Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Car

I wanted to wait to write this post until we had some closure… so some of you may know about this already and some may not.

On July 6, Adam was in an accident.  My mom was here visiting.  Mom and I had just gotten home from a super fun day of shopping, and Adam called to tell me that he was in a bad wreck with the Escape.  He was fine and the other guy was fine but the Escape is not.

I know I shouldn’t be materialistic, but I was a little upset about my Escape being damaged.  The Escape was the first really big purchase I made out of college in December 2001, and the car had done us SO well over the years.  Until we bought the van in January, the Escape was our family’s main mode of transportation.  We had 168,000 miles on it and we were planning to drive it into the ground.  I loved that vehicle.  Loved.

And, is this irony?  In March we spent a good chunk of change on new tires.  Not two weeks before the accident we had the brakes fixed and some other work done.  THREE DAYS BEFORE the accident I renewed the registration.  We had dropped a good bit of money on the Escape in the last few months in hopes that it would last us a good bit longer.

We didn’t want to buy another car right now.  We just bought the van in January; we were hoping to pay the van off before we would have to succumb to purchasing another vehicle.

However, the accident changed all of that.

2012-07-06 escape 1

Adam was going slow.  The air bags didn’t even trigger.  He hit the bed of a pickup truck.  Thanks to the design of vehicles these days, the engine dropped a bit and the front end crumpled and Adam wasn’t hurt.  The most that could have hurt him was the rear view mirror flying off and hitting the windshield and cracking it, but he wasn’t even touched but that.  Not a bruise.  Not a scrape.  WHAT a blessing.

2012-07-06 escape 2

Insurance has been good to us.  They were willing to fix the vehicle and gave us the money to do so, but gave us the option to sign the vehicle over to them and keep the money to put down on a new car.  We opted for the latter.  After all, it would be weeks before the Escape would be fixed, and here we would be sinking close to $5,000 into the Escape only to have it in the shape it was in before the wreck.  And it wasn’t in bad shape, but it’s 10 years old.  And it’s not getting any younger and we thought maybe we’d get another five years out of it at best.

So we opted to look for a different vehicle.  I’m not sure if I blogged about it then, but our van buying experience in January, while resulting in a beautiful van, was extremely painful.  We wanted to avoid that if at all possible and, more irony?  We joked in January after that was over that whew, we only have to do this every 10 years or so.  Ha.  WRONG.

Thankfully I told my friend Ellen about the wreck and she suggested going through her auto searcher.  I talked with Adam about it and we decided that considering the time frame (I go back to work in less than two weeks and we really need two vehicles) and the experience, we would give Debi a try.  I called Debi on Thursday, we talked, we talked more on Friday, and on Monday (yesterday), she had four vehicles – but would have had more had we requested it – for us to test drive.  She even picked out a vehicle we hadn’t thought to test drive for us to take a spin in – the Volkswagen Tiguan.

After test driving vehicles yesterday, we discussed our favorite and our options.  We settled on a 3 year lease, as lease rates are super duper low right now (0.2%) and we would have the option to buy in a few years or look for a different car.  Considering that we weren’t planning on another vehicle at this point in time, wanted something newer with a good warranty, but also wanted a low payment, we settled on a lease.  Debi took care of ALL of the paper work for us yesterday and this morning – without us there – and called us today to let us know that the color vehicle we wanted – dark gray – had arrived and was ready for us to pick it up.  Yep, that’s right.  She called and found what all colors were available, we picked one, and after a dealer trade, it was there.

No fuss.  No muss.

We arrived at Auto Search today at 3:45 pm and she promised to have us out the door by 4:30 pm.  With another test drive.  And helping us get our insurance changes taken are of.  And all the paperwork.  And she wasn’t joking – we left at 4:25 pm in our new Volkswagen Tiguan.

2012-07-17 tiguan

Now we have a super reliable vehicle with a full warranty that I can drive to and from work every day and that Adam will use occasionally as well, and while the path to this purchase was less than desirable, it as a blessing in disguise.  Maybe we didn’t want a new vehicle already, but the accident forced us to look at our finances again, what we could afford, and also think about the amount of money we were sinking each year into the Escape versus the amount of money we could put towards a new vehicle.  Turns out that with the low lease payments, it’s pretty much a wash.  And that’s a very positive thing.

I won’t divulge the details of the accident and we’re still not “done” yet with everything involving it, but we are so very thankful that everyone involved was safe and fine and that everything worked out okay in the end.


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