I recently was in an accident, and my car is going to be totaled because of it. I’m in a situation where I need to get a new car, and unfortunately I can’t afford to wait til the car market gets better, because I need a car to get back and forth to work. I also don’t have any family car or anyone who can really help get me to work, and no available public transportation either. I looked into trying to get a new car, but I was hesitant due to the high payments and potential high insurance as well. Private sales is pretty much out of the question, due to not really having a way to get around to even see these cars and having no one available(like a mechanic) to help check them out. Some family members and friends told me they think that if I am able to do the payments, my best option would be to try and get a newish slightly used or a brand new car, and that would be the best option for this situation.
Does anyone here have any idea what the best option would be in my situation? I can’t afford to wait or try to shop around, I need a car right away. I’m posting this in multiple places because I am hoping I can get as much input as possible, since I don’t really have a whole lot of help in my personal life. Thanks.
You were driving a 6-year-old compact car, why not purchase a used car of similar value? Something matching the amount of the insurance settlement. A used Corolla can be found for $14,000 - $15,000, half of the amount of the $30K new cars you were interested in.
Sorry to hear you are having this difficulty. High new car prices, high used car prices, high cost of repair, leaves car-owners in this position pretty much behind the 8 ball. I think your options are pretty well outlined above, by both you and the other posters here. One other idea, your insurance agent deals with this sort of customer problem all the time, so suggest to ask there. They may cover or partially reimburse car rental or have some other short term alternatives.
I think if I was in that position I’d secure a temporary car (rental or the like) for immediate use, then review what’s available in the used car market. Hopefully I’d find one there. If not, then I’d look at the 3 year old car’s available for sale at the rental car agency’s sales lots. Still nothing? Then I’d buy a new econobox car.
Another alternative, takes a good deal more effort on your part, if wrecked car was declared totaled mainly for appearance reasons, i.e. it would cost too much to return it to pristine appearance, but otherwise could be made safe and drive-able, I’d also consider purchasing it from insurance company and repairing it myself or hiring the job out, repair it to a drivable condition. Then as finances allowed, over time I’d repair it back to it’s pre-crash appearance.
I certainly do not want to be unsympathetic to those that are seeing expenses exceeding income. But if you look at the labor participation rate, there are millions who are simply choosing not to work. There are millions of jobs going unfilled while supply chain issues continue. I have seen ads to essentially choose your own work hours. McDonald’s has a sign for starting wage of $16 and ups is at $24. May not be much for the golden state but it is significant for the Midwest.
If a 40 hour job means you can’t pay expenses, taking on a 20 hour a week part time job will provide an extra $15,000 in income. Far exceeding any normal car repair, and enough to buy a new car. Many of us had parents that regularly had two or three jobs. That’s how income equaled expenses. It is amazing the number of posts here having a car problem but are short of money.
This is a golden opportunity to work part time. Sometimes these part time jobs lead to greater opportunities in a whole different field. Holy cow, they will even train. Wanna be a mechanic, manage a restaurant, break into the greenhouse business? It’s all there for those that simply apply. In ten years that’s minimum $150,000 to increase a 401k, pay school loans, or pay debt. So go for it.
Yeah, I forgot about mail carriers. Around here they are working 12 hour shifts because they cannot find anyone willing to sort or deliver mail.
If main reason for needed transport is to get to work, bicycle or small motor-scooter might do the trick on a temporary basis. Ever since my Corolla got benched, I’ve taken to riding my bicycle for local errands. Yields a little exercise too. Easier to do in Calif coastal climate than in freezing-cold winter climate of course. Would only make matters worse if involved in accident, so requires a safe pathway available to where they are going, and rider be super-safe, full att’n to all safety precautions.
Earning more money by getting a second job would work as well, but that approach is probably going to take quite a bit of time before the extra money starts coming in. I have the sense the OP has enough money, but wants ideas to solve this problem as economically as is practical.
So you can rent a car for a few days and drive around to look at cars. Bring someone who knows about cars with you or have a mechanic look it over before completing the purchase. It seems like the 5 to 12 year old cars are where you’re most likely to get ripped off with undiscovered issues.
Or you can buy an old car and hope it holds out long enough for car prices to come back down. With an old car you don’t get ripped off as easily since the issues are obvious. The car is an old beater and the reason it is for sale is known.
Or as someone said buy back your car from your insurance and see what it would cost to get it road worthy.