Firstly, I know I’ve made several mistakes already, and admittedly I feel limited in my ability to do sound calculations on my own, for an accurate assessment of my situation and what is the best decision overall when considering the financial and other aspects of Decision A vs Decision B. That said, I hope that I can get some helpful feedback rather than flames for my foolishness, so that I can make the best decision in the here and now.
Here are the details:
Bought a 2013 Civic LX new for $19,200 OTD after TTL. Kept for about 4 months and traded it in for a 2014 Subaru OB Premium after the Civic was rear ended on freeway and it was fixed under insurance. I got the OB for about $5k off MSRP, which was around $22,xxx plus TTL. I wanted a higher sitting car at the time, one with more interior room to hold bikes and what not. I also liked the solid feel and tracking of the AWD and the 4-wheel disc brakes. The OB was recently in a freeway collision where other party was found at fault. Repair under insurance was about $9200. There was some minor frame damage (between 2-10mm bend that was straightened on parts of the frame but crumple zones were reportedly uncompromised), upper left body damage including hood, radiator, water tank… so all of those were replaced w/ OEM parts since the car is less than 2 yrs old and has only 21.6k miles on it.
Due to diminished value, I not only no longer qualify for Subaru’s GTP (Gauranteed Trade-In Program) anymore, due to the moderate accident, I also have lost selling power,and cannot sell it for the same amount I could have the day before the accident. Last GTP quote in July/August was about $21000 if has a max of $15k miles, otherwise there is a deduction of X cents per additional mile. Carmax quoted me about $21000 last April when it had like 11k miles on it or so. After the recent accident, Carmax has quoted me $17,000. KBB for dealer trade-in based on “Fair” to “Good” condition (mainly because of the body work and minor frame repair) is $18,557 (fair condition) to $18,998 (good condition). $20,648 is “Good” condition sale to private party. There was no option for “fair” condition sale to private party, so I could not determine that value. So I would guess that Carmax is offering me below what KBB says I could trade in the car for, by about $1500, and below what KBB says I could sell to a private party for, by about $2600.
my general feeling that I don’t know if the body shop caught all issues or if there may be additional issues undiscovered, and due to the slight frame bend that needed straightening, I am not 100% confident in the car’s safety in another collision. The airbags did not deploy, but I was told it is because they only deploy on specific types of impacts at certain speeds, and the censors nowadays are pretty advanced.
my commute being about 70 miles per day roundtrip, M-F, and the OB being 26.5mpg on average.
my hardly really taking advantage of the AWD since it hardly snows and I don’t get up to the snowy mountains as much as I thought I would.
the rear cargo area not really being tall enough for my bikes w/o taking off front wheels and lowering seats. (I didn’t do the measurements pre-purchase).
my desire to help reverse some of the financial loss I have incurred due to bad purchase decisions by making it up thru a more fuel efficient vehicle.
I have been looking at one or more of the following options:
a) pursue a claim w/ at-fault insurance company for diminished value. I would say it is at least $2000 in value lost.
b) trade in the OB at dealership for something like a Prius C (50mpg average) and recoup some of my losses due to depreciation thru savings in fuel over the next 4-5 years at least. My OB has about $14500 loan balance remaining.
c) Keep the OB and pay it off, then sell it after it is 5 years old (another 3 yrs, 8 mos), for perhaps $12-14k (or whatever will be the going rate for the car at that time), then get a new car and have the cash from the OB sale to fund significant % of the total loan paymens on the new car. I probably wouldn’t put down all that money since I usually get at least 0.9% financing, and would instead invest it or put it in some account to gain interest, while making monthly payments on the new car.
d) keep the OB for another 10 years and then maybe sell it for $1500-2k.
I’d be saving about $736 a year on gas for 15,000k miles a year by going with Prius C over OB. That would be nearly $3000 in 4 years.
The only issue with the Prius C is it is so small, the build is not of the same quality as the OB (which feels much more substantial inside and out), and the interior materials feel comparatively cheap. Then there’s also the weaker engine and the struggling it will face going up hills. In my area, there aren’t many hills, but sometimes on weekends I may go somewhere that requires going up a hill and over a mountain, and can imagine it being a frustrating experiencing going up it in a Prius C. Its handling in rain/windy conditions may also be less solid than the OB.
I was wondering if I could get some constructive feedback and advice from the good folks here on what might be the most prudent and financially sound course of action.
Thanks in advance.