.


Good luck!

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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