Last post on May 19, 2013 at 5:18 PM
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Car Safety, Tires, Wheels, Auto Body, Brakes, Engine, Interior, Paint, Transmission, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Buying Insurance, Coupe, Convertible, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan, Wagon, SUV, Van
May 17, 2013 (6:27 pm)
Wife finally came home from my kids place and I read her your answer about the Mazda3. Turns out she plans to fix it as it's starting to get hotter down here. They drove up with the Accent for the weekend as I suggested so as to not do any more damage to her a/c. Since it looks like she'll be spending the weekdays down at my kids place till August, she decided she wants to fix and keep her car and not have to use my daughters everyday. At this point just told her to do what she thinks best so I gotta feeling that we're gonna get this puppy up over the 150k mark! Once she fixes the a/c, will get the detail/headlights done so it'll look like brand new. After playing with the figures, still better to spend maybe another $500 and keep it instead of almost $20k on something new, and if we can get another year or possibly longer out of it, why not. Tires are in great shape as are the brakes...just needs an oil change and a radiator flush.
Looks like we're gonna keep it in the stable until the wheels fall off...or until it strands her. And then I'll get the phone call..."get me into a new vehicle...NOW"!
#854 of 862 Re: What To Do? [hpmctorque]
May 17, 2013 (6:49 pm)
If it were me I would take the 4k. You do realize that if you keep it it will be impossible to sell? So essentially you are selling it now for 4k or getting nothing out of it later. And hit from behind by an SUV? Who knows what damage will show up down the road? It's too bad because you really like it but this driver finished it off.
#855 of 862 Re: What To Do? [hpmctorque]
May 18, 2013 (7:21 am)
My daughter was rear-ended in her Sienna about a year ago, right before she was due to deliver. She was fine, but because of her condition they put her in hospital for a couple of days just to make sure everything was OK (which is was).
The Sienna was declared a total lost, and the other driver's insurance company offered up the standard "the car is only worth $XXX, take it or leave it". Bad offer. Both my daughter and SIL are lawyers. So he proceeded to built a case for how, due to her missing time from work, being in the trimester of her pregnancy, him having to take off, etc, etc, how insulting that offer was. After they had a chance to reconsider, they agreed to his offer which was $5K more than what the initial offer was for.
#856 of 862 Re: What To Do? [hpmctorque]
May 18, 2013 (7:28 am)
We're debating whether to pay the $353 out-of-pocket to have our TL repaired. It's certainly not much money, but we had no fault. Should we just rationalize this small expense as a cost of driving? Your thoughts/suggestions?
I would push back on the insurance company. As I hinted at earlier, that's only their first offer; probably not their best and final. You should not be out any $$$ at all because of someone else's mistake.
In addition what I said in the earlier post, I would seriously consider getting the car repaired for the $353 out-of-pocket expense. You know the history of the car. If it gives you one or two more years of service, you're ahead of the game.
FWIW, a coworker had almost the exact same thing happen to his Accord, and the dollar amounts were close to yours. He bought it back from the insurance company and it repaired at a local body and frame shop. I think he drove that car for another 4 or 5 years.
#857 of 862 Re: What To Do? [srs_49]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 18, 2013 (8:28 am)
I'm more in line with SRS_49 on this one. Push back on them. Maybe you can find an online price guide that you can print out that will show higher value---submit that.
If you fix the car, it's still a "total" and in reality you will suffer a loss in value by fixing the car! (what a world!)
All this has to be balanced against the fact that you are not likely to find a highly reliable replacement for your car for $4000.
If you were planning to buy a new car anyway, well then, this was the wake-up call.
#858 of 862 Re: What To Do? [Mr_Shiftright]
May 19, 2013 (9:35 am)
Thanks suydam, srs and shifty.
I'll try to lean on the insurance company a little harder by going up the chain of command.
I found two '99 Acura TLs for sale by dealers within 50 miles of me. The asking price for one, with 108,400 miles, is $4,999. The second, with 140,000 (2,600 less than our), is priced at $3,900. Both exceed the settlement that was offered to us,
I'll keep looking to build my case. In addition, for whatever it could be worth (maybe nothing), I have complete records of all maintainance and repairs, which I can submit. Also, I wonder whether there is any value to the fact that our's is a one-owner car. I know that, all else being equal, I'd rather buy a one-owner car versus one that's had multiple owners.
#859 of 862 Re: What To Do? [hpmctorque]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 19, 2013 (10:26 am)
Nah, you have to look at these disputes as completely non-personal. Quite frankly, the insurance company doesn't chortle when they low-ball you, nor do they hang their heads and wail when you beat them. All they care about is the bottom line at the end of the year. How dutiful you were to the car, how worthy you are as a person, how blameless you were, means nothing to them one way or the other.
Your best defense is of course an independent appraisal, but that costs almost as much money as you are trying to gain in the first place. Next best defense is good comparables that you find--but be careful, because they will retort that these are only "asking prices".
Getting price guide print-outs might help if you pick the higher price guides, like Kelley Blue Book or NADA (www.nadaguides.com).
It all comes down to, what we used to say in the Army "Are you sure this is the hill you want to die on?".
So that means--how much time and effort are you willing to put into this. If your sense of justice is burning hot, then pour it on.
#860 of 862 Re: What To Do? [Mr_Shiftright]
May 19, 2013 (3:22 pm)
I can't speak for where you live, but here in Texas you would wind up with a "salvage title" if you kept the car and had it fixed. And no one wants a car with a salvage title, so you would have to keep it yourself and drive it until the wheels fell off. Just another data point to enter into your calculations.
I had a similar incident about 2.5 years ago, I decided to take the money and say goodbye to the old car.
#861 of 862 Re: What To Do? [ohenryx]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 19, 2013 (4:15 pm)
Yes, definitely a consideration, the "salvage" stamp on the title---of course, after a certain age, it doesn't matter as much.
Best thing one can do if forced to drive a car with a salvage title, is to make a photo record of the damage so as to re-assure people----unless of course it really was an awful wreck, then don't DO that!
#862 of 862 Re: What To Do? [Mr_Shiftright]
May 19, 2013 (5:18 pm)
...best defense is an independent appraisal, but that costs almost as much money as you are trying to gain in the first place.
Exactly, which is also why hiring a lawyer also makes no sense when the difference in dispute is a only a few hundred dollars.
I checked the NADA price guide and mentioned to the supervisor of the insurance adjuster that the value was several hundred more than their settlement offer. He responded that his company doesn't go by the values published in the guides, but, rather, by their own evaluation of comparables . How convenient!