Author Topic: Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car  (Read 3260 times)

dbanta

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Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« on: July 16, 2014, 02:53:37 PM »
Just got our settlement estimate for the 2003 wrx- (I also posted about our damaged legacy previously - http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/hail-damage-check-to-fix-the-car-or-save-the-$$/)

$7000 if we total it and turn it over
$3110 if we keep it ($7000 - $3880 salvage value)

I wasn't expecting them to offer me so much to total it... I bought the car 4 years for $7000 and have put about 60k miles on it since then.

I'm tempted to take the $7000 and see how we do with just 1 car for a little while.  The downside of this is if we decide we need/want a second car then we would have to buy another car.  But it seems like we could get a lower mileage car that would last longer than the wrx with 180k miles on it.

Another alternative is to keep the car and see if we can sell it for $5000-$6000 and make even more money than we would with the insurance payoff.

Finally we could just keep the car and drive it until it dies which was my initial plan.  Seems like I'm losing out on a couple thousand dollars though with this option because odds are the salvage value in a few years will be significantly less.

What would a mustachian do?

nedwin

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Re: Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 05:50:30 PM »
This is a tough call.  When this happened to me I retained the car and used the insurance proceeds to pay off the loan on it and the remainder on a vacation to puerto vallarta (I was 18, no regrets!).  I drove the car for another 5 years and 100k or 120k miles.  I finally got rid of it when i rear-ended a cop (I knew the cop, it was a small town).  I collected a second insurance check and used it and the remainder of the car for a $3000 push/pull/drag trade in deal on a new-to-me Honda. 

So I guess my advice is to keep it if its reliable for you and meets your needs.  In other words, would you sell the car now irregardless of the hail damage?  One big thing to consider, can you get a "better" car than the WRX with the $7k insurance proceeds (lower miles, newer/safer model, better mpg, whatever your criteria are)?

gimp

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Re: Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 07:38:44 PM »
Here's a thought: It's a WRX. Lovely car. They sound great and feel great. And they're meant to be driven hard. I assume you've been driving it hard (because otherwise, why own such a fun car?) At 180k miles, I'd never look at buying a WRX, because I know that it's been driven hard. What's the maintenance on it costing you?

At 180k miles, I'd be thinking very hard about retiring it after a payout like that. Hell, I'd be thinking very hard about retiring it entirely.

Out of curiosity, what's the hail damage like? It would make sense to keep it and try to sell it if the damage is very minimal.

dbanta

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Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 09:40:36 PM »
Hail damage is noticeable but not so terrible that the car looks like a golf ball. My husband does most of the maintenance on it such as brakes, oil changes, etc. We did just have the engine rebuilt (and timing belt, etc) March 2013 for about $3000 when one of the valves blew. So we were expecting the engine and car to last another 70k-100k miles. But I am not sure if we could have gotten $7000 for it before the hail damage so it's pretty tempting to take the money and save it up for a lower mileage car sometime in the future.

Some more data points - I only work a mile from home so having 2 cars might be unnecessary for us now. We live in Colorado so those few days it is too cold or snowy to bike my husband could drop me off at work in the remaining car. However we just had a baby in February so it would take some careful planning to make sure the car is where the baby is just in case we need to go somewhere with him/some emergency happened.

My husband and I both love this car. There is some sentimental value to it but perhaps not enough to convince me to keep it. We have lotsa fun stickers on it, drove it out to and down the PCH and all through the mountains.

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 09:46:44 PM by dbanta »

gimp

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Re: Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2014, 12:14:20 PM »
Do you think you can sell it for at least $3880? If so, I guess keep it. If not, take the 7k.

dbanta

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Re: Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2014, 07:28:56 PM »
We decided that it was unlikely we could make $3880 and not worth the hassle trying to sell it ourselves.  Called State Farm tonight to let them know that we were going to give it over to them.  Should be receiving our money in the next 2 weeks.

Going to try the one car thing for a month or two and re-evaluate then if we want 2 cars or would prefer a different car if we are going down to one (we have a Legacy sedan but would ultimately prefer a wagon).
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 08:17:50 PM by dbanta »

gimp

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Re: Hail Damage - Total or Keep the Car
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2014, 07:41:48 PM »
Awesome! For what it's worth, I think you made the right choice. The WRX is great but at 180k I would look very hard at getting rid of it.